Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson put on an entertaining show in their last fight. And their May 19 rematch is expected to be just as entertaining.
Khan looked good in the earlier rounds of his 2011 fight against Peterson, but he couldn’t keep it up in the later rounds, as Peterson started to figure him out. Unfortunately for both boxers, referee Joe Cooper stole the show, as the two points he deducted from Khan – for repeated pushing off – ended up being the difference maker in the fight (Peterson was awarded the split decision).
Khan’s trainer, Freddie Roach, is confident his fighter won’t have to result to pushing this time around, thanks to the adjustments they’ve made in training camp.
“The biggest thing is to keep the fight in the middle of the ring and not lay on the ropes,” Roach said in an interview with Boxingscene.com. “If he lays on the ropes, Peterson can bang on the body really hard and then he can come on top. Laying on the ropes, that might work in the amateurs, but it doesn’t work in professional boxing. We’re going to be boxing a lot smarter in the center of the ring. And when he comes in with his head low – instead of pushing him off we’ll catch him coming in with the uppercuts and hooks.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Roach’s strategy works out, considering the fact Khan struggled with Peterson’s constant pressure in the later rounds of their first fight.
Even though Khan doesn’t feel the points deducted were justified, I certainly think they were. Khan avoided many tough spots against Peterson by pushing away (sometimes running away) and one can even argue that he wasn’t penalized enough.
Khan is a skilled boxer, but the results of his rematch with Peterson will have long-term ramifications on his career. A second straight loss to Peterson, and Khan might as well kiss potential fights with Floyd Mayweather and other big name fighters goodbye.