Samuel Okon Peter (born September 6, 1980 in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria), nicknamed “The Nigerian Nightmare,” is a professional heavyweight boxer and the first African to have become the WBC heavyweight champion.
Peter rose to prominence as a professional fighter following a string of spectacular knockout wins in his early career, at a time when the division was fragmented. He has won a portion of the heavyweight crown and scored notable wins over: James Toney and Oleg Maskaev.
Samuel Peter’s Early Career in Boxing
Originally, Peter’s preferred sport was soccer. In 1992, some boxers came to Peter’s school to train. The curious young 11-year-old stopped by and asked if he could train along with them. He was put up against an experienced amateur and knocked him out. This marked the beginning of a successful amateur career for Peter.
Samuel Peter won the Nigerian amateur heavyweight championship and the Africa Zone 3 Heavyweight championship. He faced stiff competition as an amateur (including a knockout victory over 2000 Silver Medalist Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov of Kazakhstan). However, he prevailed and was given the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the 2000 Sydney, Australia Summer Olympics.
Samuel Perter’s First Lost in Quater Finals
Peter lost in the quarterfinals to Italian Paolo Vidoz by decision. However, his performance was noted for being very impressive from such a young pugilist and hence more excitement was generated for him than the eventual Gold Medalist, Audley Harrison, to whom Peter had lost a very close decision just a few months before the Olympics.
Anderson became Peter’s coach.
Immediately after the Olympics, Ivaylo Gotzev signed on as Samuel Peter’s manager, and Andy “Pops” Anderson became Peter’s coach. They were then able to land a promotional deal with Dino Duva of Duva Boxing. As of March 2008, Peter’s professional ring record stands at 30-2 (with 23 knockouts).
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Though Peter posted a string of 1st-round knockouts at the beginning of his career, he fought to 2 consecutive decisions against Charles Shufford and Jovo Pudar in 2004. Some critics asked if Peter could exhibit the one-punch knockout power he had exhibited in his early days against stronger opposition.
Samuel Peter’s Victroy as World Heavy Weight Champion
Peter won a victory against Jeremy Williams on December 4, 2004 by knockout 27 seconds into the second round, to win the vacant regional NABF heavyweight title. Williams was out cold for several minutes following the knockout. He then defeated Yanqui Diaz on January 22, 2005 to win the vacant regional USBA heavyweight title, knocking him down five times along the way.
Peter then went on to defeat NABA heavyweight champion Taurus Sykes in Reno, Nevada on July 2, 2005 trained by Andy “Pops” Anderson in a unification match. On March 8, 2008, the WBC belt held by Oleg Maskaev at the principal bullfighting venue in Cancun, Mexico. Peter won by TKO to become the next World Heavy Weight Champion. He is world’s best in his field of endeavour.
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