Just how good is Amir “King” Khan and can Lamont Peterson stop him?
WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir “King” Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) of the United Kingdom faces challenger Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) at the Capital Centre in Washington D.C.
Is it 1812 all over again and will the British run over the Americans once again but this time with HBO telecasting?
More than a few see Khan, 24, as the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Maybe only a few prizefighters in the world have the hand speed that the Bolton bullet can display. You have to see it to believe it.
“Khan throws some sick combos. He has stamina. He showed me he’s no one to mess with after that (Marcos) Maidana fight,” said Tattoo, a radio DJ who also covers the fight game for KDAY 93.5. “Maidana is no joke.”
After losing to Breidis Prescott many in Khan’s own country doubted his abilities and felt that he feared a rematch. But since that fight Khan has fought challengers equal or better to Prescott. Eight opponents have been unable to stop the Khan onslaught.
Peterson has next.
Peterson was undefeated and a favorite two years ago to beat Palm Springs boxer Timothy Bradley. Instead, Bradley used his similar speed to Khan to pierce the D.C. fighter’s high guard defense with his rapid combinations. Will Khan do the same?
“The thing is he throws a lot of punches and he throws them in bunches, but his punches seem fast and they are fast, but I'm just as fast. Timing beats speed all day. So, it's nothing to worry about his speed,” says Peterson, 27.
The Washington D.C.-based prizefighter seemed to redeem himself when he fought Victor Ortiz to a draw last year. Then he beat Dominican hotshot Victor Cayo. But is that proof? Can he beat someone not named Victor?
Five current or former world champions have attempted to derail the bullet train of Khan. Whether they were pressure fighters, boxer-punchers, counter punchers, or knockout artists they all seemed to be blinded in the light of Khan’s talent and confidence.
“We took on Maidana; we beat him. We took on Zab Judah, who also was another threat in that division, and we took him out. That's the reason they've put me to number one in the world because they call me the best fighter in that division because I'm one fighter who loves taking the risks and fighting the best out there,” said Khan.
Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya said that in many ways Khan’s
fans love-hate relationship with the British boxer has benefits.
“In boxing the more critics you have, the bigger you are, and that’s the way I saw my career,” De La Hoya said. “Yes, I had more adoring fans who always followed me 100 percent, and you hear the criticisms left and right. But the more you hear the more popularity you’re gaining…it goes with the territory.”
At the Wild Card Boxing gym it’s clear that the wide range of prizefighters who train in the Hollywood facility have a clear respect for Khan and his talent. Boxing journalists also respect both his skills and dedication.
“To keep it short and sweet: when you watch Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana it says everything Amir has to offer. He can punch. He has a chin and he’s one of those natural fighters,” says Tattoo. “He’s on top of his conditioning and he’s definitely exciting to watch. A little side note: he definitely knows his Hip Hop well.”
Fights on television
Sat. 6 p.m. pay-per-view, Jon Jones (14-1) vs. Lyoto Machida (17-2); Tito Ortiz (17-9-1) vs. Antonio Rogerio Noegueira (19-5); Frank Mir (15-5) vs. Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira (33-6-1).
Sat. 6:45, HBO, Amir Khan (26-1) vs. Lamont Peterson (29-1-1).
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?