RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight and IBF/WBA beltholder Amir Khan was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, taking in the sights of the nation’s capitol in advance of Saturday’s HBO-televised defense of his belts against RING No. 6-rated counterpart Lamont Peterson at the Washington Convention Center.
Called “one of Britain’s greatest boxing champions,” by British Embassy representative Philip Barton recently, Khan visited The White House, the United States Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.
“I’ve always wanted to fight in the capitol, and I’ve always wanted to fight in different states to build my status in way of a professional. I want people to know who Amir Khan is. Also, it’s going to build my fan base,” said Khan, an English-born practicing Muslim of Pakistani decent who became an Olympic silver medalist in Athens at the age of 17 in 2004.
“They want to see me. It’s different watching on T.V. than watching live performances. And I want to give everyone the chance to see me fight live, and this is the best way of doing it, is to travel and fight away from where you feel comfortable fighting.”
“Capitol Showdown: Khan vs. Peterson” has the 24-year-old Khan (26-1, 18 knockouts) facing the 27-year-old Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) in his Washington, D.C., debut. And he’s doing so in the hometown of Peterson, who grew up in Washington’s Southeast section.
“It’s just the way I am. I’m not afraid to fight away from home. We could have chosen to fight in England, Manchester, or even fight in Los Angeles or Vegas again away from Lamont’s hometown and his home state,” said Khan.
“But we thought, ‘We’ll take the fight to him, and we’ll face someone who’s in the top five in the world, and he’s in the top ten and he’s ranked No. 1 in the IBF. So we’ll fight him, and once we beat him, then there are no excuses.’”