Boxing weekend review: Lamont Peterson beats Amir Khan

We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing action, including Lamont Peterson's controversial defeat of Amir Khan

By Mike Pope

Boxer of the weekend

Lamont Peterson. Regardless of the controversies surrounding his victory, Lamont Peterson put in the performance of his life against No1 light-welterweight Amir Khan on Saturday in his hometown of Washington DC. There were times, round four especially, when Peterson looked like a world beater, ruthlessly stalking the fleet footed Khan around the ring, closing off the space and unleashing brutal attacks against the ropes. This dominance came after being controversially knocked to the canvas in the first round and being totally overwhelmed by his opponent early on. In the final round, Peterson was exhausted but kept pushing, buoyed by the sold-out Washington Convention Centre which was as partisan as they come, cheering for their man throughout. At the end of the bout no one was sure which fighter the judges’ would deem had won, an indication of level of Peterson’s performance. Khan had gone up against the best in the light-welterweight division and beat them all convincingly; Peterson was the first for whom victory was a realistic possibility. As a result he left the ring as the new WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion of the world.

Fight of the weekend

Amir Khan v Lamont Peterson. Plot twists, in-depth character analysis and fantastic colour, everything you want from a good story was written into Amir Khan’s bout with Lamont Peterson. In front of over 9,000 standing fans in a sold-out Convention Centre, Khan and Peterson performed in what was a real throwback fight. Khan dominated the opening round, totally overwhelming his opponent with his speed of foot and hand as well as knocking him to the canvas. By round four the momentum had altered, Peterson hunting Khan down, pinning him against the ropes and landing to head and body. The light-welterweights battled every round, with the momentum swinging between them throughout. Khan was always the silkier boxer, landing more punches and looking the fresher – but Peterson was effective on the inside and his body attack was particularly impressive. Khan showed guts, bravado and arrogance as he ultimately underperformed compared to meticulous standards, while Peterson showed ring intelligence, stamina and courage to put on the best performance of his career and edge an immensely close mixed decision. Khan was deducted a point in the seventh and in the final round for pushing and these penalties ultimately lost him his titles. This was the best fight of 2011.

Knockout of the weekend

Ashley Theophane. The British light-welterweight champion faced up against late replacement Ben Murphy on Saturday night in Peterlee, England and survived an early onslaught to retain his title. With his opponent ahead on the scorecards going into the 11th round, Theophane needed a knockdown to stop the fight or dramatically alter the number of points in his favour. Both men were exhausted and swung wildly at each other all over the ring for much of the round, Murphy looking almost too tired to defend himself. With less than a minute to go, Theophane got his opponent against the ropes and unleashed a flurry punches that went unreturned; forcing the referee to stop the fight and hand the British champion another technical knockout victory. Some of the judges’ had Theophane losing the first six rounds of the bout, a testament to the performance of Murphy who came in with five days notice and the raw ability of the champion. Despite being dominated for over half of the bout, Theophane managed to grind his opponent down with his superior ability and fitness to force the late stoppage.

Decision of the weekend

Khan v Peterson rematch. “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.” These were the words of the newly crowned WBA and IBF light welterweight world champion Lamont Peterson immediately after he narrowly outpointed Amir Khan on Saturday night. Both sides have entered into negotiations over a rematch already and a date in late March has already been mooted. The fight did tremendously well in a commercial sense as well as a boxing one so financially there should be no reasons why HBO and the powers that be in boxing do not deem this fight worthy of a repeat. If Peterson and Khan do face off again it would likely occur in Las Vegas, neutral venue for both fighters after Khan as his promotional company, Golden Boy, complained about Peterson receiving a “hometown decision”. Regardless of the controversies the fighters put on a great show and people want more, and boxing should give it to them.

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