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Written by Ian Wallwork
Lamont Peterson vs Amir Khan Saturday 10th December

They’ll make a movie about Lamont Peterson’s life one day. If he beats Amir Khan in Washington on Saturday, it will cap off an amazing story and be worthy of ninety minutes on celluloid, probably directed by Ron Howard. Peterson’s life-story is of the kind that is so popular it has its own genre; ‘Rags to riches’.

Everyone loves an underdog, and coming up against the WBA Super and IBF Light Welterweight champion Amir Khan, Lamont Peterson is that. He’s spent most his life as a long-shot. One of twelve siblings that his mother struggled to take care of, Lamont and his brother Anthony spent their youth pick-pocketing and sleeping rough. For him to be where he is - a professional boxer with a record of twenty nine wins and a title challenge coming up - is a great turnaround.

Back to the movie:

Jamie Fox will play the adult Lamont Peterson, with the script written by the creators of the Wire. Ving Rhames takes the part of his trainer Barry Hunter, the man who met eleven-year old Lamont and introduced him to boxing.

After training in the gym, Hunter used take Lamont and Anthony to the Taco Bell, where they’d fill up on cheap Mexican food. A deep bond was forged - who wouldn't want to be friends with a guy who buys you Taco Bell?

Like Rocky, but Without the Bad Hairdo

It would fit the story sweetly if this were Lamont Peterson’s first title shot, but it isn’t. ‘Havoc’ won the interim WBO Light Welterweight belt in 2009 with a TKO win over Wille Blain. Eight months later he fought Timothy Bradley for the real thing in a ‘one 0 must go’ fight.

It was a fight of firsts for Peterson – his first knockdown, from a third round overhand right, and his first loss. Bradley, fighting in front of a hero-worshipping home crowd, outpointed Peterson in the late rounds to get a unanimous decision win.

Lamont Peterson did what good fighters do and put the fight in his experience bank. Twelve months later he came up against another young star, Victor Ortiz. You might have heard a bit about him lately. They fought twelve rounds, with Peterson hitting the floor twice, and the fight ended in a draw. Again he was glad of the experience.

This brings us up to date, with the biggest fight of Lamont Peterson's career hours away. Now we have to ask a question:

Can Lamont Peterson beat Amir Khan?

Amir Khan is expected to win tonight. The Bolton-born kid is being steered through a Freddie Roach career path, with the ultimate aim of beating Floyd Mayweather. Peterson is not thought of as an obstacle.

Khan will do what he does best – throw a thousand fists per round.  Judges lap up his volume of punches like cats on a spillage in the milk aisle. Early on in his career, not many of these landed clean but Freddie Roach has tightened up this part of his game and Amir Khan is more precise with his barrages. Peterson will have to look busy himse if he is to keep up.

When asked about Amir Khan’s punch volume,  Lamont Peterson said
“I won’t let him out-punch me. I think I’ll land the cleaner shots.”

Lamont Peterson vs Amir Khan: Mr. Khan Goes to Washington

Lamont Peterson Amir Khan is a hometown fight for Peterson
Amir Khan is a stranger on Lamont Peterson’s home turf. And this isn’t any old home turf, it’s the capital of the USA, home of the free and base-camp of Barack Obama. Peterson will have the collective power of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt behind him and he’s going to have the Whitehouse looming in the background. With this kind of power, Peterson will feel he can’t lose.

Really though, I can’t look past Khan for this fight. It will last the full twelve rounds but the judges will give King Khan the win. If the unexpected does happen and Peterson gets his own Rocky moment, I hope he says something quotable, for the sake of his future film.

For more fights beside Lamont Peterson vs Amir Khan click here.