For 12 rounds last December, Lamont “Havoc” Peterson and Amir “King” Khan battled it out in one of the most compelling championship bouts of 2011. When it was over, controversy raged over the officiating and the final judges’ verdict, but in the end Peterson won a split decision capturing Khan’s world championship belts. On Saturday, May 19, the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. will host the highly anticipated Unified Super Lightweight World Title rematch the boxing world has clamored for as Lamont Peterson will defend his WBA World Super Championship and IBF World Championship against Khan in a fight televised live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.
Their first fight was a pitched and close battle waged in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, DC that was considered by most boxing experts to be a “Fight of the Year” candidate. It was a classic battle of contrasting styles with Peterson brawling and banging while Khan used his lightning quick speed and boxing ability. The deduction of two points from Khan by the referee for a seldom-called foul (pushing) proved to be the difference in the outcome of the close fight, leading to questions being raised as to who actually deserved to win the decision. Khan immediately filed multiple protests following the fight, much to the ire of Peterson who felt Khan’s actions tainted his victory and were an act of disrespect. On May 19, the fighters will have the opportunity to settle the score on neutral ground in Las Vegas.
“I feel really good about my decision,” said Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO’s). “I went over every option available to me in terms of the fights that were on the table. I weighed each one of them looking at the pros and the cons and at the end of the day this is the one that made the most sense all the way across the board. I want everyone to know that, as champion, it has always been up to me what fight to take next. I was not persuaded by any of the controversy or anything else. I just can’t wait to fight. I told Khan after the press conference when I won that if it was up to me I would fight him on Sunday, but I had to get with my team to look at every option that was out there. I just want to be clear that I never said I wouldn’t fight him, but I wanted to take a look at everything that was out there before I made a decision. I’m happy with the terms of the fight. It’s at a neutral site and, when I beat him this time, he won’t have anything to complain about.”
“I’m delighted that I have finally been given the chance to avenge the result of my last fight,” said Khan (26-2, 18 KO’s). “It’s clear I wasn’t happy with what went on in the previous fight, but that takes nothing away from how Lamont Peterson fought. He showed tremendous heart that night, but now I have the chance to prove once and for all that I’m the very best in the division. I’m going to take care of business inside the ring and this fight is going to be just as exciting as the last one. The only difference is going to be in the outcome.”
“I said before their first fight that this was an opportunity to see the two best super lightweights in the world compete at the highest level of the sport and neither Amir Khan or Lamont Peterson disappointed the fans,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “To see them fight again so soon after their first match on neutral ground in Las Vegas is a treat for boxing fans around the world.”
“We are pleased with the decision to fight Khan for the second time,” said Barry Hunter, manager and trainer of Lamont Peterson. “I was extremely proud of Lamont with respect to this process. He took his time and looked at all of his options and he decided this was the best option available. Our preparation for this fight will be the same, it is going to be a hard fight and we will be ready for the challenge.”
Peterson vs. Khan II, a 12-round Unified Super Lightweight World Title Fight for Peterson’s WBA World Super Championship and IBF World Championship taking place Saturday, May 19 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Khan Promotions and Headbangers Promotions. The fight will be telecast live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.
More information on Peterson vs. Khan II, including ticket prices and press conference dates, will be announced shortly.