By James Slater: The fallout to last December’s controversial Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan fight has finally settled. Peterson, guilty of taking an illegal substance going into his career biggest win, was subsequently stripped by the World Boxing Association (WBA) (the other belt he won with the 12-round decision) but the IBF has today announced that their findings deem it okay for “Havoc” to remain as their champion.
The IBF has ruled that Peterson must next face former word ruler at 140 and 147, Zab Judah. All parties are now in talks, reports Fightnews.com, and the fight is expected to take place quite soon.
Forgetting for a moment all the politics (some people feel Peterson should have been stripped of all titles; Khan especially) Peterson-Judah looks like a good fight on paper. 34-year-old Judah looked poor in losing to common opponent Khan, being stopped in the 5th-round last July, but the slick southpaw bounced back with an IBF eliminator win over Vernon Paris, who he TKO’d in the 9th this March. One of the most experienced fighters around today (at both 140 and 147), Zab, 42-7(29) might be capable of outboxing, maybe even of out-punching Peterson.
The younger man by six years at age 28, Peterson, 30-1-1(15) – (why the Khan bout has not been changed to a No Contest I’m not too sure) has of course not boxed since his battle with Khan. We don’t know how the PED’s scandal will affect the Washington D.C man’s self confidence. Peterson, who maintains he has done no wrong, might feel even more determined, ready to again prove his worth, or then again his biggest win being tainted may have made him second guess his abilities. Certainly, neither Peterson nor Judah can afford to lose their upcoming fight.
Peterson has been in with a southpaw before, but he struggled with Victor Ortiz, being decked twice and emerging with a draw. Maybe the southpaw stance of Judah, combined with the Brooklyn man’s blurring hand-speed, will also give him trouble. I think we will see a high quality chess-match affair when these two boxer/punchers get together.
Judah, who will be competing in his 20th “world” title fight, and he has that edge in experience. Peterson, who has had just a couple of title fights in his time, has that edge in age and freshness. Taking everything into account, I can see Zab winning a close, sometimes exciting points victory.
Now, a penny for what former champ Amir Khan thinks about this upcoming fight!