Fresh from his controversial victory over British boxing idol Amir Khan, current unified WBA (Super) and IBF light-welterweight champion Lamont Peterson is getting a rare chance to face pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.
No less than Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said a fight with Peterson is possible now that future Pacquiao foe Floyd Mayweather begins serving his jail term starting January 6 for a case stemming from his assault on former girlfriend and mother of his three children in September 2010.
Peterson joins three more challengers led by Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez, who was defeated by Pacquiao in a controversial decision at the MGM Grand last November, in their quest for a lucrative fight with the Filipino boxing star.
The other two challengers are undefeated Palms Springs rising boxing star Timothy Bradley and Puerto Rican boxing idol Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum, in his statement after the Pacquiao-Marquez controversial fight said, he will push for a fourth encounter between Pacquiao and Marquez in order to give them another chance to prove to the clamoring fans who among them is the better fighter and hopefully to put an end to the long-running feud.
In 2004, Marquez and Pacquiao fought to a controversial draw in a featherweight bout (126 pounds). Pacquiao should have won on a split-decision if not for a scoring error committed by one of the judges who scored a round at 10-7 instead of 10-6 for Pacquiao's three knockdowns of Marquez.
In 2008, at super featherweight (130 pounds), Marquez and Pacquiao clashed in a hotly contested rematch with Pacquiao earning a split-decision, as Pacquiao's third-round knockdown proved to be the difference in the bout.
In the case of Miguel Cotto, Roach said boxing fans may not be keen anymore in watching rematches as what Arum is trying to do in pushing for another fight with Marquez.
This left unbeaten Timothy Bradley, who is Pacquiao's stablemate at Top Rank, as the lone contender if Arum shies away from promoting rematches.
But critics say it's not the right time yet for Bradley to share the spotlight with Pacquiao, who is credited with 59 fights against Bradley's 29 professional fights.
Likewise Bradley's public awareness leaves much to be desired while his fan base is almost zero. From promoter's point of view, the Palm Springs slugger is a business risk unless Arum launches a massive media campaign to improve his popularity rating in order to generate additional pay-per-view sales for the fight.
Michael Koncz, Manager of Pacquiao's MP Boxing and who also acts as Pacquiao's adviser, told RingTV, Lamont Peterson is an option for Pacquiao's next fight.
"I'm aware of the options that we have, and then, also, Lamont Peterson is another option also. We've had some preliminary discussions, but we've not sat down, Manny and I, to discuss that in depth," said Koncz.
"I came back because Manny has instructed me to do something here in regard to future opponents, and I'll do that this coming week, so we'll see. I have to meet with Bob on some other issues too."
Peterson, who made $650,000 from his fight with Khan, has a standing offer from Golden Boy Promotions for $1 million for a rematch following what some boxing fans say as a "hometown decision" in favor of Peterson who is from Washington,D.C. where the fight was held.
Peterson (32-1-1, 15 KO's), who is 27 years-old, stands 5' 9" or about 3" higher than Pacquiao and with a reach of 74". Pacquiao's reach is 67 or 7" shorter than Peterson's reach.
Pacquiao and Arum are set to met in January to discuss fight options and to decide who will be Pacquiao's next opponent.