In a recent interview with Esquire Magazine, Amir Khan talks about his controversial bout with Lamont Peterson.
EQ: So, the bell rings after 12 rounds with Peterson: how are you feeling?
AK: I'm confident I've won the fight, definitely. I thought it would be close, having those two points taken off me [for pushing], but I thought I'd done enough. You can see my face when the referee raises Peterson's arm - worst feeling ever. But I'd just turned 25 two days before, so it's not the end of my career, I'm not even at my peak yet. I'm already a two-time world champion, winning it again is not a problem.
EQ: What do you think about your performance looking back now?
AK: I'd change a few things. I would have tried to go for the knockout early because I hurt him in the first round with two knockdowns. But I wanted to get a couple of rounds under the belt and put on a performance for the crowd. Forget the crowd now: it's a job and I want to clean him up.
EQ: What can you tell us about the man in the hat, Mustafa Ameen?
AK: He was a guy who was sat ringside who should never have been there. He was handling scorecards, other papers. It's like my dad handling scorecards, you get me? Then after the fight he was celebrating with Lamont Peterson. That's what you call illegal.
EQ: Did you underestimate Peterson?
AK: I knew it would be a tough fight, but he showed a lot of guts. He took some big shots, his eyes were closed and he still kept coming forward. On top of that, Peterson put 16lbs on in 24 hours after the weigh-in - that's unheard of. I tried, but I only put on seven pounds.
EQ: That's a lot of protein shakes...
AK: I'm telling ya. That weight makes a massive difference. If he didn't put on so much maybe I'd have knocked him out. But you don't know. I'm not going to moan about anything, I'll take the defeat, fine.
I'm not sure what to make about the weight issue. Who cares if Peterson gains a bunch of weight if Khan can still knock him down? Also, I'm not sure that Khan should be so anxious to move up to welterweight if he is only gaining seven pounds after the weigh-in. Just to put Lamont Peterson's weight gain in perspective, Robert Garcia says that Brandon Rios gains 20 pounds when he rehydrates. Later in the interview Khan says that he is going to retire when he is 28, which would only give him about 3 more years. I don't think Khan is going to linger around the sport like Roy Jones Jr but he's going to go longer than three more years. Do you guys think that the weight difference was a large factor in the first Khan-Peterson fight?