By Edward Chaykovsky
Convention Center, Washington, District of Colombia - Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15KOs) won a close twelve round split decision over Amir Khan (26-2, 18KOs) to capture the WBA/IBF junior welterweight titles. Two scores of 113-112 for Peterson, and 114-111 for Khan.
Khan came out fast and his hand speed was doing damage. He dropped Peterson with a solid right hand and followed up with several good punches. Peterson found his tempo in the second, with Khan still controlling the action.
In the third, it was all Peterson, who rocked Khan and had him on shaky legs after landing a hard shot to the body and then multiple crisp shots to the head. Khan held and stayed on his feet to get out of trouble.
Peterson went back to the body in the fourth, made Khan miss and came back with hard shots to Khan's head. The fifth was a lot slower. Khan was moving, hitting and holding when Peterson came in close. Khan used the same strategy in the sixth. Peterson caught him with a few good punches, but Khan fired right back after being shaken up.
The seventh started with Khan shooting rapid combinations and moving away before Peterson could fire back. Peterson came back with a few hard shots when he pinned Khan against the ropes and applied a lot of pressure. Peterson started landing shots to the head and body while Khan wasn't landing much in return. At the end, Khan was penalized a point for pushing, and that probably gave Peterson a 10-8 round.
Peterson went back on the attack in the eight round, landing shots to the head and body. Peterson was chasing Khan and hurting him with hard digging punches to the body. Khan wasn't doing much, other than holding.
Khan landing a few good punches at the start of the ninth, but Peterson came back with those hard digging hooks to the body and uppercuts to the head. Khan issued a response with a good combination, but Peterson came right back with those punches to the body. In the final minute, Khan rocked Peterson with a right hand and nearly sent him down. Peterson kept coming forward and landing punches to Khan's body. Near the end of the round, Peterson caught Khan again with the uppercut and started landing punches against the ropes.
Peterson charged out in the tenth and chased Khan down. peterson landed well at the start, but Khan started moving and throwing quick combinations. Khan used his feet and quick punches to keep Peterson away. In the eleventh, Peterson continued to use his aggressive tactics to push forward to back Khan up and throw shots to the body. Khan threw a lot of punches in the round, but he did a lot of running and a lot holding as well.
In the twelfth, Peterson chased Khan down and was landing punches to the head and body. Khan mostly moving and holding and lost another point for holding and pushing. Peterson controlled most of the round and likely gave Peterson another 10-8 round to close it out.