On Saturday, February 18, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a fight televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing, WBA World welterweight champion David Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11 KOs), from Pyatigorsk, Russia, will defend his title against WBA #2 ranked Lamont Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs), the former two-time world champion from Washington, DC.
“It is a great pleasure for me to be defending my world title in the U.S. against a very good opponent in Lamont Peterson,” Avanesyan said. “I am the champion and come February 18 I will remain champion. This fight gives me a great opportunity to let the U.S. know what I’m about and put me in a position to fight the top fighters in the division. This will be a difficult defense but I am ready to show everyone how good I am.”
Peterson is also a good fighter. His three losses are a blot on his record, but they were to world-class fighters: Timothy Bradley in 2009, Lucas Matthysse in 2013, and Danny Garcia in 2015.
“I’m extremely excited about getting back in the ring and fighting on Showtime again,” said Peterson. “I’ve been working hard in the gym and I’m ready to give my fans the kind of show they deserve. I know this guy is coming in with a lot of confidence from that belt, but I believe I’m the better fighter and I’ll prove it on February 18.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Avanesyan is undefeated in his last 22 fights, his only loss coming in his second fight, dating back to 2009. Unlike Peterson, he has not fought many name fighters, but he defeated former three-division world champion Shane Mosley in his last fight in the first defense of his interim title.
“When you beat a legend like Shane Mosley, you not only become stronger physically but also psychologically,” he told BoxingScene.com/Allboxing.ru. “I think that this fight really brought me to a new level in boxing.
“Petersen has some big names on his record, but I am confident of a victory. I have shown before that I am a world-class fighter.”
Thirty-three-year-old Peterson has not fought in 15 months, so ring rust may be a factor. Plus he is moving up in weight.
“I have no concern about ring rust,” he said. “It’s not even a thought in my head. I would be shocked if that was a problem for me.
“People are going to talk a lot about my layoff, but honestly that only affects people who aren’t always in the gym. I have been in the gym working hard this entire time. I’ve been working on my craft. I got better.
“Avanesyan is a good fighter. He keeps his hands up high, so even though he’s there to be hit, it doesn’t mean I’m going to get good clean shots. It should be a good entertaining fight and a good first step at welterweight for me.
“I’ve been wanting to move up but it seemed like my opportunities were down in weight. Now I’m ready to mix it up with the best guys here.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.