Boxing


Amir Khan Eyes March Return With Lamont Peterson, In Las Vegas

Amir KhanBy James Slater: Return fights usually happen in boxing if, A: the first fight is terrifically exciting or, B: the result of the fight proves to be controversial. Well, last night’s 140-pound world title battle between defending champ Amir Khan and new WBA/IBF ruler Lamont Peterson ticked both boxes.

Whether or not you agree with the majority verdict Peterson was awarded (not to mention the two point deductions referee Joe Cooper chose to make, for Khan’s shoving the challenger off him), you must agree that a rematch is a must. Everyone enjoyed the sensational two-way action in D.C; with a number of experts predicting the great fight will bag this year’s FOTY award.

A studio guest on U.K television’s SKY Sports, was former world champ Steve Collins. Collins nailed it perfectly by stating the rematch will be much, much bigger and a perfect place to stage it would be Las Vegas. Team-Khan are now pushing for an immediate return, in Vegas, on March 31st.

“We want a rematch, maybe in Vegas, on March 31st,” Shah Khan said to BBC Sport.

Going into last night’s fight, expectations were not all that high; at least not as far as seeing such a classic fight. Most felt we’d see a good fight, with the tough local man giving his all but ultimately falling short on the cards by quite a way. Instead, Peterson now enjoys genuine star power. With his amazing back story, his humble, guy-next-door attitude and his amazing heart, guts and courage, Peterson also has the respect of the fans - even more so now that he is a world champion.

Both men look set to earn a bundle by way of a demanded return clash. But will the rematch see the titles change hands again? Did Khan overlook Peterson somewhat ahead of last night’s fight? Or, does Peterson simply have the physical toughness and the resolve to be able to once again withstand Khan’s early attacks, before coming on to make it his type of fight? These burning questions will be answered with a part-two. Hopefully, however, we won’t have so much controversy next time.

Khan must be feeling pretty bad right now. All his talk of moving up to welterweight and then beating the sublime Floyd Mayweather Junior must now appear foolish in the eyes of most fans. Khan remains a fine fighter, one of the most consistently exciting in the world in fact - but he clearly has a ton of unfinished business to take care of at 140-pounds before he can seriously think about moving up. Here’s a question: who wins now if Khan and Timothy Bradley meet next year?

Bradley, remember, handled Peterson with comparative ease. I bet the reigning WBO light-welterweight boss is kicking himself for not taking the fight he was offered with Khan in the summer!

What Peterson’s win did, aside from give the fans a real thrill, was shake up the division in a big way. Just who is the world’s best 140-pounder today?

Article posted on 11.12.2011



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