Lamont Peterson mulls Victor Ortiz bout

October, 12, 2010
10/12/10
9:54
PM ET
The representative for junior welterweight contender Lamont Peterson has been approached about a possible fight with fellow contender Victor Ortiz on HBO's Dec. 11 "World Championship Boxing" card, but contrary to published reports there is no deal.

Barry Hunter -- the manager, trainer and father figure to Peterson and his lightweight contender brother, Anthony -- told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he spoke briefly with Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez about the fight on Monday, but there is no semblance of a deal, despite a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Hunter said there is interest in the fight, but "it's up in the air. I just got the call [Monday]. I spoke to Lamont about the fight and he's chomping at the bit. But on the flip side, we still have to be strategic about what we do."

He said the conversation with Gomez lasted "less than five minutes" and that they never discussed money or other terms.

"I spoke to Eric and he asked me if we would be interested in the fight, and there is interest there, but the discussion was very brief," Hunter said. "No money was discussed. When I spoke to Eric, it was, 'Is there interest in fighting Victor?' I said, 'Sure.' He said, 'I'll give you a call later and see if we can work out the details.' And, bang, that was it. So anyone saying there's a deal is just not right. This is one of those things we have to think through. I don't want to just jump at something or feel we are pressed to do something."

Ortiz (28-2-1, 22 KOs), who is supposed to fight on the televised undercard of the Amir Khan-Marcos Maidana junior welterweight title fight at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is in need of a credible opponent. Former titlist Andriy Kotelnik and mandatory title challenger Kaiser Mabuza both rejected the fight, paving the way for Peterson to get the bout if he wants it. HBO has approved Peterson.

Hunter said he was concerned about Peterson (28-1, 14 KOs) taking such a difficult fight, having not fought since an April win against Damian Fuller. That fight was Peterson's first since suffering a lopsided decision loss when challenging junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. in December.

"It's an attractive fight," Hunter said of the Peterson-Ortiz proposal. "But April was the last time we've been in the ring. Because Victor is a fight I definitely think we can win, I don't want to go in there rushed. I would love [for Peterson] to fight Victor, but I think we're going to take a fight or two before that."

Hunter left open the door that Peterson would take the Ortiz fight, however.

"What I'll do is, I have to discuss this with Lamont and see what makes the greatest sense and then we'll make our decision based on that," he said. "My gut feeling is it's a fight that he can definitely win, and that he came away with a big education in the Bradley fight. Hopefully in the next day or two, no more than Friday, we come to a decision. The money may not be great, but it has to be decent."

The Peterson brothers had been under contract with Golden Boy rival Top Rank, but Hunter said the deals have expired, which would allow Lamont to take the fight with Ortiz.

"On paper, we're no longer with Top Rank," Hunter said. "We love Bob Arum to death and we will still do business with Bob, but as far as legal contracts, they've expired."
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