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Wrath of Khan

Amir Khan was unimpressed with the manner of his defeat in Washington. Khan lost his light-welterweight world title to Lamont Peterson in controversial circumstances.

Some curious refereeing decisions and a long delay before the judges’ verdict was announced provoked some conspiracy theorists to suggest that the odds were stacked against the Bolton fighter attempting a title defence in Peterson’s hometown.

The judges came down 2-1 in favour of the American, and the disbelief showed on Khan’s face. Although he was far from his best form, he, and his corner, had believed he had done enough to retain the title.

"It was like I was against two people in there." Kahn said, referring to Peterson and the Washington referee Joe Cooper, who docked Khan points for pushing. That’s an unusual event in a championship bout, and more unusual in that Peterson went unpunished for his own dangerous use of the head.

"He was being effective pressuring, but I was the cleaner fighter all night,” Khan said, obviously bemused by being penalised. "I'm ready for a rematch. I knew it would be tough in his hometown and maybe this was why boxing hasn't been in DC for 20 years if you get decisions like this. He was either going to head-butt me or push me down."

Khan believes he is still on course for a lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. but will have to face a rematch with Peterson first – and hope for kinder judges and refereeing. The fight is likely to be in Las Vegas on March 31.

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