By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR Khan insists that he has learnt a lesson following his controversial defeat at the hands of Lamont Peterson.
Khan still believes that he was robbed by the referee and the judges – but he knows he made mistakes against Peterson.
He lost his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles and says it was his failure to follow trainer Freddie Roach’s game plan that cost him.
He was certainly found wanting and was caught repeatedly by challenger Peterson, spending far too much time on the ropes.
Khan tried to slug it out with the American in his Washington backyard, instead of boxing him, and failed to make use of his superior jab.
He came back stronger from his only other pro loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008 and says he will also learn the lessons from his latest defeat.
The Bolton boxer said: “I know the little mistakes I have made and I will get rid of them. I learnt the hard way against Breidis and changed.
“That was a good thing that happened to me then and was a wake-up call. This is another one. This is only going to make me work harder.
“I know I won the fight and it’s going to motivate me to work harder in the gym. It’s about how you come back from these kind of setbacks. Things happen for a reason and I am maturing.
“I am just 25 now and maybe when I’m 26, I will be fully matured. I will get this fight (rematch) out of the way and then move up to 147lbs.”
Peterson was the IBF’s mandatory challenger and Khan claims the new champ promised him a rematch when he bumped into him in hospital after the fight when he was having his ear treated.
March 31 in Las Vegas looks the most likely date and venue and a hurt Khan, who is sporting his first-ever black eye, has promised to make Peterson pay for taking away his cherished belts.
The Athens Olympic Games silver medallist was surprised by his opponent’s disciplined, pressured performance, but feels he now knows how to handle him in the rematch. He said: “There’s nothing in the contract for a rematch, but I saw him and his team in the hospital after and he said that he knew how I was feeling because he felt the same when he drew against Victor Ortiz.
“The rematch is going to be bigger and I know now there is one more fight for me at 140lbs. I want my titles back.
“Beating him will be great. He’s the one now who will have to suffer.”
Khan’s camp and US promoter Golden Boy lodged their complaint against referee Joseph Cooper and the judges to the DC boxing board and the WBA and IBF yesterday.
They suspect at least one of the scorecards was altered after the final bell, changing the result from a Khan win into a Peterson victory on a split decision.
Their suspicions were fuelled by judge George Hill changing the score for round seven from 10-8 in Khan’s favour to 10-8 for Peterson.
Khan said: “I don’t blame Lamont for what happened. The blame falls on the referee and judges. I was up against the ref, the judges and Lamont.”