Photos/Quotes: Lamont Peterson & Barry Hunter Workout

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LAMONT PETERSON, IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion “I intend to continue to be the champion after my fight on January 25.

“I don’t worry about comments from him [Dierry Jean]. At the end of the day he’s got to get in the ring with me. He can say whatever he wants, but he’ll see when he gets in there that it’s not an easy task.

“It’s always a great thing to fight at home. When the crowd is cheering for you, it gives you the extra energy to pull out the close rounds and close fights. I’m glad to be fighting at home.

“I never really left the gym since my last fight. I’ve been doing a lot of strength and conditioning, although at this point it’s mostly boxing. Right now, I’m working on the game plan and making sure I execute when I get in the ring.

“I try to put that [loss] behind me. Boxing is for a thinking sportsman. [Boxing] It’s not a sport where you should be letting those thingsgetto you. You have to fight smart and the best way to do that is to clear your mind.

“I didn’t know much about Dierry Jean when the fight was announced. He’s a pretty good fighter, but at this level when you fight for championship belts, I’ve done it and he never has. I know my first time fighting for a world title was more difficult than I thought. I’m expecting him to stumble because of the bright lights and the type of pressure. People don’t normally deal with it well.

“It’s scheduled for 12 [rounds] and I’ll be prepared to go that distance. But if it ends before that I’ll be happy.

[On making on weight] “I miss eating pizza and things I like to eat, but for the most part I do pretty well with it.

“I come into the gym at 8:30 in the morning and I don’t leave until 7:00 at night. I probably spend about 4-5 hours a day working out.

“The fact that I’m fighting at home and a majority of the crowd will be cheering for me, that helps me. He’s [Jean] going to have to deal with that crowd too.

“I’ll be 30 the day before the fight. I’m stilla kid but the clock is ticking. Eventually the hard exercising will take its toll. So I just have to stay smart and pay attention to my body.

“I appreciate things much more than I did when I was younger. Going through a whole training camp at this point is the happiest time of my life. I know it won’t last forever but I try to enjoy every moment of it and I’m thankful to be in this position. ”

BARRY HUNTER, Petersons’ Trainer “Lamont may have a slight chip on his shoulder [following his recent loss], but its all business with him.

“A lot of the times even though he’s reserved, when he gets close to a fight he does get anxious. We see it in the gym, and I spoke to him and just told him to never act like anyone but himself.

“This is something that we haven’t seen before but he’s been resilient so I won’t worry about it.

“It bothered me that moment during the last fight. But I said to my wife on the way home, ‘I must have matured a lot because I don’t feel as devastated as I normally do after a loss,’ I understand somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. It’s not about losing; it’s about what you do after the loss.

“I gave the man my word. We’ve been through everything and we never really had the chance to fight at home. I told the Mayor, what would be better than bringing the world title back to DC.

“It’s been a long time since DC had something to shout about and we want to bring it back.

[On Dierry Jean] “I think he’s a good little fighter. I’m not a huge film guy. We usually make adjustments in fights, but based off what I saw he’s not great in one area but he’s good in a lot of areas. He’s hungry and he wants a title so it should make for a good fight.”

Photo Credit: Delane Rouse – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

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In the Phone Booth with Phoenix

Phoenix
Phoenix

Phoenix

By: Gordie Tamayo

The streets of DC are known as grooming grounds for several of boxing’s greats. It were these same streets where trainer Barry Hunter found 11-year old Lamont Peterson and his brother homeless, took them in and developed their survival skills within the gym. And although a life of ‘normality’ appeared to be anti-Peterson from the gate, in retrospect we are reminded that there was something destined beyond struggling on the District. Something Barry Hunter must have saw also.

Unknowingly to Peterson at the time, it was the same type of familiarity from the streets (solitude, fearlessness and determination) that would make the fight-game the next logical transition. Almost two decades later, Peterson still keeps his inner-circle small and continues to amass a solid track record of relentless work ethic and putting on a good fight.

We can see similar traits in R&B songstress Danielle Marie Green, otherwise known as Phoenix. The 22-year old Boston native has had her fair share of adversity away from the mic; overcoming homelessness and alcoholism were only part of the battle. But through those experiences, she would discover some of her most honest material and inspiration to date.

One look at Phoenix is enough to encourage a double-take and one preview of her vocals, creates hope that the track is on repeat just to indulge once again. She is unequivocally as blessed with carrying a tune as she is eye-candy, which was more than enough to attract the attention of NFL star Raheem Brock who when they met, was in the midst of starting an independent imprint label.

