By John F. McKenna (McJack)
The upcoming fight between WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KO’s) and mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KO’s) has been all but lost in the shuffle with all the hoopla surrounding the huge fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. The intense media interest in the “Pacman” – “El Dinamita” fight and the controversial decision surrounding it has dominated boxing news for days. As a result the Khan – Peterson fight has not drawn the type of media attention one would expect.
Khan will be squaring off against Peterson on December 10 at the Washington, D.C. Convention center and it figures to be a real test for “King” Khan who is being groomed by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. Many boxing observers feel that the 24 year old Khan will be a future superstar in boxing. Khan has come a long way since being KO’d in the 1st round in June 2009 by Breidis Prescott.
After losing to Prescott, Khan enlisted the help of renowned trainer Freddie Roach and has turned his career around. Amir has now won 8 fights in a row while picking up the WBA and IBF title belts at light welterweight. Most notably Khan demonstrated to his critics that he can take a punch and has loads of heart when he scored a unanimous 12 round decision over Argentinean power puncher Marcos Maidana in December 2010. That fight was voted “Fight of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Maidana acknowledged after the fight that Khan is a skillful and fast boxer who can take a punch.
Most recently Khan stopped Zab Judah in five rounds last July. It was thought that Judah would give Khan a good fight, but Zab proved to be no match for Amir who as of late has demonstrated speed and power in his fights.
Trainer Freddie Roach has predicted on several occasions that Khan will be the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world in a year. Amir is a stable mate of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and has benefited from training at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. In addition Khan has sparred numerous times with Manny while preparing for his fights. Khan plans on moving up to welterweight after the bout with Peterson.
Khan cannot risk being over confident against Peterson whose lone loss was a unanimous decision to Timothy Bradley in December 2009. Peterson fought Victor Ortiz to a draw in November 2010. In Lamont’s last outing he stopped Victor Kayo in the 12th round in July to earn his title shot at Khan.
Peterson vows to make the most out of his opportunity when he steps into the ring against Khan and says it is a dream come true.