WASHINGTON D.C. - A pair of point deductions ultimately cost Amir Khan his WBA and IBF light welterweight titles, as Lamont Peterson overcame a first-round knockdown to score a split decision win Saturday night.
Referee Joe Cooper chopped a point off Khan's scorecard in both the seventh and 12th rounds because of excessive pushing. Khan fended off Peterson in the seventh, but was charged with a penalty after extending his forearms and moving the Washington, DC native back. It happened again in the final round, this one less obvious.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) won 113-112 on two scorecards, while the other judge had it 115-110 in favor of Khan (26-2, 18 KOs).
After the fight, Khan, who was making the sixth defense of his WBA title, seemed to blame Cooper for the loss. Peterson offered a rematch.
Khan, who has fought outside his home country of England in four of his last five bouts, was given credit for one knockdown in the first round, although Peterson went down twice. The first time Peterson hit the canvas, his feet got tangled up with Cooper and it was ruled a slip. Then, with less than 30 seconds left in the round, Khan pelted his opponent with a right to the face, and Peterson tripped over Khan's feet to the ground.
Peterson, though, rallied with some nice shots and stunned Khan with a solid right two rounds later. Khan was retreating in that third round, and the two continued to trade barbs amidst the controversial calls from Cooper in rounds seven and 12.