Daniel Gregory’s weekly column: Khan ought to look at himself after defeat
DISECTING the British press’ coverage of Amir Khan’s controversial defeat to Lamont Peterson in Washington DC early on Sunday morning, one thing is eminantly apparent - Khan ought to take a long hard look at himself before proportioning the blame for his loss on the referee or the three ringside judges.
Amir Khan, of England, left, hangs on the ropes against Lamont Peterson, right, during a boxing match, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Since his monumental win over Marcos Maidana in the fight of the year 2010, Khan seems to have taken a fancy to going toe-to-toe with his opponents, possibly to totally eradicate the rumours of a glass chin following his early knock-out loss to Breidis Prescott.
It didn’t do him any favours against Maidana as he was almost stopped, but it was almost understandable that time as he had to prove a point - that he could take huge shot from a big puncher.
But Khan totally ignored a game-plan set out for him by one of the best trainers of all time - Freddie Roach, and allowed himself to be backed into the ropes by Peterson, who closed down the space superbly on the night.
Writing for the Telegraph, Gareth A Davies summed it up nicely: “There is an old saying that if you can make your opponent fight your fight, you make winning look easy. It is what has made Floyd Mayweather Jnr great in this generation of boxers.”
Khan should have stayed on the move behind his precise jab, throwing the odd combination to stop Peterson’s relentless pressure. But he allowed him to rough him up - turning the fight into exactly what he wanted it to be - a brawl.
Daily Mirror boxing correspondent David Anderson also shares the same views on Khan. He wrote: “If Khan had done his job, it would not have mattered that referee Joe Cooper had docked him two points or that one of the judges’ scorecards was altered.”
Yes, referee Cooper made a handful of odd decisions that eventually favoured the hometown fighter, whose rags-to-riches story is more than worthy of any Hollywood director.
Khan dropped his man twice in the first round and was only awarded one knock-down, before he was docked a point in both the seventh and 12th rounds, all decisions that cost Khan in the end, but if he’d boxed to his strengths and used his superior speed, athleticism and movement, he would have won the fight.
One thing that has irked me about Khan is his attitude since beating Maidana and getting involved with Golden Boy Promotions.
Before the fight Khan could be accused of massive arrogance, almost overlooking Peterson, going off at 10/1 beforehand, and eyeing up a big-money scrap with Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
Khan taunted Peterson on a number of occasions during the fight, which is great for spectators, but makes you look a bit daft when your opponents hand is raised aloft at the end of the bout and your belts strapped around his waist.
At the end of the fight as the scorecards were being tallied up, a task that took more than double the usual time, Khan was cockily shouting ‘and still, and still’, hinting that he had retained his belts.
Even after the split decision verdict was given, Khan showed poor taste and hardly endeared himself to the American public when saying he was fighting two people in the ring, Peterson and referee Cooper.
No doubt the rematch, which is 99 per cent sealed, will be another barnstormer. But Khan will need to learn to show some respect for Peterson if he is to retain his titles and get back on track.
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