Beaten Khan left to ponder rematch offer

CRESTFALLEN Amir Khan lamented the performance of referee Joseph Cooper after he slipped to the second defeat of his career at the hands of American Lamont Peterson, which prompted his management team to call for an investigation into the way the fight was scored.

Khan was deducted two points, one crucially in the final round for pushing, and was forced to surrender his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles following a split-decision that went the way of Peterson, fighting in his hometown of Washington.

The Brit made an explosive start to the contest, knocking his opponent to the canvas in the opening round, but Peterson recovered and impressed the judges, who scored the bout in 113-112, 113-112, 111-114 in his favour, with blistering attacks in the third and seventh, not that Khan agreed with the verdict.

“It was like I was against two people in there – the referee and Lamont himself,” said the former Olympic silver medallist (right).

“Every time he was coming into me he kept putting his head low. I was the cleaner fighter – he was so wild in there. I had to push him away because his head was coming so low.”

Those sentiments were echoed by the Briton’s management - Team Khan - and promoters, Golden Boy, issued a statement in which they also welcomed Peterson’s desire to agree a rematch.

The statement read: “Following the decision in the fight, Team Khan and Golden Boy Promotions intends to make inquiries with the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission, the IBF and the WBA regarding the performance of referee Joseph Cooper and will also be seeking clarification regarding certain ambiguities with respect to the scores of the fight.

“We look forward to an immediate rematch with Lamont as confirmed by Lamont and his manager/trainer Barry Hunter.”

● A rematch against Peterson looks the most likely scenario, although a defeat would have catastrophic ramifications. On the flip side, a victory would set-up the intriguing prospect of a trilogy.

● Khan has unfinished business with Breidis Prescott, the man who scored a shock first round knockout win over him in 2008. The Colombian would surely accept another crack at the former champion to help reinvigorate his own career.

● Defeat, however controversial, has seen any plans of a superfight against Floyd Mayweather shelved as well as any move up to the welterweight division.