HBO's World Championship Boxing Comes to the District

Charles E. Sutton | 12/8/2011, 2:55 p.m.

The Peterson Brothers, Seth Mitchell Share Fight Card

HBO Sports has been in the business of televising professional boxing since the network's inception in 1996. When boxing fans think of professional title fights, the first venues that come to mind are Las Vegas and Atlantic City. On December 10, however, HBO's World championship boxing, along with Golden Boy Promotions, will come to Washington, D.C. The fight card will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in what should be a great evening of outstanding boxing because three of the four primary fights will have contestants from the Washington, D.C. area. Super Lightweight Champion Amir "King" Khan will face number one contender and Washington native Lamont Peterson, 27, in the Unified Super Lightweight World Championship bout. In the co-feature bout of the evening, Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell of Brandywine, Maryland, will take on Timur Ibragimov in a 10-round heavyweight match. Interestingly enough, the undercard features Lamont's younger brother, Anthony, 26. That's right, the Peterson brothers will both be fighting on the same card.

During the past few years, the Peterson brothers have received increased attention. Born 14 months apart, the Petersons were left without their parents very early in life. Their father was incarcerated while their mother experienced difficult personal issues. All of this resulted in one thing for the young Peterson brothers--they became homeless.

For nearly a year, they found themselves sleeping wherever they could, even in an abandoned car. And when they couldn't find a place to sleep, the walked the streets all night. As a 4th grader, Lamont, and a 3rd grader, Lamont, school became a refuge from the elements and a place for food, but when the school day ended, the Petersons were back to the streets.

Obviously, there was no real opportunity for extra-curricular activity. Even friendships were very difficult. After several months, school administrators learned the boys were homeless. They were able to identify a foster parent for the Petersons--Bernice Thomas. Now, they had a place to live and could focus on school and other interests.

Lamont knew from the age of five that he wanted to be a professional boxer. One evening in 1989, he watched a boxing card on television that included lightweight champion Pernell Whitaker. He was so taken by Whitaker's quickness and athleticism that during the fight he developed a desire to box. Anthony, on the other hand, didn't have much interest in boxing--he had a burning desire to emulate his big brother. While Lamont was 10 years old, Barry Hunter, a local boxing coach, introduced the brothers to the sport of boxing. While mentoring them, Hunter helped develop their boxing skills. The brothers became outstanding boxers.

Hunter is one of the most respected trainers in the boxing industry. He trains fighters at the Headbangers Boxing Gym in Washington, D.C. The Headbangers boxing facility is not just a place where fighters train. It is a place where many individuals, struggling with life challenges, can find an escape from the hardships and temptations of the streets. Coming to the Headbangers Gym gives individuals an opportunity to interact and train with Hunter who helps them put their lives on the right track.