Lamont "Havoc" Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KO) had an easy night.
The IBF light welterweight champion battered Edgar Santana (29-5) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night and came away with a 10th-round TKO victory.
Peterson showed more pure boxing skills than he usually does, but his opponent's lack of activity might have made the task a bit easier.
ESPN's Dan Rafael had the simple, but accurate, synopsis of the bout.
Santana deserved credit for taking an enormous amount of punishment. When the bout ended, it wasn't Santana's heart or body that gave in. The ringside doctor intervened to stop the one-sided bout.
Many were glad he did.
When Peterson was asked by Showtime's Jim Gray if he was disappointed he couldn't stop Santana earlier, per the Showtime broadcast, Peterson said: "No, because I know who I am. I'm not the biggest puncher—that doesn't mean I can't punch. Anyone I've fought, I've hurt them. But I'm not the finisher-type."
Santana started with a purpose. He landed a solid overhand right early in the round, but it didn’t take long for Peterson to adjust. By employing a stiff and steady jab, the champion took control of the early rounds. He mixed in hard shots to the body that robbed Santana of his steam by the third frame.
By the fourth round, Santana’s pace and punch activity had slowed tremendously.
During the middle rounds, Santana’s midsection was doubling as a heavy bag for Peterson during a training session.
Havoc teed off on his opponent’s body with little threat of return fire. It’s unclear whether Santana’s age, the nine-month layoff or all of Peterson’s body work zapped the challenger's activity, but the fight turned into a clinic by the end of the seventh round.
Between the eighth and ninth rounds, Santana’s corner urged him to get busier, but he simply didn’t have it in him to oblige. During the 10th round, the fight was stopped as Santana was simply being beaten up.
It was a good decision by the doctors and one that could have been made by Santana's corner a couple of rounds earlier.
Looking ahead, Peterson should be eyeing a unification bout at 140 pounds. It’s unclear whether or not he will get a shot at WBA champion Danny “Swift” Garcia. The latter has to beat Rod Salka in the main event on Saturday night's card.
The Garcia vs. Salka bout is taking place at a 142-pound catchweight. Garcia may have designs on moving up to 147 pounds in search of a big payday.
If Peterson doesn't look to chase Garcia up in weight, he could take on other contenders in the division in search of light welterweight supremacy.
As for Santana, this might signal the end of the line for him.
He has endured quite a bit in his career and life, including a four-month jail sentence. He did well to get himself to this point, but it was clear that he doesn’t have what it takes to compete with the best fighters in his weight class. His ceiling at this point would be as a gatekeeper for local fighters.
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