Amir Khan will look to become world light-welterweight champion once again when he faces Lamont Peterson in a highly anticipated bout on May 19.
Following the highly controversial split-points decision in Washington DC last year, the re-match is set with both the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles up for grabs at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The aftermath of the split-points decision in Peterson’s hometown was shrouded by controversy with accusations from Khan’s camp of tampered scorecards, and that referee Joe Cooper had unfairly docked two points from Khan for pushing. The result of the accusations is the re-match on May 19, with Khan the 1.210 favourite at Pinnacle Sports
, ahead of champion Peterson who is offered at 5.050.
Taking away all of the controversy, the first fight between the two was an absolute classic. Khan was the massive favourite on that night, and although sending Peterson to the canvas twice in the early rounds, he was dragged into a brawl. The British fighter was unable to utilise his rapid hand speed, as from the third round onwards; Peterson adapted his style and succeeded in cutting the distance between himself and Khan. Khan's response was to go toe-to-toe with the hometown challenger, but too often was forced to retreat as Peterson played the aggressor.
However, Khan was punished twice in the fight for pushing, and was subsequently docked two-points. The two points deducted from Khan for pushing proved crucial as the judges scored the fight at 113-112, 113-112, 110-115 in favour of the local fighter.
Khan (26-2, 18 KO) must learn from his mistakes in the first fight, and use his skills to his advantage if he is to succeed second time around. The pugilist from Bolton oozes talent, and posses the fastest hands in the sport today, while his amateur pedigree makes him a tough competitor to handle.
However, Khan does have his flaws. He needs to fight with more intelligence than he did in the first fight against Peterson, and while he has gone some way to proving he doesn’t have a glass jaw, question marks still remain.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) meanwhile, was reluctant to take this fight, knowing that his time at the top could last just one fight. With that said, in the first fight Peterson proved a lot of the doubters wrong with a spirited performance.
Peterson in no slouch, can hit with force and is comfortable both on the outside and inside, but his biggest attribute is his ring smartness; he boxes clever. Like the first fight, Peterson had a plan B and quickly switched to it after struggling in the opening rounds against Khan’s speed.
Uncharacteristically, Peterson was so pumped-up in the first fight that his work rate was unbelievable, and he has to have the same, if not more, this time around. Also he needs to start faster, he was on the canvas twice in the first fight early doors and cannot allow Khan to settle into a rhythm.