PunchStat Report: Peterson W 12 (spl) Khan

By CompuBox

Khan was the busier fighter, while 8-1 underdog Peterson had the edge in power shots landed, hitting on 46%.

Relentless Peterson Wins Belts

By Kieran Mulvaney

Photo Credit: Will HartGoing into Saturday's fight card, the talk of course was primarily of two men: Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson, the principals in the main event. Coming out of it, the talk was of three men: Khan, Peterson, and Joseph Cooper, the referee whose point deductions made the difference between Khan retaining and losing his junior welterweight world titles. 

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The Nation’s Capital Prepares for a Night of Punishment

By Steve Marzolf

Photo Credit: Will Hart

For the first time in 18 years, fight fans in Washington D.C. are getting a live look at HBO boxing on Saturday night, when Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson face off in a unified super lightweight title fight at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The local fervor was obvious at the official weigh-in, where Peterson fans far outnumbered (though barely out-screamed) the dedicated enlistees of Khan’s Army.

Those packed in at the Carnegie Library in downtown D.C. received an extra dose of the star power they were looking for, with Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins appearing alongside Paul Williams and a grinning Adrian Broner. D.C. native and former Hopkins opponent Keith Holmes also welcomed Saturday’s fighters to the scales. As the official business began, De La Hoya promised: “D.C., we will be back with big-time boxing. Over and over again.”

Khan weighed in at 139 pounds, looking lean as usual, and Peterson’s slightly thicker frame topped out at 140 pounds. Whether the homegrown mascot will be able to take advantage of his power against Khan’s famous speed, however, remains the big open question going into tomorrow’s bout.

For the televised undercard, heavyweight and former Michigan State linebacker Seth Mitchell will put his undefeated record on the line against Timur Ibragimov of Uzbekistan. Mitchell officially outweighs his opponent by almost 20 pounds (240-and-one-half to Ibragimov’s 221 pounds). All the action starts at 9:45 pm ET/6:45 pm PT this Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing.


A Potential Fighter of the Year Has One Last Battle

By Kieran Mulvaney

Photo Credit: Delane Rouse - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy PromotionsOne year ago, Amir Khan celebrated his 24th birthday a couple of days before facing Marcos Maidana at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. That battle, in which Khan dropped Maidana in the opening round but had to withstand a furious late-rounds charge from his hard-hitting opponent, was voted as the Fight of the Year.

One year on, Khan celebrates (naturally) his 25th birthday, two days before taking on Lamont Peterson in Peterson’s home town of Washington, D.C. And should he deal with the threat posed by his once-beaten opponent in sufficiently impressive fashion, he may find himself recognized as the Fighter of the Year.

Other contenders have fallen by the wayside: Although Floyd Mayweather demolished Victor Ortiz in September, it was his only outing of 2011, which won’t be enough to garner the laurels. Manny Pacquiao fought twice, but did not look convincing on either occasion. Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire each had one spectacular win early in the year, but both followed that with uninspiring, hard-grafted victories over lesser opposition. Khan, in contrast, beat previously undefeated Paul McCloskey, then demolished Zab Judah, and now faces the highly-ranked Peterson.

Peterson, however, is not planning on lying down. He proved his resilience on the undercard of Khan-Maidana, when he rebounded from two knockdowns to secure a draw with Ortiz. He is not flashy, but he is technically sound. Khan will need to be careful not to overreach and leave himself off-balance, as he sometimes does after throwing flurries, as Peterson will look to punish him with counters.

Conversely, Khan will have seen the one time Peterson looked out of his depth, when he lost a lopsided decision to Tim Bradley in December 2009. Peterson was simply unable to match Bradley’s speed and angles. Those will be Khan’s big advantages on Saturday night.

For Peterson, it will be an uphill task. Although he is skilled, he is likely not as much so as Khan. Nor is he as fast or as powerful. Even so, the challenge he poses to the visitor are considerable, and the roar of the hometown crowd will only strengthen his undoubted spirit.

Amir Khan may be a few weeks away from being Fighter of the Year. But first, on Saturday he must make sure he is Fighter of the Night.