Brock was able to flex some of his celebrity muscle to align Phoenix with other industry song writers/producers and the rest as they say, was history. The partnership led to the release of her first solo mix-tape “Concrete Love” and Phoenix has been on the warpath since. A student of classical, opera and jazz, Phoenix is well versed in the intricacies of what goes into composing a hit track. The byproduct thus far has been nothing short of stellar. We invited Phoenix to step “In the Phone Booth” with us to talk music, boxing and how they go together like hand-in-glove. Knuckle up.

@TheTitleFight : Big props on being selected to step “In the Phone Booth  with us. When we first heard “Took a Shot” we were immediately wide-eyed and wondering where you came from. In boxing we see some fighter’s with innate talent that can be perfected in the right hands. Others have to work a little harder at it. You seem to have been born with it. Take us back; when did you first learn this is what you were meant for?

@SheIsPhoenix : I first learned (or discovered rather) My talent at a very early age. I was 5 and that age was introduced to artist such as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Envogue, Prince, And even James Brown. My mom would constantly play all of these artist in our small little apartment In Dorchester Ma. I later went on to an Arts High School where I was able to expand my knowledge and vocal abilities while studying other genres of music such as Jazz, Classical and Musical theater at the Boston Arts Academy.

 

@TheTitleFight : Your work ethic reminds us of fighters like Bernard Hopkins; tirelessly working and dedicating yourself to get to that pinnacle of success. Your ability to network eventually brought you face to face with the man that would sign you to his label. How has the partnership worked for you up to this point?

@SheIsPhoenix : Partnering with Raheem Brock was definitely a blessing. However I was hesitant at first with him being an athlete and still playing at the time it was definitely a smart move. He is very hardworking and has really made me step up even more! That guy is always busy and really gets things done. He has been a really great mentor and has taken me under his wing teaching me how to push myself as an artist and really how to stay grounded and know how to deal with people accordingly in a very classy professional way without becoming overwhelmed. It’s tough at times but we really get things done. I am confident about BME and I see myself going very far as an artists being with BME from the very begining. Growth is really important and I have watched myself grow as an artist and person being signed to BME. I am with a label that cares not only about my talent, but my well being. It was a really smart move and decision signing with Raheem.

 

@TheTitleFight : Obtaining the right people in a fighter’s corner can differentiate the good from the great. You have had the opportunity to work with seasoned song writers like Andrea Martin who have lent their talents to legends such as Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson (R.I.P), all the way to Corté Ellis who’s written for Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Jennifer Hudson. What were you able to take away from the experiences?

@SheIsPhoenix : It is such a blessing and honor working with such talented writers and producers that have worked with the some of the greatest of our time! Andrea Martin is this funny, outgoing spirit with this amazing positive clean energy who works you to the bone but makes it very interesting! Her voice is unmatched and her songs are so powerful. It was awesome working with her, It was more than just going in and cutting records. She would tell me stories of places she had been around the world, and stories of her performing. That was so inspiring for an upcoming artist like myself to even be able to work with this woman and get advice on how to better myself as an entertainer and song writer. Corte on the other hand was this smooth brother who had a look so serious, I was almost afraid to sing a note wrong (LOL) But the 2nd time around He loosened up and really appreciated my grind. He saw how serious I was and how quickly I was able to get things done! I would fly into miami and go straight to the legendary Jimmy Douglas studio and cut 3 songs a day. I literally went in to work, I didn’t pack a bikini or any party clothes. I was in gym attire just ready to work and make music and knock things out. Corte is like family now, whenever I want to get in and get things done under a certain time constraint I text him and if he is available we go in and WORK! I was able to take away a lot from Andrea and Corte and although they are two different people they had the same advice. GRIND and keep going and eat sleep and breathe music, CREATE no matter what your creating and no matter what your doing in life go above and beyond and reach far because there is always more.

 

@TheTitleFight : In the United States, female boxing does not seem to get the same kind of recognition as it’s male counterpart. Do you run into similar roadblocks in the music industry solely because of your gender and if so, how do you combat it?

@SheIsPhoenix : I think the only road blocks I run into being a female artist is just men not really respecting you as much as a really tough gangster rapper (LOL) And it is as simple as a sound check! If Raheem isn’t with me they will definitely move slow or not move at all. I never really seemed to get it. I can be the first one there and its like I’m invisible sometimes. But as soon as I open my mouth to sing everyone is kinds like “Oh wow, she’s talented” and I gain a little brownie points. But other than that everything else is cool. For now at least. Hopefully I can stay smooth sailing because I am definitely not one to let anyone treat me as if I am any less than a male artist.

 

@TheTitleFight : Boxing is a business and sometimes decisions are made that may not be the most desired by the public, but are strategically made for the fighter’s future. Do you ever find yourself compromising in the type of music you are making in effort to set your sights on a bigger picture down the road?

