Dierry Jean may not be the most well-known junior welterweight contender, but the unbeaten 31-year-old will get his first shot at a world title on January 25, when he faces IBF titleholder Lamont Peterson in a Showtime main event from the DC Armory in Peterson's hometown.
Jean (25-0, 17 KO) beat Cleotis Pendarvis last year in a final eliminator to earn the shot, and says he's ready for action in his first big-time fight.
"Training camp has been going well," Jean said via press release. "My preparation is essentially the same as for any fight, only the strategy and game plan have changed. Winning the world title will be a dream come true. It would also mean a lot to my daughter, brother, coach Mike (Moffa) and my entire team since I would become their first world champ."
Jean is hoping to continue the recent success of high-profile Haitian fighters with a win on the 25th.
"This is a good time for Haitian fighters (including Adonis Stevenson and Jean Pascal). I really believe Bermane Stiverne will become world champion this year as well. I would be really proud to bring the belt here to Quebec for my fans but also to make Haitians proud of me. It is really important for me to be representing them."
Peterson (31-2-1, 16 KO) was dominated last May in his last fight, losing a catchweight (and thus non-title) bout to Lucas Matthysse via third round TKO. Jean believes that fight will be in Lamont's head.
"I think his his state of mind was affected," Jean noted. "He will be more fearful and less confident in himself. I think Peterson has been lucky in his career. He had controversial fights like the one against (Amir) Khan, where he was able to dethrone the defending champion by split decision. Peterson is a boxer with too much guts for the jaw he has!
"This will undoubtedly be an exciting fight for fans. I intend to dethrone Peterson and bring that title belt back home. I would have preferred to fight him in a neutral zone but, frankly, it doesn't matter to me that we're fighting in his hometown. The crowd will be against me but that will give me more rage and energy to perform. This is my second fight on a U.S. network having fought Pendarvis on ShoBox. It won't be my last time, either. This gives me great visibility in the U.S. People will remember my name after this fight."