Roughly a month since becoming the unified super lightweight champion of the world, District native Lamont Peterson has been enjoying his recently acquired fame but continues to remain active in the community.
On Thursday night, Peterson visited with D.C. youths who are part of the Belfast-Beltway Boxing project, a nonprofit that sponsors young men and boys from Northern Ireland to come to the nation’s capital for exhibition matches against counterparts from the Washington area.
For the first time, the youths from the District are headed to Belfast as part of an exchange many years in the making, and they received words of encouragement from Peterson, who beat Amir Khan on Dec. 10 via a split decision in a 12-round main event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Khan’s camp has appealed the result to the WBA and IBF, citing improprieties in judging and refereeing. Referee Joe Cooper deducted two points from Khan for pushing, and they proved decisive in the fight that came down to a razor-thin margin.
“I’m tired of it,” said Peterson, who attended the Belfast Beltway event at a restaurant on Dupont Circle with his younger brother Anthony, who won his undercard bout on Dec. 10. “That’s his energy being wasted. I’m at the point where I’m like, ‘Forget it.’ I know the hearing’s coming up. Whatever they decide, they decide. I’m not going to sit and cry about anything. I’m happy with my performance. I believe I won the fight.”
Khan’s camp is scheduled to appear in New York later this month for the appeal to the IBF. Khan and his team have said they want the decision overturned or at least an immediate rematch.
Lamont Peterson, meantime, is looking at other options, including a bout with Manny Pacquiao, considered by many boxing experts as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“That’s the number one priority,” Lamont Peterson said. “You get into this sport to be the best in your weight class and eventually the best pound-for-pound. Pacquiao’s definitely one of the best pound-for-pound so I would love that challenge.”