WASHINGTON: Britain’s Amir Khan claims a rightful victory was stolen from him and vowed to return stronger after a controversial majority decision defeat to Lamont Peterson, which resulted in the American winning the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation light-welterweight world titles following an electrifying fight.
The 25-year-old Khan said he was putting his plans to rise into the welterweight ranks on hold in order to face Peterson in a rematch that he hopes will be staged in England.
Referee Joe Cooper took points from Khan in the seventh and 12th rounds for shoving hometown hero Peterson and that proved to be the margin of the loss.
One judge scored Khan a 115-110 winner, while the other two handed Peterson the verdict by 113-112. All three judges scored the last round even, so Khan would have kept his titles by majority draw without the last deduction. Khan insisted that the referee was biased against him.
“I was up against the referee and Lamont,” he said. “When you come to his home, you’re two points down before the fight starts. Some boxing commissioners came to me and said that it was a disgusting decision. Even Lamont was shocked he won the fight.”
Khan called it ‘all a learning curve’ and vowed that he will come back stronger.
‘I’m a fighter, not a referee’
Meanwhile, Peterson, once a homeless youth living on the streets of Washington, relished the win and ignored Khan’s cries of foul.
“I’m a fighter, not a referee,” he said. “I wasn’t caught up into that. I was focused on executing my game plan.”
Promoter Oscar De la Hoya and the fighters want a rematch, but Khan wants it in England.
“I came to his home. Let’s see if he’s got the same balls as me,” said Khan. “I don’t think he has.”
Peterson did not rule out a rematch in England and agreed that sooner would be better.
Khan, however, did not begrudge Peterson for enjoying his triumph in what all agreed was an electrifying fight.
“I can’t take anything away from him. He wasn’t the ref. He did what he had to do,” added Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2011.