Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan lost his Junior Welterweight titles to Lamont Peterson this week in a controversial split decision. Khanâ€™s team initially called for an investigation of referee Joseph Cooper, who deducted two points for pushing on Saturday which ultimately led to Khan losing the disputed split decision 112-113, twice, and 115-110. However, he has since decided against appealing. â€œThere is nothing to appeal about,â€ said Khan. â€œIf I do they are not going to overturn it. Iâ€™ve got the rematch pretty much there. HBO want to do it, Lamont has said he wants to do it.â€
Sitting side-by-side at the hospital, the two fighters embraced and discussed a second installment. Both men were beaten up. Khan did not leave until 5am, after treatment for damaged hands and having his ear syringed. Petersonâ€™s right eye was almost closed â€“ trophies from what is likely to be deemed â€œFight of the Yearâ€ Petersonâ€™s younger brother, Anthony, said: â€œThey embraced, took pictures together and said, â€˜we can do it again, down the stretchâ€™. It was a moment of great sportsmanship There was no trash talk.â€
Peterson, the newly-crowned International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association champion, said: â€œI wouldnâ€™t mind doing it in England. The deal would have to be right, but if it is, then I would do it.â€ The sight of a rematch is likely to be Las Vegas however, as March 31st of 2012 is already being discussed with HBO and the casino resorts. It will take some negotiating, but Khan is Petersonâ€™s route to greater paydays, and indeed, further glory. He could double his purse of $500,000 for the next fight.
Khan insisted that he â€œdid not feel like the loserâ€, but that he would come back from defeat. â€œI know the little mistakes I have made and I will get rid of them. Iâ€™ll get back in the gym and work even harder. â€œThe rematch is going to be bigger and I know now that there is one more fight for me at 140lb [light-welterweight]. I want my titles back and then Iâ€™ll move up to 147lb [welterweight]. I am going to work hard now and change things I did in the ring. We will be working on the angles. We know exactly what he does now. We still thought we had won. It was a better Peterson than the one who beat [Victor] Ortiz. They were in shock winning the fight.â€
Khan explained some of the confusion after the fight: â€œOne of the Golden Boy guys got the scoresheets and it said â€˜Khan, Khan, Petersonâ€™ and then the next thing it was â€˜Peterson, Peterson, Khanâ€™. The referee seemed to disappear pretty quickly. I havenâ€™t looked at the scorecard. I donâ€™t blame Lamont for the fight. The blame is for the referee and the judges. I was up against the ref, the judges and Lamont. This was the first time I have had points taken off me â€“ and it happened twice. When you get two penalties in the fight it was like taking four points off me because they take one off me and give him one.â€ Khan remained highly critical of Cooper. â€œI wouldnâ€™t let him do a world title fight again. He has refereed 44 out of 51 [fights] in DC and he comes from here. He didnâ€™t warn me.â€
Physically, Khan will need time to recover. â€œMy hand has swollen up a bit, but it is not a break and it didnâ€™t inconvenience me,â€ he said. â€œI have my first black eye in boxing. The worst damage was behind the ear.â€ Khan may be physically beaten up, but his psyche, however, is in fine shape. â€œIt is how you come back from these kind of fights. One thing about me is that I give it my all. All my fights are exciting and it finishes my year off on a high note, even though I didnâ€™t get a decision. Things happen for a reason and I have matured. Now I will get this fight out of the way and move slowly up to 147.â€