At times, Lamont Peterson is a breath of
fresh air. In today’s boxing world in which cockiness is far more profitable
than humility or talent, Peterson doesn’t “play the game.” Not only does
Peterson not engage in nauseating “trash talk” before a televised fight, he
isn’t afraid to talk about the sham of multiple sanctioning bodies and world
title belts amid the “Sweet Science.”
On a conference call this
week, when asked about being a champion (despite being throttled in three
rounds by Lucas Matthysse in his last bout), Peterson, 31-2-1 (16), said, “At the end of the day, the belts mean
nothing. It means a lot to ya’ll but it means nothing to me. So whether
you look at me as a champion or not, it doesn't make a difference.” He also told
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, “There are a thousand belts out there,” later adding, “At this point, in my opinion, Danny
Garcia is the champion in the [junior welterweight] weight class.”
Peterson’s quiet, confident
demeanor is as refreshing as hearing a fighter candidly admit his sanctioning
body trinket means little. However, there remains that one little, pesky issue left
out during the conference call - and out of Iole’s article - synthetic testosterone.
After beating Amir Khan for
the biggest win of his career and getting in line for the Holy Grail of professional
boxing, the million-dollar purse, Lamont Peterson got busted. After agreeing to
stringent VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) drug testing, Peterson was
found to have synthetic testosterone coursing through his system. It was also
revealed he was using synthetic testosterone before his razor-thin victory over
Khan in December 2011.
After his positive test
before his scheduled rematch with Khan, there was much debate over when and how
Peterson tested positive. But one thing was not debated - and admitted by
Peterson, his doctor and his trainer, Barry Hunter - Peterson was indeed
injected with soy-based synthetic testosterone.
At the time, Peterson’s Las
Vegas doctor, John A. Thompson told Maxboxing’s Gabe Montoya that Peterson’s
testosterone levels “were the levels of a 70-to-80-year-old man,” adding, “I have never seen a
26, 27-year-old male with free testosterone that low.”
What’s important leading up to tonight’s defense against
Dierry Jean, 25-0 (17), is what boxing writers are not asking. If
Peterson was in need of treatment in 2011 for low testosterone levels, what has
changed? Did the condition causing his low testosterone just go away? Why isn’t
VADA testing being used for this fight?
On Thursday night, Peterson’s
publicist, Andre Johnson replied, “No comment,” to these questions and said any
questions about drug testing should be directed to the Washington D.C. boxing
According to Peterson’s
promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, there will be no additional drug screening
beyond that of the D.C. boxing commission’s normal procedure, which does not
include Carbon Isotope Ratio testing. This particular test identified the
synthetic testosterone in the first place, forcing the cancelation of the Khan
rematch. The test only determines that the Testosterone-to-Epitestosterone
(T/E) ratio is within four times the normal level and when artificial
testosterone was detected in Peterson’s system, his ratio was 3.77-to-one.
The real shame is not whether
Lamont Peterson - or Dierry Jean for that matter - is artificially boosting his
testosterone level to just under the 4:1 T/E level (let’s be honest; one would
have to be naïve to believe Peterson is the exception in boosting his level to
3.5-plus-to-one). The real shame is that so-called boxing “journalists” refuse
to question how or why.
But boxing “journalists” are
not very good at asking questions much harder than how a fighter feels about
his training camp.
How about the question of
whether a fight like Peterson vs. Jean belongs as a main event on “Showtime
Championship Boxing.” Is this what boxing fans are paying for with Showtime (in
my case, $15.99 a month)? When the fighter with the belt doesn’t even consider
himself the champion of a division, why does Showtime?
It’s simple; Showtime Boxing
is not an independent media outlet competing for the best fights for its
subscribers. No, Showtime Boxing is wholly controlled by the triumvirate of
Golden Boy Promotions, Al Haymon and Floyd Mayweather Jr. If those three want
Showtime to pay for a fight, Showtime pays. If someone can actually justify why
we are seeing Showtime cards featuring this fight now as well as mismatches
like Mickey Bey vs. Carlos Cardenas and Christopher Pearson vs. Acacio Joao
Ferreira on the same card last December, please enlighten me.
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