NEW YORK – One night before Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi defends his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior welterweight title against top-ranked Herman “The Black Panther” Ngoudjo on Showtime Championship Boxing, undefeated, world-ranked Anthony and Lamont Peterson will be co-featured in 10-round bouts on ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, Jan. 4, 2008, on Showtime (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
The talented, confident Peterson brothers, of Washington D.C., have a combined record of 48-0 with 29 knockouts, and either could challenge for a world title by the end of 2008.
This, however, is ShoBox, whose philosophy always has been to match top, promising fighters against one another. So, do not expect any cakewalks at the Hard Rock Café in Biloxi, Miss.
Lamont (23-0, 11 KOs), who is ranked No. 3 in the WBO and No. 6 in the WBA at 140 pounds, will be opposed by fellow unbeaten Antonio Mesquita (34-0, 27 KOs), a Brazilian now residing in Las Vegas.
“This is the year we make our move,” Anthony said. “There isn’t anything our opponents can bring to the table that we haven’t seen already. We will be ready for Jan. 4. Hopefully, we can get some work in to prepare ourselves for our world title shots.
“We look forward to fighting on Showtime again and fighting in Biloxi where the fans have shown us tremendous support.”
Offered Lamont, who, at 23, is 14 months older than Anthony: “I am carrying an undefeated record. But I am going to have to put up the fight of my life on Jan. 4 if I want to walk out of that ring with my perfect record intact. This is a huge fight for me, and I am ready for the challenge.
“Every fight right now for me and my brother is a stepping stone. Even though we don’t look past our opponents, we hope whoever we fight will pose a threat to us so we can prove that we’re up for the test when we get our world title shot. We’re just waiting to become world champions.
“Keep your eyes on the Peterson brothers, because ‘08 is going to be our year.”
Anthony Peterson (25-0, 18 KOs), a lightweight who is ranked No. 1 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO), No. 4 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 12 in the IBF, will meet Mexican champion Guadalupe Rosales (25-2, 17 KOs) of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
It is no wonder that the Petersons are undefeated. No punch from an opponent could seem as painful as the hand they were dealt in life. Forced to flee their family and live on the streets after their father landed in jail for a drug conviction, the pair had to fight on the streets to survive.
After years of homelessness and jumping from foster home to foster home, the Petersons were discovered by trainer Barry Hunter, who took them to his gym and taught them the sweet science. Boxing gave them discipline, hope and the goal to become world champions.
Now, the Petersons, two of 12 children, have risen from homelessness and poverty to almost the top of the boxing world.
Mesquita’s career has been punctuated by lengthy layoffs – one of 16 months that ended in February 2006 and another of nearly 19 months (April 2002-November 2003). When he does fight, Mesquita has been devastating. He has knocked out six of his last seven opponents and 79 percent of his foes overall.
“I am training at Johnny Tocco’s Gym in Las Vegas,” said Mesquita, whose best win came on a fifth-round knockout over Santos Pakau (27-2 going in) on July 19, 2006, at Ontario, Calif. “I think Lamont Peterson is a good fighter, but I don’t care. I’m going to knock him out.
“It will be great to fight on Showtime, and I expect to have a good fight. I am going to bring the excitement back to boxing. I’m ready and willing to fight anybody right now.”
Rosales had a 19-fight winning streak end in his last fight when he stepped up in class and lost a close 10-round decision (97-93 and 96-94 twice) to Francisco Lorenzo on Nov. 9, 2007, in Bronx, N.Y.
“I have seen Anthony Peterson,” Rosales said. “He is a good fighter, but I am better and I am going to beat him,” said Rosales, who has fought most of his career around 130 pounds. “I am training hard and focused.
“It is going to be a very good fight. My career depends on this, so I’m going to do my best.”