Khan Army make presence felt in DC, de la Hoya, Roach, Hunter and Hopkins talk about Peterson fight

9 Dec

Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham

The status of an away fighter is sometimes seen to be a burden as the enemy’s home territory can provide a rousing atmosphere that influences the fistic action inside the ring, however, on December 10, at the Washington Convention Center in DC, British boxer Amir Khan takes on home-town favourite Lamont Peterson and is unencumbered by the prospect of fighting away from home as he has attracted a global following with an ever-loyal British-Asian support.

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The Khan Army in Las Vegas for Amir's fifth round KO of Zab Judah. Credit: S.Verbeek - Maple Avenue Boxing Gym

Khan (26-1-0, 18ko) has long been gathering a vocal fanbase who have been raucous when the Briton boxes at home and are not averse to leaving Blighty for foreign canvas in order to cheer their man.

There is a saying in Khan’s homeland that, when it comes to sport (and in particular, football/soccer), a good support can act like an extra man. In football, like a 12th man… something that, in the past, has perhaps even aided Khan’s local club, Bolton Wanderers, and something they may well rely upon if they are to leave the relegation zone in the Premier League this season. In boxing, on the other hand, it can act as an extra second and is a factor his opponent has already noted.

“Khan has got his army here, so we really need DC to come out and represent!” Peterson (29-1-1, 15ko) said today, Friday.

The American, a respectable boxer-puncher, bashed up and knocked out Victor Cayo in the final round of a July thriller in Las Vegas to move into a mandatory challenger position with the IBF. Khan – who holds both the IBF and WBA championship belts at super lightweight – not only honoured that status by accepting the fight, but took on Peterson in Washington.

A 2004 silver medal Olympian, Khan became a professional protege of Oliver Harrison all the way up until 2008 when he switched trainers to Jorge Rubio. The unfamiliarity with a new coach, together with his well-documented struggle to make the lightweight limit of 135lbs, may have been a dual cause for his upset defeat to Breidis Prescott later in the same year. Whilst he has long had natural assets such as speed and power, it is his career that has been rebuilt since benefiting from the Wildcard Boxing Club tutelage of Freddie Roach.

This is not lost on Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya: “When Amir Khan won the Silver Medal in 2004, he already looked like a seasoned veteran. He had tremendous speed, power and foot work.”

And, for Roach, boxing in DC is personal. The acclaimed coach said: “I fought here on March 1 in 1986. Darryl Tyson kicked my butt, but we’re gonna change that in the upcoming fight. Amir Khan is really ready. We had a great training camp.”

Barry Hunter, who has guided Peterson’s career since he was a kid, commented: “It’s not often that you have someone like Amir take a fight in the other person’s hometown when you can have a fight anywhere else in the planet, but he chose DC, so he deserves all the thanks and praise in the world.”

Bernard Hopkins, a partner at Golden Boy, opined this week that Khan could claim a kayo within eight rounds, but sent a message to both headlining fighters: “Amir and Lamont, this is your time to shine. This is your opportunity to build your own legacy and your own careers starting Saturday.”

The championship bout will have both of Khan’s world titles on the line. It will likely be Amir’s last appearance within the confines of the super lightweight division before he leaves for welterweight challenges.

Related article: Khan elaborates on the ‘grow some balls’ diss he barbed Bradley with

Related article: Peterson’s trainer Hunter not focusing on volume-punching Khan’s supposed frail chin

Related article: Khan is a ‘hustle fighter’ but I’m the toughest he’s fought – Peterson

Related article: Prospective heavyweight ‘saviour’ Seth Mitchell should expect ‘war’ from Ibragimov

Related article: If Hopkins spars in January it proves to me his injury is a fake job – Iceman Scully

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3 Responses to “Khan Army make presence felt in DC, de la Hoya, Roach, Hunter and Hopkins talk about Peterson fight”

  1. Amir Khan's Weigh In f/ Khan's Army December 10, 2011 at 2:49 am #

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  1. Khan Army make presence felt in DC, de la Hoya, Roach, Hunter and Hopkins talk about Peterson fight « On The Beak - December 9, 2011

    […] Khan Army make presence felt in DC, de la Hoya, Roach, Hunter and Hopkins talk about Peterson f… […]

  2. On The Beak boxing news: 2011 « On The Beak - January 10, 2012

    […] Khan Army make presence felt in DC, de la Hoya, Roach, Hunter and Hopkins talk about Peterson fight […]

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