We’re only a few days away from Amir Khan needing to prove himself in America again, this time in Washington D.C. against Lamont Peterson, putting his WBA and IBF Light-Welterweight belts on the line. Possibly, despite recent changes to his plan, this will be his last fight before moving up to Welterweight.
Recently, Khan has spoken about his desire to face Timothy Bradley, pretty much the only significant fighter in the division he hasn’t beaten. Bradley, due to his fault or not, avoided Khan this past year and on the way got stripped of his title, had legal and financial problems with his promoter and only recently got back to the ring, fighting Joel Casamayor, winning easily.
Whether Khan will derail his dream to fight Floyd Mayweather in order to get the best of Bradley, he has a tough test in hostile environment against Lamont Peterson coming up this Saturday. A loss here would scrap whatever plans he had in mind, despite being only 24. The boxing scenery changes just like that.
Lamont Peterson (29-1-1) lost only once in his career, to Timothy Bradley. In his other “Big Fight” he drew with Victor Ortiz, which might suggest that he isn’t up to the challenge of a boxer of Khan’s stature. His win over Victor Cayo in July didn’t really move him up the P4P rankings.
Peterson keeps talking about fighting in front of his home fans, his first professional fight in D.C. since 2007. I don’t think home crowd makes that much of a difference, especially as Khan has gotten quite a few wins in America and his only defeat came in England. Judges might be swayed, but it seems to happen more in Europe than in the United States. Judges in the US tend to go with the defending champion, the more popular choice usually if it’s too close to call.
Khan himself doesn’t seem to be bothered by the “Away” Fight. I’m not really concerned about fighting in his backyard, It’s just one of those things. I do know that when you’re fighting in your hometown you do train that bit harder, just to prove to your home fans how good you are. When I fought Paulie Malignaggi in New York he must have been doing extra training and if he hadn’t, I might have stopped him earlier than I did.
Khan beat Malignaggi back in May, 2010, by an 11th round TKO, with the American later saying the Khan was simply too good for him.
When you fight at home with your home support there it makes you go that bit longer and makes you try that little bit harder. I think that’s the way Lamont Peterson is going to be. Maybe that will work against him or maybe it works in your favour, I don’t know. But regardless, we have trained for him and we know exactly what to do to beat him.
For Peterson, it seems, there won’t be any second chances. He’s selling the angle that opportunities for title belts don’t come along very often, and he’s already missed one by losing to Bradley. I won’t keep getting these opportunities. I really, really feel as though that I have progressed enough to become a star in this sport, to take my place in this sport and throughout my whole career, I’m used to being on top.
I’m kind of comfortable with what’s going on with this fight because it’s always been this way when I first started boxing. Of course, you’re not going to be No. 1, but you work your way up and eventually you’re No. 1 as an amateur, as a young fighter. Then, you struggle a little bit, but I always find my way to the top. I just really, really believe that this is my time as a professional to be on top.