American Lamont Peterson kept his International Boxing Federation light-welterweight title on Saturday after a unanimous 12-round decision over previously unbeaten Canadian Dierry Jean.
Judges gave home-town hero Peterson the triumph by scores of 118-111, 116-112 and 115-113, improving his record to 32-2 with one draw before 5668 at the Washington Armory.
A day after his 30th birthday, Peterson revived his career after being stopped for the first time in May by Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in the third round of a catch-weight bout, where his crown was not at risk.
“I had to go out there and show people I have still got it,” Peterson said. “Every time I think I have it easy, there is another setback. I have showed I can get back up.
“That’s my purpose in life. I try to represent something to people trying to find a way out of their struggles and inspire them.”
Jean, in his first world-title bout, fell to 25-1 but took his first loss in stride.
“Maybe it was just a matter of experience,” Jean said. “I’m definitely leaving with my head held high. I fought a hard fight. Life goes on.”
For Peterson, the goal is a showdown with unbeaten American Danny Garcia, who holds the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council crowns, for an undisputed title.
“I would like to be considered the best 140-pounder in the world. If it’s Danny Garcia next, then that’s what it is,” Peterson said.
Jean, a 31-year-old born in Haiti but based in Montreal, exchanged tentative jabs with Peterson early on.
Peterson landed a right to the chin off a clinch in the second, but Jean used his speed edge to punch the champion into the ropes late in the round.
Peterson, who had the reach and height advantage, evaded Jean several times to escape trouble in the third and both fighters became more defensive.
The champion started the sixth round aggressively and pressed the attack, pounding Jean against the ropes with flurries of punches, opening a cut near Jean’s right eye.
Jean began to connect well with single blows in the seventh and eighth, but could not stop Peterson taking control of the fight in the later rounds.