@SheIsPhoenix : I am definitely about compromise if it is to expand my branding and marketing as an artists to a certain extent. I love hair and fashion and making bold statements but it has to be with class. I want younger girls to be able to look up to me. I would never do anything I am uncomfortable with to be bigger. I always want to stay true to Phoenix. I refuse to sell my soul. That never works out anyways. Eventually people start to dislike you and even hate you and you become this image that becomes permanent because no matter what you do to try and clean up it’s something that the people (fans) have labeled you as.

 

@TheTitleFight :  A fighter’s stock is sometimes measured in entertainment factor outside of the ring as much as it is inside of the ropes.  Being that much of your music may be inspired by life offstage, how do you determine what pieces of your life make it on wax which is ultimately used to win a fan-base?

@SheIsPhoenix : As much as I want to keep my personal life personal there really is no such thing. I’m an artist! I sing and write music based on MY life. I mean thats how it all began right? I can sing about a break up to singing about a new pair of shoes. It’s my job to put myself out there and sing about life. People want real life. It’s what gets them through a break up or what helps them celebrate or gets them through a loved ones death even. They want to know that they are not alone and since I was blessed with a talent to sing this is my job. I want my fans and anyone who listens to my music to feel closer to me and to know that I too know what heart break is and how bad it sucks. So I will continue putting myself out there to get people through the ruff times and celebrate the happy times.

 

@TheTitleFight : Marketing a fighter correctly is an integral part of building a reputation and credibility as someone a public is willing to pay to watch. You chose the mix-tape option as your introduction to audiences. What was the strategy behind this approach in marketing yourself?

@SheIsPhoenix : I chose to drop a mixtape as a form of introduction. I was not a well known artist In Philly where I am based out of and I needed to get a feel of what kind of reaction I would get and what route people preferred. I didn’t just want to drop a single. I didn’t think that would be smart. So I put together my first mixtape “Concrete Love” basically taking industry hip hop beats and sang over them and added two popular covers because I knew it would grasp my audience attention. People love familiararity and they become sucked in and want to hear what you did over their favorite rappers track. I also added my first single “Took A Shot” right in the middle and it worked. People would say the mixtape was dope and “Took A shot” was their favorite! It was a cool marketing strategy and helped build a buzz for my second mixtape “808’s & HighHeels” because now I had people looking forward to new music and a new single.

 

@TheTitleFight : In the fight-game, trading shots is part of what comes with the territory. The music industry can be a battleground as well and sometimes you get hit unexpectedly. How have you learned to rebound from or dodge potential people/decisions that could have taken you a different direction?

@SheIsPhoenix : This Industry is definitely a battle ground, but I have learned not to get sucked into the negativity or let it consume your energy. I want to make music and rock out on stage and sell out arenas. I want to be a star. I know that their will be rumors and that unfortunately as sad as it may be it is someones job to try and knock you off make you feel bad or make things up. I see things every day on blogs and social media about artist and actresses and models! This is the industry, America loves gossip. But as long as I stay focused and don’t go astray it will never affect me. I’m too strong and too hungry for the B.S.

 

@TheTitleFight : Every champion desires to test themselves against the best. As the saying goes, iron sharpens iron. Talk to us about some of the big dogs you would like to rub elbows with and why?

@SheIsPhoenix : I would definitely Love to rub elbows with Kanye West, The Dream, Raheem Devaughn, Neyo, John Legend, Frank Ocean and Pharell. I love the sound they develop and the way I feel when listening to them. I find myself so evoked by their lyrics and the beats and the production. In My eyes its timeless music and I definitely want to be a timeless artist.

 

@TheTitleFight : Any last minute thoughts, shout-outs or recognition you would like to leave readers with?

@SheIsPhoenix :

Lastly I would Like to say Thank You to “The Title Fight” and the readers for getting to know a little about me. Shout out to BME & Raheem Brock. Be sure to check out My new Video “Nobody’s Perfect” Feat. Big Ooh By going to my websitewww.SheIsPhoenix.com where you can also find music, Videos, Phacts with Phoenix, Vlogs and upcoming show dates! and Check out my New Single “Run Down” remix coming soon feat JadaKiss! And please follow me on Twitter. Instagram Facebook and Reverbnation! Everything is @SheIsPhoenix.

Stay fly!

Lamont Peterson: “I’m Not Going to Let Matthysse Get an Inch on Me”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 9) – IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Lamont Peterson held an open workout in Washington, D.C. in preparation for his May 18 fight against WBC Interim Super Lightweight World Champion Lucas Matthysse at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey which will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®. Lightweight contender and Lamont’s brother Anthony Peterson as well as Three-Time U.S. Olympian Rau’shee Warren and lightweight prospects Robert Easter and Jamel Herring joined Lamont at the Bald Eagle Recreation Center as they finalize preparations for their non-televised undercard bouts.
 
Here’s what the fighters and Lamont and Anthony’s trainer Barry Hunter had to say on Wendesday.
 