Fans Weigh In: It's Khan in a Landslide

Can hometown hero Lamont Peterson put a stop to Amir Khan's meteoric ride? Not according to fans on the HBO Boxing Facebook page. A whopping 88 percent think that Khan is the likely winner, while just 88 people see Peterson coming out on top. "Peterson is a quality fighter but I think Khan's superior speed, athleticism, & power will be the difference & he'll either a clear decision or stop Peterson sometime after around the 8th round or later," wrote Charlie S. On Twitter, @ERYCK3030 sees the fight going the distance before being decided in Khan's favor, tweeting  "I'll take Amir Khan by Unanimous Decision. I don't think L. Peterson can match Khan's power/speed."  Here's more of what you had to say:

-  Khan in 2 rounds. By KO – Gilbert L. (Facebook)

-  Khan is going to win. He's the next p4p king in boxing – Kevin U. (Facebook)

kingpete26 Khan 4th round KO 2 rounds to get going hurts him in 3rd out in 4th - @mikeanddaveshow (Twitter)

- I have @AmirKingKhan being knocked out by @kingpete26 in the 3rd. Khans chin is suspect. - @Markchristian82 (Twitter)

- Good fight and i cant wait to see it. If Khan stays behind his jab he should win but if he gets into a slug fest with peterson he'll be KO'd without a doubt. – Marcus T. (Facebook)

- I have @AmirKingKhan being knocked out by @kingpete26 in the 3rd. Khans chin is suspect. - @Markchristian82 (Twitter)

- mr.amir khan...still in the peak of his career...- Saleem O (Facebook)

CompuBox Analysis: Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson

By CompuBox

After staging his first 23 fights in the British Isles, Amir Khan has become a road warrior. His fight with Lamont Peterson Saturday marks the fourth time in his last five that he has fought in America, and of those, three times the men he met were construed as local favorites -- Paul Malignaggi at Madison Square Garden, Zab Judah at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay (Judah resides in Vegas) and now Peterson at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Will Khan leave with his WBA and IBF 140-pound belts or will Peterson dethrone "King Khan" and wreak "Havoc" on his plans to jump to enter the Mayweather/Pacquiao sweepstakes at 147? Khan is a 5-1 favorite.  Their CompuBox histories offer these nuggets:

Doing More With Less -- Or Is It a Mini-Slump?: Before teaming with Freddie Roach Khan was an offensive machine with little need for defense. In his five pre-Roach fights he threw 80.1 punches per round (landing 22.1 percent of them) while his opponents -- who threw just 39.1 per round -- nevertheless landed 40 percent of their power shots to Khan's 29.1 percent.

After joining Roach the offense remained but the defense tightened. In the partnership's first six fights Khan's average output was 62.8, landing 33.4 percent (overall), 26.2 percent (jabs) and 41.2 percent (power) while his foes landed a combined 21.6 percent of their 49.4 punches per round, 15.3 percent (jabs) and 25.4 percent (power).

In his last two fights against Paul McCloskey and Zab Judah, the defensive numbers remained strong but his offensive success declined. Consider:

* Judah landed 17.4 percent (overall), 9.6 percent (jabs) and 37.5 percent (power) while McCloskey's numbers were 25.3 percent (overall), 21.9 percent (jabs) and 27.7 percent (power).

* Khan, however, landed only 21.5 percent of his 56.8 punches per round against Judah (11.9 percentage points less than the first six with Roach) and landed 26.6 percent of his power shots (14.6 percentage points and 35.5 percent less).

* The McCloskey figures were similar: He landed 25.2 percent of his 58.2 punches per round (7.4 percent fewer punches and 8.2 percentage points less), 12.1 percent of his jabs (14.1 percentage points and 53.9 percent fewer) and 32.4 percent of his power shots (8.8 percentage points and 21.4 percent less).

One can rightly say that the decline is due to Judah and McCloskey being world-class southpaws. One can also say that Khan is throttling down due to weight-making stresses and to present less risk to his chin, which, despite absorbing Marcos Maidana's power, is still considered shaky by most.

Will Khan find his groove against Peterson? We'll see.

Peterson Petering Out?: For most of his seven-year career, Peterson's overwhelming volume combined with superior accuracy separated him from his peers. His numbers against Lanardo Tyner in November 2008 were typical: He landed 49.2 percent of his 82.9 punches per round (his output was 27.4 percent above the 60.2 140-pound norm), 30.8 percent of his 22.4 jabs (his accuracy was 32.5 percent better than the 20.8 percent baseline) and 56 percent of his 60.5 power punches (his accuracy was 35.8 percent better and his output 41.5 percent above standard). He out-landed Tyner 408-121 (overall), 69-13 (jabs) and 339-108 (power).

In two CompuBox-tracked fights since meeting Willy Blain in April 2009 Peterson stepped up the competition but lost what had made him special. Consider:

* In losing to Timothy Bradley, he averaged a respectable 63.8 punches per round (5.7 percent above the norm) but landed 31 percent overall, 13.9 percent of his jabs and 39.4 percent of his power shots.  Bradley landed an average of 7 of 40 jabs thrown per round vs. Peterson and landed 47% of his power shots.  Khan’s offense works off his jab.

