Amir Khan loses to Lamont Peterson in mixed decision

Amir Khan was docked two points for 'pushing' as Lamont Peterson took the WBA and IBF world light-welterweight titles

By Mike Pope

Amir Khan lost his WBA and IBF light-welterweight world titles to Lamont Peterson by a mixed decision on Saturday night in Washington DC.

Khan knocked down his opponent in the opening round but struggled to deal with the American’s constant pressure and was deducted two points for “pushing” in the seventh and 12th rounds.

The deduction in the final round effectively lost Khan the fight, the judge’s score cards reading: 113-112, 113-112 for Peterson and 114-111 for Khan.

The bout started at a ferocious pace, Khan using his superior speed and lateral movement to overwhelm Peterson and silence the partisan home crowd.

Peterson hit the canvas twice but his first visit was deemed a slip, the second a knockdown.

The second round was again dominated by Khan, who proved too elusive for Peterson, the Briton expertly using his hand speed and footwork.

In the third Peterson adjusted to Khan’s style and began applying near constant pressure, stalking around the ring and landing accurate, hurtful blows on the inside.

These tactics set the tempo of the rest of the bout. Khan was at his best when he utilised his fast hands and lateral movement, Peterson when he got in close or against the ropes to unleash flurries of punches.

Peterson did well to get Khan off of his game plan and drag him into a scrap as it was the only way for the American to win.

Khan became increasingly frustrated with his opponent’s tendency to fight up close and was warned by the referee, in almost every round, about pushing Peterson away.

In the seventh, under pressure against the ropes, Khan again pushed Peterson away and the referee deducted a point and warned him not to do it again.

In the next few rounds Khan reverted back to his own tactics and showed glimpses of his early dominance, landing uppercuts and body shots frequently as Peterson appeared to tire.

However, the American, fighting at home in front of a sold out Washington Convention Centre, showed a lot of heart and stayed with Khan until the end, continuing to land good shots to body and head whenever Khan stopped moving.

In the final round Khan was again deducted a point for pushing – and it proved to be decisive as he would have retained his titles if he had escaped without the second penalty.

“It was like I was against two people in there – the referee and Lamont himself,” said Khan immediately after the decision.

“Every time he was coming into me he kept putting his head low. I was the cleaner fighter – he was so wild in there. I had to push him away because his head was coming so low.”

New world champion Peterson said: “I would definitely give him a rematch – he gave me a chance to fight for a world title, why not? It was a good fight, I’m pretty sure everybody enjoyed it and I don’t mind doing it again.”

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