by David P. Greisman
Lamont Peterson’s last performance wasn’t his best — he took a debated majority decision over Felix Diaz back in October 2015, a rough follow-up to his close decision loss to Danny Garcia.
Peterson’s post-fight interview at the time had mentioned cramps that had caused him to fade down the stretch. His trainer illuminated just how bad those cramps were.
“I know our performance in the Diaz fight could’ve been a whole lot sharper. But due to the fact that he had full body cramps, I was happy,” Barry Hunter told BoxingScene.com in an interview ahead of Peterson’s Feb. 18 fight against David Avanesyan. “You know how it feels to have one cramp in your leg or your arm.
“It kind of put in my mind the movie ‘Alien,’ bursting out of the stomach,” Hunter said. “He had a knot that came up on his right hand side, and he was standing there trying to push it out and it was hard. To be able to go through pain like that and finish a fight against somebody like a Diaz, I thought it was outstanding.”
Members of his team believe the hot temperature in the building exacerbated Peterson’s condition. Hunter said this wasn’t the first time his fighter had dealt with cramps, but he hadn’t dealt with a condition so severe.
“For the most part it’s been in the gym, and the older he has gotten, and at that weight, which is 140, which he’s been holding since the amateurs, it’s been starting to increase,” Hunter said. “That fight, it was a whole lot worse than it’s ever been before.”
Peterson turned pro at junior welterweight in 2004 and remained there for a decade. He was 143 for his loss to Garcia and 144 for the Diaz fight. He’s now going to be competing at welterweight.
“He’s a whole lot more comfortable at this weight than he has been at 140,” Hunter said. “He has even more power because of the extra added mass.”
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