WASHINGTON - Unbeaten Danny Garcia and fellow American Lamont Peterson talked up a unification showdown for an undisputed light-welterweight crown Wednesday, but both must win next month to create such an opportunity.
Both are favored in August 9 bouts in New York, with Garcia (28-0 with 16 knockouts) in a 10-round non-title bout against fellow American Rod Salka (19-3 with three knockouts) and Peterson (32-2 with one drawn and 16 knockouts) defending the International Boxing Federation crown against Puerto Rico's Edgar Santana (29-4 with 20 knockouts).
Peterson wanted to fight Garcia after a January title defense against Canadian Dierry Jean, but could not make a deal.
"I wanted to fight Danny Garcia next. That's what the fans wanted to see," Peterson said. "I pushed hard for the fight but it just didn't happen.
"It's boxing. It's a business. Everything has to work for a fight to happen. So I'll fight a good fighter and hopefully it'll happen next time."
Peterson said he wasn't going to pay special attention after his fight to that of Garcia, whose World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council crowns will not be at stake.
"Danny is a top fighter. He can handle his business at that level and so can I," Peterson said.
"If I win, maybe (unification) can happen. It's the biggest fight we can have in the weight class."
Garcia said he will listen to manager Al Haymon, who decided against a Peterson fight.
"I don't question him about the decisions. I just fight," Garcia said.
"Right now I've got August 9. I can't look past anybody. If things work out, at the end of the year or beginning of next year, we could have a unification bout."
Both fighters realize they need impressive showings next month to spark interest in such a showdown.
"I've got nothing to prove," Peterson said. "I look at myself as one of the best in the weight class. I am going in looking at this as the one fight I have to win."
"It's important for me to look good," Garcia said. "I need to look like a champion. I'm going to try and give my fans a knockout."
Promoter Oscar de la Hoya said there was no chance to make a unification fight for the August card in Brooklyn.
"We obviously did want to stage the fight the media is suggesting," de la Hoya said. "But it wasn't a fight that was available. It couldn't be made."
As for the future prospects of a Garcia-Peterson matchup, he said, "We'll have to wait and see what happens."
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