Boxing

Lamont Peterson vs Amir Khan who will prevail?

By Jonathan Elliott: Their first fight was a great spectacle and even without all the controversy that has resulted in a rematch to take place, I for one would still be calling for more.

The much favoured champion Khan went into the lions den when he took the fight in Peterson's backyard, was it a sign of confidence or arrogance? Peterson played it clever though turning down a fight with Khan several months beforehand to go on to face and beat Victor Cayo in a 12th round stoppage. This resulted in Peterson becoming Khan's mandatory challenger and increasing his stake at the table and to possibly show Khan that if he wanted him it would have to be in Washington D.C.

All the talk before the fight was on Khan moving up to the welterweight division in pursuit of a possible showdown with Mayweather but Peterson was not to be looked past, his record spoke for itself with his only loss coming by way of a points loss to Timothy Bradley, and he had impressed with a hard earned draw against Victor Ortiz after suffering two knockdowns early on in the fight.

Peterson proved a much stiffer test for Khan than I think a lot of us had first thought, the opening two rounds started as expected with Khan controlling the fight with his extremely fast hands and scoring a knockdown in the first, some debate there were two knockdowns, Peterson debated there were any. From then on however Peterson grew into the fight and must be said showed extremely good heart and determination in taking the fight to Khan.

Peterson's life is movie like, a real feel good story of a once homeless child turned professional boxer who became champion of the world, and as the fight entered the deeper rounds I felt emotionally drawn to the inspirational words gave by trainer Barry Hunter in the corner to spur him on. It became clear just how much they had been through and how much this fight meant to both of them.

The fight was real end to end stuff with both boxers faces telling the tale by the time the final bell had rang. They had undoubtably left everything they had in the ring that night, Khan seemed the happier of the two at the end of the fight, obviously thinking he had the decision, however when the result finally came after a mysteriously long wait it was Peterson who got the win with two judges favouring him with scores of (113-112, 113-112) and the other giving it to khan, (114-111) there was a slight delay in Peterson's emotional reaction when the words "And the new light-welterweight champion of the world" were read out that showed even his own disbelief that his dream had finally came true.

The aftermath of the fight was marred with constant complaints on referee Joe Cooper's performance and the handling of the scorecards by mystery man Mustafa Ameen with even calls for the verdict of the fight to be overturned, until finally the rematch was made.

Will we see a different outcome second time round? There's no doubt about it there was bad decisions made which cost Khan the first fight that I believed he did enough to win even with the points deductions, take nothing away from Peterson though who battled bravely and must be given a lot of credit for making the fight close.

For Khan a few things have to change if he is to be victorious, first off he needs to stop trying to prove he has a good chin, he survived the onslaught against Marcos Maidana and he took some heavy blows from Peterson, too many times in the Peterson fight he tried to show he wasn't hurt, He needs to keep the fight in the center of the ring, box from range and have plenty of movement, something he does so well until he let's his bravado drag him into a dog fight.

I can't see much changing for Peterson he's going to come into the ring strong and determined probably even more so this time round as it's no secret he hasn't been happy with the allegations on how he won the the first encounter, He'll try to cut the ring off, back Khan up and unload, Peterson's mentally strong he's showed that throughout his life and career and you can guarantee it will be that same Peterson stepping through the ropes come May 19th.
A win for either man could propel them onto bigger things, however a loss could be very damaging, more so for Khan who would be left wondering were to go from a second defeat at the hands of Peterson.

I have a suspicion this fight is going to be a close encounter without the controversy this time round, both men know what the other is capable of which makes for an intriguing bout, Khan will still go into this fight as the favourite but must not underestimate Peterson and must realise just because it's in Vegas won't make it any easier for him, sure there won't be point deductions for pushing or mysterious men in hats at ringside, but like I said it's still going to be the same Peterson come fight night.

Both fighters have to be admired, Peterson for overcoming the adversity he has faced in his life to become a world champion and khan for what he has acheived in the sport by the age of 25, they are great ambassadors for boxing and show what can be achieved through hard work and dedication and one things for sure, they will guarantee come May 19th Mandalay Bay Hotel Las Vegas that us fight fans are in for a treat.

Article posted on 13.04.2012



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