How will Khan do against Peterson if he canít push off or pull down on his head in their rematch

By Marcus Richardson: Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOís) is getting his rematch with IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOís) on May 19th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Khan campaigned for the rematch after losing to Peterson in a big upset last December in Washington, DC.

Khan felt that he won the fight, but he failed to convince the judges that he had done enough to deserve the victory. Next month Khan and Peterson will do it again, but this time in a different venue and with different judges and referee. What seemed to hurt Khan mortally last time out was the way he reacted to the pressure that Peterson was putting on him.

Initially, Khan looked fine, throwing blazing fast combinations, knocking Peterson down in the 1st and showing no regard for what was coming back at him from the less than powerful Peterson. Things kind of changed in the 4th when Khan stopped moving as much and tried to stand his ground for a traditional fight. Peterson proved to be too much for Khan and this led to Khan running, shoving and pulling down on Petersonís head for the next eight rounds of the fight.

Khan looked flustered, and completely out of sorts. If he was an army, it would be fair to say he was in a full scale retreat from the 5th round on. He still was firing back, but he was in the retreat mode and looked nervous as a rat running from a hungry cat. What made a mess of the fight was Khanís use of various fouls such as shoving, yanking down on Petersonís head to put him in a bent over position, and headlocks. Khan used these three over and over again. The headlocks werenít nearly as common as the yanking on Petersonís head and the shoving. It looks as if Khan was using these tools in place of an inside fighting game.

When Peterson would come at him to start throwing body shots, Khan shove him away. Weíve all seen fighters use this technique from time to time in fights, but Khan wasnít just using it occasionally, it had become part of his defense. Peterson would get close, Khan shove him back to the outside. Peterson could get close again, and Khan would again shove him away. Khan said later that he did this because Peterson was coming in with his head first and he wanted to avoid being rammed by his head. But in looking at the fight in slow motion, you notice that Peterson wasnít coming in with his head down, and he wasnít ramming Khan with his head.

Khan was giving Peterson hard shoves well before heís even get close. Khan was extending outward to do his shoving. The pulling down on Petersonís head was done whether he was close or on the outside. Khan would reach out or dive forward and grab Peterson and then start yanking his head down while leaning on the back of his neck. Khan would later receive point deductions for the shoving, but not the yanking down on Petersonís head.

So the question is can Khan fight Peterson in the rematch without shoving, pulling down on his head and putting him in headlocks? If so, what will Khan replace these tools of the trade with? Should Khan not stop using these techniques?

Article posted on 08.04.2012

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