Contrary to what’s been written, Samuel Peter didn’t suffer a broken hand in training for his Saturday night fight against Jameel McCline at Madison Square Garden.
His manager, Ivaylo Gotzev, told TSS that Peter did in fact hurt both hands in training, the left more severely.
In working the mitts with trainer Stacy McKinley, Gotzev said, Peter whacked McKinley in his elbow. The blow aggravated his left hand, in the knuckle area, but no breakage occurred.
It was inflamed, but not broken.
Gotzev said that Peter, whose English isn’t perfect, probably miscommunicated the level of the injury after the win on Saturday.
The manager also revealed that Peter’s right eardrum was perforated during sparring, and said that likely affected his man’s balance.
Peter is still “a work in progress,” Gotzev said, but deserves credit for shrugging off the injuries and fighting through them.
“There is no substitute for this experience,” said Gotzev of his man’s performance, in which he shrugged off three knockdowns enroute to a unanimous decision win. “He showed championship heart in the third round.”
Peter has in his possession the WBC heavyweight belt, which the sanctioning body awarded him, on an interim basis, after WBC champion Oleg Maskaev pulled out of his second defense.
TSS pointed out that it looked like Peter, while weighing only a pound more than he did against James Toney in their second bout nine months ago, didn’t look as trim.
Gotzev explained that the lengthy process to force Maskaev to meet Peter, and then the late switch in opponent, to McCline, prevented Peter from being as focused as he could’ve been.
The showing, Gotzev said, might prove to be a blessing, because now foes might be more inclined to sign on against the Nigerian, figuring him to possess a suspect chin.
Most likely, Gotzev said, a fight with Maskaev would be next on the to do list. Gotzev would like to get that on the calendar in January.
SPEEDBAG Jose Rivera fought his last bout on Saturday night, against Daniel Santos. A crack at Joachim Alcine, the WBA 154 pound champion, was on the line. Rivera's trainer, John Scully, had a bad feeling going in. As he tells TSS, "The main thing is that I have always been told or led to believe that once an athlete, especially a boxer, makes up his mind to retire on a specific date
he is actually, for all intents and purposes, retired already. When I was told a couple days before this fight that Jose had basically decided he would retire after this fight regardless of a win or a loss it definitely threw up a red flag in my mind."