by Chris Robinson
Former champion Amir Khan has been taking some licks ever since his upset loss to Lamont Peterson last weekend in Washington, D.C.
Khan would surrender his WBA and IBF titles to Peterson in a back-and-forth tussle that saw Amir score an early knockdown but have trouble with Peterson’s aggressive attack thereafter. After twelve rounds and two point deductions against him, Khan would drop a split-decision in a fight that seemed to be too close to call.
Khan had been intending on moving up to the welterweight class after the fight but now is setting his sights on a rematch with the newly-crowned Peterson. And while the British pug’s loss was a shocker to some, Las Vegas-based trainer Roger Mayweather could see it coming from a mile away.
“I said he was going to get his a** whooped,” Roger stated recently during his participation in the 49th annual WBC Convention at the Mandalay Bay. “I was telling my brother Jeff. He’s too busy for him. Too big for him and threw too many punches.”
“I know because I used to train the Peterson brothers," Roger exclaimed. "I used to train them. It was a long time ago. They were young then. I used to train them at Golden Gloves Gym back in the day. He was a good fighter than.”
The fact that the Golden Gloves Gym closed in December of 2003 tells you just how blossoming both Lamont and his younger brother, once-beaten lightweight contender Anthony, were at the time. But in an interesting story that doesn’t always get mention, it was years later that Lamont and Roger would cross paths under extremely different circumstances.
In August of 2009, Roger’s nephew Floyd was eyeing a September 19th date with Juan Manuel Marquez, a fight that signaled his return from a 21-month hiatus from the sport.
Around the same time the Peterson brothers and their trainer Barry Hunter would visit the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, as Anthony was then a few days away from an assignment with Mexican journeyman Luis Antonio Arceo at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Peterson himself was a few months away from his first world title shot, a December clash with then-WBO champion Timothy Bradley, and was obviously in the fighting mood as he and Mayweather would go heads up with one another for consecutive days with some brisk sparring sessions.
While the reports on what exactly what down during the sparring vary depending on whom you talk to, what is for certain is that they were competitive, lively, and extremely intense sessions.
Roger was in the building watching Lamont and Floyd go at each other recklessly and points back to their work together as one of the reasons he knew Peterson would simply be too much for Khan.
“That’s one of the reasons I knew he could whoop Amir Khan. He sparred good with Floyd,” Roger continued.
And while some sources say that Peterson and Mayweather were chiding each other during their time in the gym and even had to be separated because things got so vocal, Roger dismissed those notions.
“Not really. It never really got heated. They just had good sparring sessions,” added Roger.
Turning his attention back to Peterson’s gritty victory over Khan, Mayweather pointed out that when a fighter becomes so obsessed with something, they can be hard to derail.
“When a guy wants to be a champion, he will do anything to become a champion,” Mayweather stated. “That’s one of those guys that, whatever it takes to be champion, that’s how he became champion.”
And if Khan-Peterson II goes down, Roger doesn’t see a good ending for Amir.
“He aint going to beat Peterson,” Roger claimed. “That guy got his number. That’s how it goes. Sometimes somebody has your number. Ken Norton had Ali’s number. Anytime a guy has your number it’s hard to overcome them, that’s all.”