Timothy Bradley, who currently sits at the top of the world's 140-pound rankings as he prepares to move up in weight to face Manny Pacquiao on June 9, is favoring Lamont Peterson to more convincingly defeat Amir Khan in their May 19 rematch for the WBA and IBF belts.
"I think Peterson is going to go back and start off where he left off, I'm sure. He knows that Khan can't take pressure. I just don't see Khan becoming this great inside-fighter in a couple of months. I don't see that happening. I pick Peterson in that fight and I pick him to win convincingly this time."
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) defeated Khan (26-2, 18 KO) on December 10 in Washington, DC, but the fight had a lot of controversy with the scoring, the refereeing, and even Mustafa Ameen, the "mystery man" in the hat. (By the way, I don't know that Ameen ever got his apology from Khan after threatening a lawsuit.)
Bradley makes valid points. The harshest criticisms of Khan have been:
- He has a horrible time making adjustments mid-fight, and can only fight effectively in one mode.
- He's really bad with the inside game ("really bad" for a world class fighter, of course), which is where Peterson has the ability to truly outclass Khan.
Peterson turned down a potential date with Juan Manuel Marquez to take this fight, so obviously he and manager/trainer Barry Hunter must like their chances in a second dance with Khan. There's a reasonable question to ask of Peterson, too, which is, "Can he do better than he did the first time out?" Was that Peterson's absolute best possible effort?
It would seem Khan can fight better. But can he? He has to adjust. He has to be better inside. And with the fight coming in three months, Bradley's doubt that Khan can truly improve his inside fighting game is pretty reasonable.