WASHINGTON, D.C. — RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight Amir Khan celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday, and since that is the case, then it must mean that the British-born, former Olympic silvermedalist is about to win another big fight.
Khan (26-1, 18 knockouts) will take an eight-bout winning streak that includes four knockouts into Saturday night’s HBO-televised defense of his IBF and WBA belts against 27-year-old, RING No. 6-rated Lamont Peterson, (29-1-1, 15 KOs) at the Washington Convention Center.
Peterson represents perhaps the Khan’s toughest challenge since suffering his lone defeat by 54-second knockout against Breidis Prescott in September of 2008.
Khan rebounded from the lost to Prescott on Dec. 6 of that year with a second-round knockout of Oisin Fagan two days prior to his 22nd birthday.
On Dec. 5 of 2009, three days before turning 23, Khan scored a 76-second stoppage over Dmitriy Salita to make the first defense of the WBA belt he won by unanimous decision over Andriy Kotelnik in his junior welterweight debut in July of that year.
On Dec. 11 of last year, three days after his 24th birthday, Khan dropped Marcos Maidana in the first round and survived a treacherous 10th on the way to scoring a unanimous decision in The Fight of The Year.
“I always seem to have my best fights around my birthday I like to finish the year off with a big bang. I think that I’ll finish the year off well, because I’ve also been nominated for the [national sports personality award] in Britain,” said Khan.
“I think that this will keep me in the people’s minds as well, so I think that this is coming at the right time. I’ve had some really good wins in December.”
Khan is hoping for similar success against Peterson, who is 2-0-1 with two knockout victories since falling by unanimous decision to Tim Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) in December of 2009.
“I’m starting to feel old, man. But I’m still young, you know? If I had known that I would be this far ahead in my career at the age of 25, I would have thought twice about thinking that things would have happened this quickly. I thought that maybe I could be in this position when I was maybe 27 or 28,” said Khan.
“But I’ve gotten here a lot quicker than most fighters, and I’m only 25. I’m just going to take my time and continue to pick my fights. I’ve proven myself in big fights, and this is another big fight again. A lot of people don’t want to fight a Lamont Peterson, but I’m coming to his home town. That shows what type of character I have.”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org