Peterson seizes Khan’s titles with controversial win
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 12, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
Lamont Peterson (Left) - Amir Khan (Right)
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: In a town known for its shady dealings, Lamont Peterson (with a little help from referee Joe Cooper) upset Amir Khan by split decision last night to win Khan’s IBF and WBA junior welterweight titles.

The fight was donnybrook from the first minute as the two fighters exchanged hard punches that would sustain for 36 minutes.

Khan (26-2, 18 KOs ) came out fast in round one jabbing and throwing combinations. His edge in quickness was apparent as he used his legs to avoid some of Peterson’s overhand bombs. Peterson (30-1, 15 KOs ) was able to a land a thudding right hand to Khan’s body. Peterson hit the canvas twice in the first round, but only one was ruled a legitimate knockdown. As the bell sounded ending the round it appeared the fight would be a relatively easy one for the more versatile, "King Khan."

In round two, Khan came out bouncing on his toes and met Peterson in the center of the ring. Peterson was still loading up on his right and missing that is until the last minute of the round when he connected solidly on Khan’s chin. Khan responded with a well-timed combination, but Peterson won the round with some consistent bodywork.

The third round saw Peterson continuing his onslaught to Khan’s body. With his hometown crowd extolling his every punch, Peterson kept after Khan. The champion was still connecting with rights and lefts but, Peterson’s confidence was growing.

Khan landed a beautiful uppercut in round four that stopped Peterson in his tracks. Peterson was chasing Khan who was back peddling and throwing combinations. His right eye was showing sign’s of damage courtesy of Khan’s combination punching. Peterson's wicked bodywork continued as Khan tried to keep him honest with jabs. Khan kept the action more in the center of the ring in round five and did well. Peterson was taking three to land one.

In round six Khan went back to trying to outbox Peterson. Khan was beating him to the punch consistently as the ebb and flow of the bout persisted. Khan controlled the first minute of round seven. Peterson took the round over by backing Khan into the ropes and unleashing another left and right to Khan’s body. Khan countered with a four-punch combination. Peterson landed a huge right that stunned Khan. Near the end of the round, referee Joe Cooper interrupted the action to deduct a point from Khan for pushing. The decision to penalize seemed dubious at best.

The fight was virtually even through seven rounds. Peterson landed another heavy shot to Khan’s gut as the champion tried to keep him in the center of the ring. Khan knew he had to box Peterson and use his jab. He tried, but Peterson was showing some major determination.

Khan landed a beautiful combination in round nine that buckled Peterson. The Washington , DC native connected with a heavy right to Khan’s ear and a left to his side. Khan made the mistake of languishing on the ropes as Peterson dug more bodyshots. The crowd was in a frenzy as Peterson stalked. Khan bounced off the ropes with a snappy three-punch combination to Peterson’s head. Khan was again trying to box, but Peterson would have none of it. He was in Khan’s grill to stay. It was still anybody’s fight.

The last round saw Khan winning the first minute. Peterson landed another good right that bothered Khan. Khan was still managing to win the round, when referee Joe Cooper showed a real lapse in judgment. This time he took a point from Khan for hitting on the break. Cooper’s call would determine the winner.

One judge had Khan winning 115-110, but the other two had Peterson the victor by one point, 113-112.

This was a superb fight and Peterson winning the title a great story. Referee Cooper’s silly decisions notwithstanding, Peterson fought extremely well.

“It’s been a long road and all the hard work paid off”, said the classy Peterson.

The loss is a devastating one for Khan who looked to be Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent. Now he eyes March 31 and his rematch with Peterson in Las Vegas .

Khan was upset with the decision and gave his opinion of referee Cooper.

“It was like I was against two people in there. He gave me a warning, but he (Peterson) kept coming with his head.”

More from John:
Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko: “Let’s do it again” John J. Raspanti
Bloodsport 2: Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito John J. Raspanti
In the Ring with boxing writer Adam Pollack John J. Raspanti
The young gun and the old pro: Saul Alvarez vs. Kermit Cintron John J. Raspanti
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