BOXING: Samuel Peter’s Heavyweight Comeback Derailed by Mario Heredia


Former Nigerian WBC Heavyweight Champion Samuel Peter returned to the ring for the second time in 2019 after launching his comeback in February but 44-year-old Mario Heredia set up an upset against the 38-year-old wildcard.

After staying inactive between 2017 and 2018, Peter returned to the ring in February 2019 and beat Mexico’s Gerardo Escobar but failed to defeat an opponent with a 2-5-1 record in his last six bouts last night.

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The “Nigerian Nightmare” dropped Heredia with a right hand in round three, but Heredia came back to often outwork Peter in most parts of the bout to claim victory from two judges books 77-74, 76-75 while Peter could only impress 79-72 in one of the score sheets.

Prior to the bout, the boxer who hails from Akwa Ibom explained why he had been inactive for a while.

“It’s been a journey coming back. I started going back to the gym around September of last year and I was weighing around 330lbs at that time. I needed a break from the boxing to get my head straight, I wasn’t very committed to the sport like I used to be, and because of that I lost some fights that I wasn’t supposed to, so it was good that I stepped away for a while,” he said.

The LasVegas-based boxer caught the eyes of many in 2005 when he knocked down Wladimir Klitschko thrice in a title elimination bout in Atlantic City though Vladimir went on to win.

Samuel went on to beat James Toney twice, Jameel McCline, then Oleg Maskaev to claim his WBC heavyweight title but could not successfully defend the title.

Peter claims his motivation for returning to the ring this year is to become a heavyweight champion again.

“My motivation is to become the heavyweight champion of the world again. This is the beginning of the new chapter,” he revealed prior to the eight-round bout at Boardwalk Hall where he lost by split decision.