* In drawing with Victor Ortiz, his output plummeted to 33.3 punches per round, landing 33.3 percent overall and 19.9 percent of his jabs. A bright spot was his 43.9 percent power punching, but he threw just 18.7 per round -- 69.1 percent fewer than against Tyner.

Peterson received encouraging news against Victor Cayo. Though he averaged 58.8 punches per round, he landed at 42.6 percent. He connected on 28 percent of his 19.3 jabs and 49.8 percent of his 39.5 power punches. He out-landed Cayo 301-167 despite throwing 122 fewer (706-828) and limited Cayo to 20 percent overall accuracy, 15 percent of his jabs and 23 percent of his power shots.

Prediction: Peterson does best against shorter fighters who brawl. The 5-10 Khan is an inch taller and will box. Khan's hand and leg speed combined with his superior power and Peterson's dent-able chin (three knockdowns in his last four fights) will result in a mid-rounds TKO.

Khan’s Fast Track to Superstardom Runs Through Peterson’s Hometown

By Eric Raskin

Photo Credits: Ed Mulholland, Will HartTwo days before he steps into the ring to face Lamont Peterson, Amir Khan will celebrate his 25th birthday. If it feels to you as if the junior welterweight beltholder from Britain has been around a while and should be older than that by now, you're not alone. An Olympic silver medalist at 17, an HBO-featured fighter at 20, and a first-round knockout victim at 21, everything-success and failure-has come to Khan at a prodigious pace.

Now, at a much younger age than is usually the case these days, Khan is positioned to enter the pound-for-pound discussion and the pay-per-view mega-event picture. Provided, that is, that he doesn't get blown out like so many birthday candles on December 10.

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Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson Brings a Clash of Nations to the American Capital

By Kieran Mulvaney

Photo Credit: Hoganphotos.comIt isn’t often that a boxing press conference features a diplomat from a foreign nation talking a little historical smack on behalf of his country’s fighter. But then, it isn’t often that a boxing press conference takes place in Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital has a proud boxing tradition – just this week, local favorite Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson appeared in his first year of eligibility on ballots for this year’s Hall of Fame class – but it has of late been ill-served in terms of major boxing events. The last significant card within the District’s limits was headlined by Mike Tyson’s career-ending capitulation against Kevin McBride; the last time HBO World Championship Boxing was in town was to broadcast Riddick Bowe wiping the canvas with Jesse Ferguson in 1993. (In hindsight, the co-main event, the first encounter between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr., was of greater import.)

But on December 10, HBO and big-time boxing will return to the District of Columbia, with a new emerging local star, heavyweight Seth ‘Mayhem’ Mitchell, in the chief supporting bout and the District’s Lamont Peterson in the junior welterweight main event.

The man Peterson will be facing, Britain’s 140-pound world champion Amir Khan, had not been to the city until a few weeks ago, but he immediately took to it and encouraged his promoter Richard Schaefer to bring his clash with Peterson there.

“It reminded me of my home city, Bolton,” Khan told reporters at a press conference in downtown DC on Thursday, in the process almost certainly becoming the first man to equate those two particular towns. “It’s very quiet, chill. And you know when there’s a big event on, bang it’s going to be massive.”

Khan’s first visit was at the invitation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at an event to honor Muslim-American athletes, and Schaefer announced his intention to reach out to Secretary Clinton, President Obama and members of Congress to attend the fight. Of the latter, he laughed that there would be no aisle between them; they would actually have to sit together and talk, and perhaps find common ground in boxing.

It is not widely appreciated outside the region that, to residents, Washington, D.C. is a two-headed beast. There is ‘Washington,’  the political power base that much of the rest of the country loves to hate. And there is D.C., the small but vibrant city where people live. While there is a good chance that Washington will be in the house, there is a certainty that DC will be representing, and cheering on Mitchell and Peterson.

But that’s where the aforementioned diplomat, Phillip Barton, Britain’s deputy ambassador to the United States, stepped up to remind those assembled that his countryman need not be cowed:

“Amir, you may have ceded hometown advantage to Lamont, but you and indeed he should know this,” he began. “There are a lot of us Brits here in Washington, and we’ve had some notable victories over the years. In fact, we even managed to burn down the White House in 1814. So rest assured, come December 10, a large part of the support will be for you, and we’ll be cheering for another great British victory.”