Growing up homeless on the streets of Washington, D.C., Anthony Peterson came to the realization at a young age that if he didn’t change his ways, he had two potential final destinations. And neither was appealing.
“It was a 100 percent no-win situation,” Peterson said. “You either are going to wind up dead or in jail.”
At age 7, he was pickpocketing and stealing, all in the name of survival. He and his brother Lamont were living in homeless shelters, the bus station, in people’s cars.
One day, Lamont Peterson, 10 at the time, came upon a boxing gym run by Barry Hunter. Three months later, Anthony, then 8, joined Lamont in the gym, and Hunter, who still trains and manages the two, was able to save their lives through boxing.
Now comes the next step for the Petersons. They recently signed a promotional contract with Top Rank in the hopes Bob Arum can make them world champions.
Anthony Peterson (26-0, 19 knockouts) will make his Top Rank debut tonight at the Orleans Arena when he faces Fernando Trejo (30-13, 187 KOs) in a 12-round lightweight bout that headlines a card that will be televised nationally on the Versus Network (Cable 67).
Also on the card is former Olympian Vanes Martirosyan (19-0, 13 KOs), who will face Angel Hernandez (28-6, 16 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight bout.
Lamont Peterson, 24, will make his Top Rank debut July 5 when he fights on the undercard of the Ricardo Torres-Kendall Holt WBO super lightweight title bout at Planet Hollywood.
Anthony Peterson, 23, said he’s ready for the next phase of his career.
“Me and my brother, we talked about it and we saw (Top Rank) had developed a lot of great champions and we think they can do the same thing for us,” he said.
Bruce Trampler, Top Rank’s chief matchmaker, saw the Petersons and encouraged Arum to sign them.
“It’s pretty obvious why we signed them. They’re very talented, and they showed me some tools,” Trampler said. “They’re the kind of kids who can be special. Anthony’s an offensive-minded fighter. He’s looking to take you out rather than outpoint you.”
Anthony Peterson agreed.
“I’m a body snatcher,” he said. “I’ve got a knockout mentality. But I pay attention to defense. I don’t allow myself to get careless.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913.