By John F. McKenna (McJack)
WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KO’s) who faces mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KO’s) on Saturday night needs to put together another sterling performance against Peterson. In Khan’s last fight in July against the once feared Zab Judah, Khan put together one of his best fights thus far against an opponent many boxing observers thought would give Amir a tough fight.
But that was not the case. Judah appeared overmatched against Khan who has been getting better with each fight. From round one “King” Khan did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it against Judah who had no answer for Amir’s speed and pin point power shots. Khan finally KO’d Judah in the 5th round with a punch that was right on the beltline. Judah complained that the punch was low, but replays showed the body shot was a legal punch.
In December of 2010 Khan answered many of his critics who questioned his heart and chin when he took on Argentinean power puncher Marcos Maidana. Khan won a well deserved decision and showed his critics that he is able to take a punch and that he does not fold up when the going gets tough. The Khan – Maidana fight won the Boxer Writers Association of America Award for Fight of the Year for 2010.
Khan has put together a string of 8 straight straight victories since his loss to Breidis Prescott in September 2008. After the loss to Prescott, Khan took on Freddie Roach as his trainer and his improvement under the 5 time trainer of the year has been astonishing. Roach has gone on record to say that he believes Amir will be the top pound for pound fighter in the world in 12 months.
Peterson knows what it is to struggle. As a youth he was homeless and on the streets of his native Washington D.C. While homeless he and his brother were noticed by boxing coach Barry Hunter. Hunter turned Lamont into an amateur boxing star. Lamont’s only loss to date was to Timothy Bradley in December of 2009. In December 2010 he fought to a draw against Victor Ortiz on the undercard of the Khan – Maidana fight. Peterson is looking at his fight with Khan as the opportunity of a lifetime. He acknowledges Khan’s speed but says that he is also fast and he has been working in training on timing and countering Khan’s punches.
With Amir’s emerging high profile and his calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr. on a number of occasions he will have to put together another a top notch performance against Peterson if he wants to be genuinely considered as a possible opponent for Mayweather.
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