After an 18-year absence, championship boxing made a triumphant return to Washington, D.C., with one of the city’s own scoring a big upset.
Lamont Peterson shocked super lightweight cha mpion Amir Khan in a split decision in their unified title bout Saturday night at Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
“I’m not the kind of guy who falls for anything. I stand for something,” said Peterson, who is 30-1-1 after a 113-112 victory over the Englishman (29-2-1, 15 knockouts). “A lot of people looked at me as an underdog [nearly 2-1] in this fight. They never gave me a chance to win.”
The bout was the first in Washington since 1993, when Riddick Bowe of Fort Washington successfully defended his WBA heavyweight belt against Jesse Ferguson at RFK Stadium. Others with local ties — Mark Johnson, William Joppy and Sharmba Mitchell — won world titles, but the District can’t offer promoters the advantages that casino towns like Vegas and Atlantic City can.
Fighting before a pro-Peterson, near-capacity crowd of 8,647, Khan was not up to the task of stopping Peterson.
“I knew it was tough in his hometown,” Khan said, via USA Today. “But this is why boxing hasn’t been in D.C. for 20 years; because you get something like this.”
Khan was ready for a rematch and so was Peterson — after both fighters received treatment at a hospital.
“I just came from the hospital. It was almost like at the end of the ‘Rocky’ movie, where Lamont was in there and Amir Khan was in there and they were both just sitting there,” said Anthony Peterson (31-1, 20 KOs), who scored an eight-round, unanimous decision over fellow Washingtonian, Daniel Attah (26-9-1, 9 KOs), on the undercard.
“Amir Khan was beat up, and Lamont was beat up. Amir Khan’s hands were swollen from hitting that brick wall defense that Lamont had. They embraced each other and took pictures together and said, ‘Hopefully, we can do it again, down the stretch.’ It was a beautiful view and a thing of great sportsmanship. They weren’t saying this and that or talking any trash.”
Peterson told Ring TV that he was willing to fight Khan on his home turf.
“It’s a great feeling right now. But I’m just happy that everyone enjoyed the fight. It must have been a good fight. They’re talking about a rematch already,” said Peterson.
“If it’s left up to me, I would fight him tomorrow. But that’s just me. I’m always ready to fight. I wouldn’t mind doing it in England. The deal would have to be right. Everything would have to be right. But if it is, then I would do it.”
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Bio: Peterson fights for title in Washington, where he once fought to live
Return announced: Big bout comes to D.C.