Shortly after his victorious comeback in February from the longest layoff of his professional career, District boxer Lamont Peterson mentioned Lucas Matthysse as an opponent he would welcome for his next bout.
The International Boxing Federation junior welterweight champion got his wish when Golden Boy Promotions announced Monday that the two would square off in the main event May 18 in Atlantic City.
It will be the first of two fights featuring area boxers within roughly a month-long span. Brandywine heavyweight Seth Mitchell will fight Johnathon Banks on June 22 in Brooklyn, N.Y., his camp confirmed Monday. The bout, a rematch of their Nov. 17 fight in Atlantic City, had been previously postponed.
Peterson (31-1-1, 16 knockouts) is coming off a technical knockout of Kendall Holt on Feb. 22 at the D.C. Armory. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight at 1 minute 42 seconds of the eighth round after Peterson dropped the former World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion with a left-right combination.
Peterson measured Holt in the early rounds before launching an assault in the fourth, a sign that he’s ready to face an opponent the caliber of Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs), who claimed the World Boxing Council interim light welterweight belt with a first-round knockout of Mike Dallas Jr. on Jan. 26.
Before besting Holt, Peterson had not fought since beating Amir Khan via split decision Dec. 10, 2011, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Mitchell, meantime, will not have fought for more than seven months the next time he steps into the ring, although he trained and sparred regularly while waiting for a new date to be finalized. The rematch will serve as a co-headliner to Adrien Broner’s match against Paulie Malignaggi.
In the first meeting between Mitchell and Banks, the heavily favored Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 knockouts) lost for the first time in his professional career after going down three times in the second round.
The surprising result means the stakes are that much higher this time for Mitchell, who has designs on fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world against Wladimir Klitschko. Klitschko owns four of the five belts among boxing’s major sanctioning bodies, while brother Vitali owns the other title.
“I kind of hesitate to say I’m training harder because I train extremely hard for each and every bout, but coming off a loss, it’s different,” Mitchell said. “My focus is definitely there. If you want to say my focus is stronger, I’m training harder, I’m not going to disagree with that.”
Mitchell initially was supposed to face Banks in a rematch Feb. 16 in Atlantic City, but Banks broke his thumb while sparring 10 days before the fight. Their first bout also was postponed twice last year.
Following the loss, which cost him the North American Boxing Organization title, Mitchell used a rematch clause to ensure he would have a second fight against Banks, whose deft counter-punching caught Mitchell in some vulnerable moments. Referee Eddie Cotton stopped the fight at 2:37 after Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) had landed a left uppercut for the first knockdown and a right that did the job the second time.
“I know sparring isn’t fighting obviously, but I had a lot of good sparring,” Mitchell said. “I feel sharp. I feel good. Now I’m just excited and ready to put on the final touches to go out here and take care of business this time.”