LAMONT PETERSON, IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion
 
“I’m not worried about Matthysse. I’ve known him for a while. He’s a strong guy. He’s going to bring it all night. Pretty much the way I like it to be and it’s going to be a great fight.
 
“Everyone keeps asking me about his [Matthysse] punching power. I know what I signed up for. I realize I’m going to get hit in the face, but I will be hitting him back. I’m not worried about taking a few punches. I’m prepared to go 12 rounds.
 
“I believe I’m at the top level, but at this point a win over Lucas [Matthysse] solidifies me as a top guy not only in the weight class, but a top 15 pound-for-pound guy in the game. It would lead to bigger fights. That’s where I want to land. If I were climbing a ladder, a win over Matthysse would be a big jump up to the top.
 
“I’ll feel my way through the fight in the first few rounds. We have game plans and will work through all of them, pick the best one and go from there.
 
“There is a lot of energy in the gym. The intensity is high. Everyday we train; everyone is encouraging each other inside and outside of the ring. We’re pushing each other and having fun at the same time. It’s always good to have fun while you’re working.
 
“I definitely wanted to get right back in the ring and capitalize on the performance I had in February. I’ve had a three-month layoff. I didn’t take too much contact in the Kendall Holt fight, so at I can’t wait to get out there and give a great performance.
 
“I think it will be a hard fought fight. We’re both going to be matching each other punch for punch. I’m not going to let him get an inch on me. I’m sure he is thinking the same thing.
 
“At the end of the day, I’m preparing for a hard fought 12 round fight. I’ll be there every step of the way. May the best man win, but I have more to my game and more strategies to work with.”
 
 
ANTHONY PETERSON, Lightweight Contender & Lamont’s Brother
 
“I’m preparing for a championship. That’s the ultimate goal.   I want to be one of the top 10 in my division.
 
“I never want to fight my brother. There is always competition between us, but brotherly competition.
 
“I’ve been fighting forever. A long layoff isn’t a problem for me. I’m in the gym everyday preparing for this.
 
“I haven’t fought in 17 months and I’m itching to get back in the ring, but I’m not going to rush it. I’m not going to go in there looking for the knockout. I’m going to go in there and take my time.
 
 
RAU’SHEE WARREN, Three-Time U.S. Olympian
 
“I’ve been thinking about training with these guys since I found out I was fighting on a card with Lamont. This is like family. We are all training with each other. We’re all pushing each other and we’re going to give the crowd a show from the beginning to the end.
 
“This is going to be a crazy show. I know I’ve got the best outfit for my ring walk, but everyone else here is telling me they have something in mind and that’s how we do it here. Friendly competition all day.
 
“This training camp has been looser and different. The talent here isn’t half stepping it. We’re pushing each other to the next level and I’m loving it. I can’t wait for fight night.”
 
 
ROBERT EASTER, Lightweight Prospect
 
“Training with Lamont is great motivation because he’s a real champion. It motivates me and makes me train harder so I can get to where he is.
 
“I’ve been focusing on a lot of cardio to build stamina and strength. I need to get stronger in my weight division.
 
“My coaches [Mike Stafford and Barry Hunter] have been helping me a lot with my strength.
 
“I think it is going to be a quick fight because I have been preparing really well for this one. It should be a good fight for me.”
 
 
JAMEL HERRING, Lightweight Prospect
 
“The last time I fought in Atlantic City, I opened the show so I’m getting used to it. I just want to get everyone hyped up and start the night off right.
 
“Working along side Barry Hunter and Lamont Peterson has been so intense, but we’ve had fun overall.
 
“This camp has been a chance for me to learn and get great advice. Barry’s a great trainer and Lamont is a world champion. I’ve gotten a lot of experience in this camp. It’s a great atmosphere.”
 
 
BARRY HUNTER, Lamont & Anthony Petersons’ Trainer
 
“Lamont is a fighter that can make all kinds of adjustments in the ring. There are a lot of fighters that can’t go toe to toe [like he can].
 
“Lamont is a little more versatile than other fighters that I have seen and definitely more versatile than other fighters Matthysse has faced in the past.
 
“This fight ends with us raising our hands and going on to the next one.
 
“We’re approaching this fight differently than fights in the past. If you look around in the gym, there are a lot of people that Lamont has been sparring with – junior middleweights, middleweights and even light heavyweights.
 
“This isn’t anything that we can’t handle.
 
“All of Lamont’s other fights leading up to this point have been very good fights, some of them even great fights, but I believe this is the fight that can totally take him over the top and put him in the lotto for a fight with someone like a Floyd Mayweather.
 
 
 
“Lamont has had to deal with pressure his whole life. This fight, as opposed to some of the things he’s gone through as a kid, won’t get to him or shake his confidence.”