WASHINGTON - Britain's Amir Khan, saying he felt a rightful victory was stolen from him on Saturday, vowed to return stronger after a controversial majority decision defeat to American Lamont Peterson.
The 25-year-old English boxer said he was putting his plans to rise into the welterweight ranks on hold for one more fight in order to face Peterson in a rematch that he hopes will be staged in England.
Referee Joe Cooper took points from Khan in the seventh and 12th rounds for shoving hometown hero Peterson and that proved to be the margin of Khan's loss before a sellout crowd of 8647 at the Washington Convention Center.
One judge scored Khan a 115-110 winner while the other two handed Peterson the verdict by 113-112. All three judges scored the last round even, so Khan would have kept his titles by majority draw without the last deduction.
"I was up against the referee and Lamont," Khan said. "The referee was a bit on his side. When you come to his home, you are two points down before the fight starts. I went to his hometown. I beat him. And I didn't get it. "It's boxing. You live another day. A rematch is what I'm looking at. I want it straight away. I want my two titles back. I know I won that fight and I think everybody else knows I won it too."
"I came to his home. Let's see if he's got the same balls as me. I don't think he has. I gave him an opportunity. I think I should get an opportunity back. I can't take anything away from him. He wasn't the ref. He wasn't a judge. He did what he had to do in the fight," Khan said. "I have to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes you get these bad decisions. You come back stronger. I'm strong. I have got a lot left in me.