By John F. McKenna (McJack)
For his own good former WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KO’s) needs to move on from his controversial loss to new WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO’s). The reality is that even some of Amir’s staunchest supporters think that it would be best for him to move ahead with his career.
Granted many people agree with Khan and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer that he was jobbed in the first meaningful fight to be held in Washington, D.C. in years. Both Khan and Schaefer have been complaining almost nonstop about the behavior of referee Joe Cooper and the case of the disappearing score cards.
It is an especially bitter pill for Khan to lose to an opponent who almost no one save the Peterson Camp thought had a chance to win. It was made worse by Khan’s calling out the premiere fighter in boxing WBC welterweight champion FloydMayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s).
In retrospect Amir’s calling out of Floyd now seems absurd to most boxing observers. While Khan is definitely a pretty good fighter, Peterson exposed some weaknesses in his game. Lamont proved what many had been saying all along. Amir is vulnerable to a right hand which Peterson hit him with repeatedly. It was also demonstrated that Khan has no inside game. His major flaw however was his inability to adapt and his lack of discipline when he was under pressure.
Prior to his fight with Peterson, Amir’s trainer Freddie Roach had warned him of Lamont’s strength and to avoid the ropes. Instead, at least early in the fight Khan seemed to relish the inside exchanges on the rope where Peterson was able to sap his strength with body shots. By the time Khan attempted to use his boxing skills and his lightning quick combinations his strength was sapped and his punches lacked the steam they did earlier in the fight.
Khan was fortunate that Peterson, with 15 knockouts in his 30 victories is not known as a power puncher. If that had been the case Amir almost certainly would have been a KO victim. It is time for Khan to sit down with Roach and analyze where his game plan went wrong.
Amir Khan is not the first fighter who lost and then went on to have a brilliant career. The great Joe Louis went on to become heavyweight champion of the world for nearly 12 years after being KO’d by Max Schemeling. Muhammad Ali had his greatest victories after losing to the late Joe Frazier. The reason these great fighters came back was that they adapted and were disciplined fighters. It is no disgrace to lose. It is only a disgrace when a potentially gifted fighter fails to learn from his mistakes.
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