In one word that would be how I would describe the fight between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson.
Simply a fantastic fight. After a rough first round for Peterson, where he had a slip and was knocked down, he had a solid second round. After the second round though it was “on”. Peterson began to masterfully work Khan to the body. Khan didn’t pay nearly as much attention to Peterson’s body, but work upstairs with awesome hand speed that Peterson had trouble with the entire fight.
The fight had numerous ebbs and flows as Peterson would take control and back Khan against the ropes with hard shots to the body and once against the ropes he would gash Khan with vicious uppercuts. Khan would respond to this by pushing Peterson off of him, repeatedly. Eventually Khan would be penalized a point in round 7 (justified, in my opinion) and against in round 12 (slightly less justified). Khan would turn the tables and use his superior hand speed and quickness to throw multiple punch combinations and jump out of reach before Peterson would mount any counter attack.
Throughout the exchanges it appeared that Khan clearly had the faster hands and Peterson was demonstrably better on the inside.
The point deductions unfortunately had an impact on an otherwise action packed and exciting fight.
After the fight, when asked about the possibility of a rematch, Peterson manned up and did what was right by saying in HBO’s post-fight interview, “I would definitely give him a rematch. He gave me a shot at the title, so I would definitely give him a rematch.”
Words that are rarely said by fighters these days. The norm is for a fighter to take his win, money, and then it’s off to capitalize on his career earnings. The rematch is a fight I hope happens and I would certainly be tuned in for. Hell if it’s anything like this fight it would be a must see for any boxing fan.
I, personally, would absolutely love a rematch. The two brought the best out in each other and that was totally to the benefit to all boxing fans. It would behest HBO to get the rematch signed as soon as possible before Khan decides it’s in his best interest to jump to 147lbs.
Amir Khan took the chance in the post fight interview to complain. Said Khan, “It’s like I was up against two people in there. [Peterson] kept trying to pick me up. He kept coming in with his head, lower and lower every time. He was being effective in pressing, but I was the cleaner fighter all night. I’m ready for a rematch. I knew it would be tough in his hometown, but this is why DC hasn’t had big time boxing in 20 years.”
I don’t totally disagree with Khan on the point deductions, but I do have a couple of issues with the rest of what he said.
The comments about the ref and DC not having a big fight in 20 years because of what he perceived to be a rip-off are funny coming from a fighter based out of England. The biggest home court advantage in all of sports is a British fighter fighting against a non-British fighter in England, without question. It’s comical to me that he is ripping an American city for showing favoritism when you were born and raised in the country that has repeatedly ripped off non-British fighters for decades or longer. In England it’s not just you against the referee, but you against the referee and the judges. Unless you KO or bludgeon the British fighter you can kiss a victory goodbye more times than not.
On his claim of Peterson leading with his head he has a point as Peterson did lead with his head many times. My issue isn’t with the fact that he was telling the truth, but when you are repeatedly throwing your elbows around, including on your follow through on a punch, you can’t really complain.
In the end the judges scored the bout 113-112 (twice) Peterson and 115-110 Khan giving Lamont Peterson the split decision victory and making him the new WBA and IBF junior welterweight champion!
For what it’s worth this is my card as I scored the fight;
Lamont Peterson – Amir Khan
Rd 1, 10-8 Khan
Rd 2, 10-9 Khan
Rd 3, 10-9 Peterson
Rd 4, 10-9 Peterson
Rd 5, 10-9 Peterson
Rd 6, 10-9 Khan
Rd 7, 10-8 Peterson
Rd 8, 10-9 Peterson
Rd 9, 10-9 Khan
Rd 10, 10-9 Peterson
Rd 11, 10-9 Khan
Rd 12, 9-9
113-112 for the winner and NEW champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) over Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KO)
Lastly, I want to just make a quick mention of heavyweight Seth Mitchell (24-0, 18 KO) who took on (and beat via 2nd round TKO) Timur Ibragimov (30-4-1, 16 KO). Mitchell is a former linebacker at Michigan State that tore up his knee, then turned to the world of boxing.
He looked fantastic in taking out a pretty good fighter in Ibragimov. In the short fight Mitchell showed good footwork and a fantastic overhand right that he peppered his opponents face with and was the reason the referee eventually stopped the fight in the 2nd found. Mitchell landed four straight uncontested rights before the ref stepped in to call a halt to the action.
I admit I need to see more of Mitchell, as this was my first time seeing him fight, but he looks like he has the good. He got a late start in the game though and at 29-years-old he has to make a couple of big leaps in competition if he is going to jump into real contention. Though with the state of the heavyweight division being what it is, it might not take much.
The heavyweight division needs a shot of adrenaline. Mitchell could become that shot.