Anthony Peterson’s fight on Saturday night with veteran Hector Velazquez was called off when Peterson claimed to be ill. According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, the doctor that saw Peterson suspects kidney stones.
Peterson (34-1, 22 KOs) was originally supposed to take on Yakubu Amidu (21-5-2, 19 KOs) up until Amidu was suddenly replaced by the 39-year-old former IBA and IBC Featherweight Champion, but loser of his last four bouts. Amidu’s promoter, Bobby Hitz, received a phone call on the morning of December 17 telling him the fight was off. Hitz claimed to have been told that Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, did not want this charge fighting Amidu.
Said Hitz: “Hunter has been trying to get out of this fight since we signed the bout contract. The kid trained hard for this fight. It’s the holidays. This kid did everything asked of him, and now he’s not going to be paid because at the last minute, this guy pulls out because he is afraid of what Amidu might do to his fighter? “He’s like the Grinch that stole this guy’s Christmas. Most guys fight for an opportunity to showcase their talents on SHOWTIME, and here’s a guy that went out of his way not to be on TV. He took an easier fight, and lost the TV opportunity just so he didn’t have to fight us. I’m glad I don’t have these guys guiding my fighters’ careers.”
Peterson would have entered the ring on a four fight winning streak since being disqualified against Brandon Rios for repeated low blows in a WBA Lightweight Title Elimination bout. Peterson–the younger brother of IBF Light Welterweight title holder, Lamont—is looking to get back into position for a title shot, but the alleged ducking of Amidu for the faded Velazquez (56-24-3, 38 KOs) certainly raises questions about where he is in his career. Especially when you consider Amidu’s record in his last five fights is 1-3-1.
The last minute change of opponent resulted in Showtime moving Peterson’s bout off camera and replacing it with Gary Russell Jr.’s fight against Chris Martin.
While there may be no reason to doubt Peterson’s condition which resulted in the cancellation of tonight’s bout, the one-two combination of dumping his original opponent and then dropping out of the fight altogether—all in the last three days—is more than a little curious and hard to look at as anything other than a setback.