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.