Much has been made of the fact that Saturday's Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson junior welterweight title fight will take place in Washington, DC, the hometown of challenger Peterson, who looks to capture the WBA and IBF 140-pound titles, and indeed his first major titles as a professional.
Peterson says that he's feeling no extra pressure fighting in front of family and friends, or representing DC boxing in a major fight. Khan has said repeatedly that he feels he'll have plenty of fans in the building, perhaps even outnumbering Peterson's fans (that part is unlikely), and says today that he's totally comfortable being the away man:
"One thing about me is I don’t mind travelling and going into people’s backyards to fight. I’ve done it a few times before and I’ve recently been fighting a lot outside of the UK.
"For me, a boxing ring is a boxing ring, no matter where it is. I’ll perform there the way I have to. If you look at my career I train in America, not the UK, so in a way that helps me to perform well away from my home country.
"So no matter where it is, I’ll perform in that ring."
Khan (26-1, 18 KO) is currently an enormous -1200 favorite on two of the sportsbooks we keep tabs on, which makes this fight seem far more a mismatch than it really is. Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KO) is a legit fighter who has never been an easy out for anyone. He lost wide to Timothy Bradley, but was in the fight the entire way, and just a year ago he overcame early adversity to grind out a 10-round draw against Victor Ortiz.
Whether or not homefield advantage helps Peterson remains to be seen, but anyone expecting a rollover opponent is going to be disappointed. This is a legitimate fight for Amir Khan, and no joke of a matchup.