Aftermath: Lamont Peterson-Victor Cayo, Yordanis Despaigne-Edison Miranda

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Lamont Peterson broke down and stopped a game Victor Cayo last night in the 12th round at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Cayo, 26-2, threw his fair share of punches, but struggled to navigate around Peterson’s guard, and was scourged during every elongated stay of in-fighting. Peterson, 29-1-1, isn’t the most consistent fighter in the world and a more resolute jab would help him fill the lulls that loom prominent within his performances. He demonstrates know-how on the inside though, using a variety of angles to rip hooks and uppercuts to the body, while avoiding most of the incoming.

While Cayo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, made the bout competitive with his high punch output, Peterson seemed to control the proceedings whenever he wasn’t cruising or taking a break. The Memphis, Tennessee, resident isn’t a fluid combination puncher, natural counter puncher, or stiff jabber, so letting his foot off the pedal tends to bring his opponent back within reach of victory. The aforementioned inside-work, however, is a weapon he can flash extemporaneously against a fighter without the footwork to avoid phone booth combat. Cayo was at the mercy of damaging body shots whenever Peterson felt motivated to dole out punishment, and eventually he fell to a series of right hands during the waning seconds of the bout.

The fight was an IBF light welterweight title eliminator, so the 27-year-old Peterson is set up for a showdown against Amir Khan if Khan chooses not to encroach greener pastures. The suspicion here is that Khan’s feet would probably be too fast for Peterson, with the talented Brit fleeing, flurrying, and dancing his way to a unanimous decision. Peterson’s lulls would likely be his downfall in a bout that would resemble a more dramatic version of Khan’s scrap with Andriy Kotelnik.

But Peterson, when he’s aggressive, is a threat, and he would almost certainly put up more of a fight than milquetoast Zab Judah did last weekend. Peterson has established himself as an accomplished body puncher – if his work against Cayo wasn’t proof enough, check the middle rounds of his loss against Timothy Bradley – and Khan tends to leave his midsection open for attack. If drowsiness left from Judah’s languid effort is causing folks to yawn at the prospect of a Peterson fight, it should be noted that Khan still doesn’t like pressure. Peterson brings enough of it to make him weary.

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On the undercard, excessively officious referee Vic Drakulich showed that he makes for some impish what-if scenarios. For example, what if he was the third man in Bernard Hopkins’ foul infested bout with Keith Holmes a decade ago? Hopkins would have been disqualified from Don King’s middleweight tournament, and his road towards boxing lore would’ve been, at least temporarily, detoured. Miguel Cotto, Jose Luis Castillo, and other boundary-pushing talents would have also been DQ’d multiple times with Drakulich at the helm.

It goes to show you that it’s generally best to hold a little discretion while ruling on blows south of the border, and unfortunately for Colombian veteran Edison Miranda, Drakulich had none when he disqualified Miranda as his clash with Cuban light heavyweight Yordanis Despaigne started heating up.

To be fair, a more composed referee might have eventually DQ’d Miranda anyway, as Miranda, 34-6, did hit Despaigne low on multiple occasions through four and a half rounds. But Drakulich was duped by a Despaigne flop at the end of round two that would’ve made Robert Allen proud, and strangely, favored immediate point deductions over warnings.

While Despaigne, 9-1, controlled the bout with jabs and clubbing right hands through two stanzas, his punches lacked steam in rounds three and four, and he appeared to be tiring by the time Drakulich called an end to the fight. Miranda’s looping shots to the head mostly caught air, but the legal (and illegal) body blows he landed were effective.

A rematch would be fine for a Friday Night Fights main event in the future. As long as both the referee and Edison Miranda show some restraint.

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Tags: Edison Miranda LAMONT PETERSON Victor Cayo Yordanis Despaigne

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