Khan in toughest training camp of career
By John F. McKenna (McJack): Former WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KO’s) is engaged in the toughest training camp of his career as he prepares for the rematch with new champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO’s). Khan and Peterson will fight for the 2nd time on May 19 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
In their first fight last December Peterson fought the fight of his life and won a highly controversial decision over Khan. Winning the WBA and IBF titles in his hometown of Washington D.C. made an instant star out of Lamont who was literally homeless in the town he grew up in. It was a modern day Cinderella story for Peterson who, through his hard fought win, became a local hero.
Amir Khan on the other hand put the cart before the horse in to some degree by losing focus on Peterson and putting his sites on WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s). “King” Khan went so far as to call Mayweather out in hopes of fighting the undefeated superstar in the latter half of 2012.
Khan paid for his lack of focus on Peterson and did not fight the most intelligent fight he could have. Prior to his fight with Lamont, Amir’s trainer Freddie Roach had warned him not to get trapped on the ropes. Instead of following Roach’s instructions however, Khan allowed Peterson to repeatedly pin him on the ropes where he was able to weaken Amir with a furious body attack. By the time Khan decided it was not to his best advantage to fight Peterson on the ropes it was too late and his own punches did not have the same power or sting as they had in earlier rounds.
While still maintaining that he feels he won the first fight with Lamont, Khan acknowledges that he is going to do things differently in the 2nd fight. For starters he is going to follow Roach’s instructions more closely by not allowing himself to be trapped on the ropes. Apparently Amir was of the opinion that his skills were so superior to Lamont’s that he could beat him at his own game, much as Sugar Ray Leonard thought he could in his first fight with Roberto Duran. In essence Khan fought Peterson’s fight in the first match. Amir found out the hard way that he is not yet a superstar.
Khan realizes that he cannot afford to lose a 2nd fight to Peterson. For that reason he is taking the May 19 fight very seriously. He has already been training in England for a month. He plans to go to the Philippines for high altitude training and then will be going to Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. There can be no excuses for a less than stellar performance by a fighter who at 25 is approaching his peak. Much is expected of Khan. Now he has to deliver on those expectations.
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