WASHINGTON - American Lamont Peterson kept his International Boxing Federation light-welterweight title on Sunday after a unanimous 12-round decision over previously unbeaten Canadian Dierry Jean.
Judges gave home-town hero Peterson the triumph by scores of 118-111, 116-112 and 115-113, improving his record to 32-2 with one draw before 5668 at the Washington Armory.
A day after his 30th birthday, Peterson revived his career after being stopped for the first time in May by Argentina's Lucas Matthysse in the third round of a catch-weight bout, where his crown was not at risk.
"I had to go out there and show people I have still got it," Peterson said.
"Every time I think I have it easy, there is another setback. I have showed I can get back up.
"That's my purpose in life. I try to represent something to people trying to find a way out of their struggles and inspire them."
Jean, in his first world-title bout, fell to 25-1 but took his first loss in stride.
"Maybe it was just a matter of experience," Jean said.
"I'm definitely leaving with my head held high. I fought a hard fight. Life goes on."
For Peterson, the goal is a showdown with unbeaten American Danny Garcia, who holds the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council crowns, for an undisputed title.
"I would like to be considered the best 140-pounder in the world.
"If it's Danny Garcia next, then that's what it is," Peterson said.
Jean, a 31-year-old born in Haiti but based in Montreal, exchanged tentative jabs with Peterson early on.