"I don't know if he's really physically strong, but he looks to be. No doubt about it he's a big puncher. His skill level, I think he's basic, but overall, he's a good fighter. He's one of the top guys at 140. He is very hungry to win the championship...If it do go down, I will be prepared. I know I will probably see the best Matthysse possible. I will just prepare myself the best way I know how and I feel pretty confident that I will get the victory," stated IBF jr. welterweight champion Lamont Peterson, who talked about his impressive victory over Kendall Holt, a potential clash with Lucas Matthysse, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on the win over Kendall Holt. You were very impressive. How did you feel?
LP: I felt pretty good. Considering the 14-month layoff, I felt like I didn't miss a beat. I felt comfortable in there and I just felt like another day of sparring; another day of work.
PC: It appeared, and I want your take because obviously you were the one in there, but it appeared in the first two rounds you were measuring yourself just a little bit and didn't want to walk into anything because Holt is dangerous, especially early. Was that the case or was that the strategy?
LP: I just think because in my last few fights, everybody just used to me going in there and getting the fight started. They got used to that, but to be honest, I didn't feel like I was wasting any time. I was establishing the jab and establishing the pace and it was part of the game plan. Part of the game plan was to get him comfortable, let him relax a bit, and let him come forward a little bit and walk in so I could get started on the body work.
PC: Most observers felt you were more mentally stronger than Kendall. Did you feel that eventually you would break him? Because I think that's what happened; you broke his will.
LP: Yeah, that was part of the game plan too. Barry started watching the tapes of Kendall and I started watching them and we kind of had similar ideas of what to do. Barry told me straight up he pretty much told me that he was a punk, and if I put the pressure on him, he was gonna fold. We just wanted to camouflage it early because Kendall is still a dangerous puncher and he tries to catch you in wild exchanges, so we wanted to take our time early on, but eventually we knew when it came down to it, we would overwhelm him with my power and my inside fighting and we would eventually get him out of there.
PC: Kendall has always been kind of suspect to body shots. You did a great job of mixing it up to his body and head. Was that a part of the plan, to touch him upstairs as well as down?
LP: Exactly. If you look at my CompuBox numbers throughout my career, I'm 50/50 body to head punching. I will always continue to be that way. It wasn't any different from any of my other fights.
PC: After one of the later knockdowns, you let out a big scream and flexed a little bit. Was that just releasing what you had been holding in from last year's trials and tribulations?
LP: Yeah! It was a little bit of built up anger from me. It's been a long, I won't say 14 months, but 8 months or so since everything came out, and a lot of things that was said and I took it on. I didn't get angry at the time, but they were just making me stay in the gym and train harder and I knew eventually when it was fight night, everything would come out and that's what happened.
PC: How did it feel, not only being in your hometown, but back on ESPN where it all started, and to put on that type of performance?
LP: It was a great feeling, and to be honest, I was really happy to be fighting on ESPN. I really hope that it's not the last time that I fight on ESPN. Those guys do a great job over there, from the camera men to the commentators; everybody. The whole staff we have memories and they make us comfortable and we feel like family. I hope that's not the last time that I fight on ESPN, and I was comfortable in my hometown and it was just a great night and a great feeling.
PC: And now moving forward, Lucas Matthysse seems to be the name that keeps coming up when your name is mentioned. Is that a fight that gets you excited?
LP: I will definitely be excited if the fight happens. A lot of times, some of the top fighters don't want to fight other top fighters. I'm not one of those fighters that think that way. If I'm going to claim to be one of the best fighters in the division, then I'm gonna fight the best guys and the champions and whoever else the fans wanna see me fight. So at this point, if that's what the fans want to see, then we can get it. Let's sign a contract together and I'm willing to make the fight.
PC: When you look at Lucas' style, what do you see?
LP: He's I don't know if he's really physically strong, but he looks to be. No doubt about it he's a big puncher. His skill level, I think he's basic, but overall, he's a good fighter. He's one of the top guys at 140. He is very hungry to win the championship. He fought Devon Alexander and lost a split decision and he fought Zab Judah and lost another split decision, so right now, he's scratching at the door. And I know how it feels to be right there and not win, and he had to go through it twice. He wanna try to make sure at this point if we do fight, that his third crack at it, he's not gonna want to lose three times on the big stage. If it do go down, I will be prepared. I know I will probably see the best Matthysse possible. I will just prepare myself the best way I know how and I feel pretty confident that I will get the victory.
PC: Before I let you go, I gotta let you speak on the IBF. They stuck by your side, they did their own research, and they came to the conclusion that you did nothing wrong. What did that mean to you and how did it feel to make them proud in your title defense?
LP: I'm still confused about the WBA situation. As they told me, the last I heard from them, I was the champ in recess and when I start fighting again, they would make the decision then. So I guess in the next few weeks or so, we will figure out what they wanna do as far as me being their champion. But as far as I know, I'm a champion in recess, but I'm still their champion. But as far as what the IBF did for me, I really appreciate those guys. Not for ruling in my favor, but just doing the research. Had they did the research and decided against me, I wouldn't have cried about it. I would have still praised them and been happy and congratulate them for even giving me the opportunity and just taking the time out to do the research. But hopefully at this point, them stepping up for me the way they did, I will represent them as best I can and that's part of the reason why I fought so hard is because I wanted to represent them as best I can, as well as my team and my city. I give kudos to those guys over there. I think they made the right decision and I just thank them.
PC: It didn't look like you missed a beat. Congratulations again on a great performance. Is there anything else you want to add?
LP: That's it, man. I just want to thank all of the fans who supported me. It was a long 14 months, but I know a lot of my true fans stuck with me and I thank them for that.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]