Amir Khan got robbed, as simple as that. Lamont Peterson’s story may be a wonderful fairy-tale. From Homeless childhood to boxing world champion, but his Light Welterweight belts came thanks to two highly contreversial referee decisions at best. Amir Khan beat him in that ring, the referee and the judges just decided otherwise.
An upset that puts Lamont Peterson at unbelievable peak for him – The WBA and IBF Light Welterweight champion of the world, and no matter how many of us write about how the whole Split Decision win was wrong, Peterson won the fight he talked about as his last opportunity to reach the top. For Khan, this just means his road to super stardom, to achieving the goal of being pound-4-pound king, got a lot more harder and complicated.
It was a good, very good fight. Lots of action. Khan knocked Peterson twice during the first round, but only one of those was written down as a knockdown. The first of many debatable scoring moments. Peterson came back and showed durability and his ability to cut off the ring, keeping Khan close to the ropes. The Brit showed his combination ability and released impressive flurries now and again, clearly showing on Peterson by the end of the day.
It wasn’t enough. I didn’t think home advantage would mean this much. It did. Khan also thought it won’t be this bad. I knew it would be tough against him in his home town and this is why boxing has not been in Washington DC for 20 years – because you get a decision like that. I thought he was going to headbutt me, that’s why I pushed him.
Khan (26-2) lost a point in the seventh round when he was called for pushing. Joe Cooper, the referee, forgot to look at Peterson constantly coming at Khan’s face with headbutts numerous times. Home advantage does that. If it wasn’t enough, Khan lost another point in the 12th and final round, deducted for what Cooper thought was another push. More BS. But that’s Washington, it seems.
The scorecards showed 113-112, 113-112, 111-114. Khan was undoubtedly the better fighter of the day. He just didn’t knock out Peterson, and made mistakes by not going for the KO. It seems his corner reminded him to go for it a little too late, when Peterson was going gung ho and trying more than before to turn this into a brawl. I don’t blame him. Khan is technically a much better fighter, so Peterson kept the fight where he had a shot.
The early talks? Rematch. Amir Khan will no doubt want his rings back. Any plans of leaving Light Welterweight will probably be put on hold. Khan, who made $1.1 million + British TV money, felt that it wasn’t a justified decision after the 12 rounds. It was like I was against two people in there. He kept trying to pick me up, he was wild, he was coming in with his head lower and lower every time. I had to push him away because he was trying to come in with his head. He was just so low. He was being effective in pressurising me but I was the cleaner fighter all night. Bottom line - I am ready for a rematch.
Forget about Bradley, Mayweather and Pacquiao. Welterweight can wait. Amir Khan needs to prove this loss wasn’t on him entirely. He didn’t do enough to win, I think he and his corner know that. In venues like this, you have to prove beyond a doubt you’re the better fighter. Khan was, but not by a landslide. The way boxing works, unfortunately, goes against you in cases like this. A shame.
But for Lamnot Peterson (30-1-1), this was more than a special night. A coronation night. A champions in his division, something he thought might have slipped away from him after losing to Timothy Bradley and drawing against Victor Ortiz. Life, boxing, it’s fluid and slippery. Never say never, and never lose hope.
Peterson, to no surprise, didn’t have any problem with the refereeing decisions - I think they should have taken points for him holding my head down. He was pushing a lot, but I didn’t mind it. I just didn’t like the dipping down of my head. Every time I pulled back, he was coming in and catching me, So I said, this probably isn’t the best thing to do. So I went forward and changed the game plan. I said we had three game plans, and we won with No. 2.
I think that summarized why Khan didn’t win the fight, besides the biased refereeing decisions. Khan didn’t come after Peterson enough. He allowed the American to push him back too many times, settling for surgical strikes instead of going for the kill. Peterson, at least on first thought after the fight, will be happy to give Khan a rematch - I would definitely give him a rematch, He gave me a chance, and it was a good fight. Why not?