Khan’s fourth contest in the United States is on HBO, the principal home of
major boxing events here, while in the UK, his team have wisely taken the
sanguine business decision of returning Khan to the screens of Sky Sports.
Timing is everything in sport, and Khan has the backing of both powerful
Kery Davis, senior vice-president of HBO’s sports programming, said on Friday:
“Khan has ambition. He has greed. He wants to be the best fighter in the
world. He wants to be at the level of Pacquiao and Mayweather.
“Great qualities. In sport, greed is good. Michael Jordan didn’t wake up and
say he wanted to be a good NBA player, he wanted to be the best NBA player.
“Will he [Khan] achieve it? We don’t know yet, but he’s telegenic, he’s got
the qualities, the charisma and the attitude. It’s not just about winning.
It’s about winning in exciting fights, beating the contenders … just like
Khan could not be in better hands. Roach, Khan’s trainer, named this week as
an inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, said: “Amir will
become a star in America. Yes, he has the ‘Pretty Boy’ Oscar de la Hoya
look, which fans like, but the bottom line is that boxing fans care that you
give them action.
“Amir likes to get into exchanges with his opponent, and to entertain. That’s
what really excites fans about fighters. That quality of ‘wanting to
exchange’ is innate. You can’t teach it.
“In the last year, Amir has grown from a boy into a man. He’s humble, but the
best thing about Amir is his dedication and work ethic. Pacquiao has rubbed
off on him.
“There are a string of great fights for him out there, and with those fights
will come a huge profile in the United States.”
Veteran promoter Don Chargin, 83, who is in DC this week, concurs. “He’s
great. He’s got that X factor, as you’d say in the UK. He’s a genuine
fighter with charisma, and Americans love that.”
Even Arum, rival promoter to Khan’s US handlers – De la Hoya’s Golden Boy
Promotions – reckons the Bolton fighter is destined for stardom. “He has all
the qualities you need as a guy you want to promote. Got the lot.”
So, to the fight. Barry Hunter, Peterson’s highly-respected coach, reckons
this contest could be a candidate for Fight of the Year.
“Amir is a courageous guy. He throws a lot of punches. So, he doesn’t mind
mixing it up a little bit. On the flip side, Lamont is very tactical, very
technical. Both of these guys have big, big hearts. They will lay it all on
the line. It will be tactical early, exciting late,” he explained.
Hometown advantage may count at the margins, but Khan’s speed should be too
much for the 27 year-old American. My prediction is a wide points decision,
or late stoppage for Khan.
De la Hoya, Khan’s promoter, is convinced we are witnessing the sport’s
greatest rising boxing star. “Sure, Peterson is a tough assignment, but
exactly the kind of assignment for Amir to show that he is just too good.
“He reminds me of how I was at his age – enthusiastic, fearless, wanting to
fight the best, ready for the toughest challenges. This is the beginning of
‘his time’ now. Mark my words.”
Article source: http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568303/s/1ad04f99/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Csport0Cothersports0Cboxing0C89470A0A70CAmir0EKhan0Eready0Eto0Ebe0EAmericas0Enext0Ebox0Eoffice0Estar0Eif0Ehe0Ebeats0ELamont0EPeterson0Bhtml/story01.htm