Lamont Peterson will be giving Amir Khan a rematch for the WBA and IBF junior welterweight titles instead of fighting Juan Manuel Marquez in July at Cowboys Stadium. RingTV.com reports that the deal is done for May 19 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, with HBO televising.
Peterson's publicist Andre Johnson had this to say:
"This came after some long and careful consideration by Lamont and Team Peterson. Lamont had weighed every option available to him -- some public and some private. There were several options available to us in terms of fights and directions that Lamont could have taken. But at the end of the day, this made the most sense on every level across the board."
The last known offer to Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) for a rematch with Khan was $1.5 million and a 50-50 share of all revenues, including Khan's UK TV deal with Sky Sports. It's a great deal for Peterson, by far a career-best payday for him, and an opportunity to prove remaining skeptics wrong.
It's also, most important for boxing fans, a rematch of what was a terrific fight. There's really nothing wrong with this fight at all, and if you put aside any feelings of ill will toward Khan (26-2, 18 KO) and his team for what many felt was a lot of post-fight whining and attempts to bully Peterson into a rematch, it's clear that they offered the best deal out there to Peterson, which is what ultimately enticed him to take the fight.
Still, many were hoping to see the fight between Peterson and Marquez, which figured on paper to be an excellent matchup. Bob Arum's idea was to basically promote a mini-tournament, with Manny Pacquiao facing Timothy Bradley on June 9, and Marquez and Peterson squaring off on July 14. Pacquiao vs Bradley is a go for June 9, but the other half of the idea just couldn't be done.
Marquez is planning an April return in Mexico, perhaps against David Diaz, which could ultimately lead him to a fourth fight with Pacquiao later this year anyway, if both are successful in coming bouts.
For full coverage of the first Khan vs Peterson fight, which was one of the most talked-about fights of 2011, visit the event page, which ran well into January and has all the drama, controversy, and pre- and post-fight analysis you could ask for.