As a native of the Washington, D.C. area I couldn’t help but have a little bit of enthusiasm for Lamont Peterson against Amir Khan last night. Lately Khan has been less convincing in the exhibition of his alleged potential. While Zab Judah is by no means one of my favorite fighters, and he could never have fairly beaten Khan, he looked far too well-matched in his depleted condition against King Khan. While other opponents such as Paul McCloskey and Marcos Maidana were more legitimate, they too were fairly competitive with Khan. In those fights, however, Khan concentrated more on precision, footwork and productive movement. I’ve been saying for a while now that Khan was going to be exposed long before he ever saw the bright lights of a Pacquiao or Mayweather marquee. At least I hoped he would. Fortunately, the somewhat biased judges in D.C. last night helped put the brakes on the gravy train for the imposter posing as the next world champion. The big controversy in this fight is going to be the two points taken from Amir Khan for pushing. Thank you, J. Cooper. Khan was starting to look like Judah had rubbed off on him a little bit, except he was conducting himself that way before they fought. For the past few fights, possibly as far back as the more encouraging fight against Malignaggi, Khan has been over-physical, throwing reckless combinations with such substantial speed that he hasn’t been totally embarrassed yet. Seems to me someone’s been sparring a little too much with Manny Pacquiao, maybe even watching with envy as the cameras clicked and the microphones were shoved in his face rather than Khan’s. This new, aggressive style isn’t crowd pleasing, it’s just unprofessional. Even so, I am a bit biased, both against Khan and in support of my home town of Washington, D.C. I say Cooper did the right thing. Back off, Khan, stop using your lanky elbows to win fights and try standing back and using your gloves the way you used to fight. Here’s the official scorecard for the fight:
As you can tell, Peterson may have won the title last night based on a couple of penalties that were preceded by no official warning. What the commentators call a “hard warning” means that the referee makes both fighters and all three judges aware that one of combatants has been warned. After two of those warnings, it is almost obligatory that the referee take a point if the conduct continues. In this case, Khan did not have the benefit of two “hard warnings.” In fact, I think he may have had none. Regardless, I think he got what he deserved. Every fighter needs a referee to put them in their place now and then and Khan heard at least one “soft warning.” Official or unofficial I think when the referee tells you “stop shoving,” “stop using your elbows,” or “stop hitting on the break,” you better do it or expect points to be taken. Khan landed at least one significant blow on a break as a direct result of a shove he used to create extra distance between himself and Peterson. All I can say is I’m glad nobody had to pay $60 to see King Khan exposed against elite welterweights he has no business fighting. Khan should stick to his weightclass, reconsider his technique and more importantly, his ambition to compete with the likes of Mayweather and Pacquiao. Peterson might not be an enduring champion, but he deserves his place as much as a lot of fighters do, probably more than Amir Khan.
In other news Roy Jones Jr. has apparently broken his losing streak against some no-name and has become intoxicated with the now unfamiliar aroma of victory. Jones now claims he wants to campaign at cruiserweight. And win a title. And that he feels great. Wow. Even when Jones was a physical phenomenon the likes of which boxing had never seen, fighting at light heavyweight was a calculated challenge for him. He’s no Bernard Hopkins or George Foreman. Hell, he’s no Evander Holyfield. All I can say is the term “damaged goods” doesn’t apply more to anybody than it does Roy Jones. Let’s hope he gets out of the business before his health completely deteriorates.