Lamont Peterson chooses Amir Khan rematch and Vegas over L.A.
World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation junior-welterweight champion Lamont Peterson will indeed give former champion Amir Khan a rematch after their controversial split decision in December.
With that move, Peterson rejects both Juan Manuel Marquez, who was aiming at a July date with Peterson at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas, and Staples Center, which had cleared May 19 for a Khan fight.
Instead, the HBO-televised bout will be held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Fight promoter Richard Schaefer said the card also will include a 140-pound bout between Argentina's Lucas Matthysse and Mexico's Humberto Soto.
Schaefer said he remained confident that Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) would choose Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) despite efforts by rival promoter Bob Arum to reunite with Peterson for a Marquez date.
"Let Arum talk," Schaefer said. "I work behind closed doors until I get the deal done, and then I announce it. Arum did a lot of talking. You can't believe everything Arum tells you."
Khan also alleged that a mystery man in a hat had influenced the judges' scoring inside the Washington arena.
"You have all of these dynamics unfold, it made for a challenging negotiation," Schaefer said, crediting Peterson's attorney for pulling the sides together. "This fight will be terrific because the first one was an action fight with controversy.
"Plus, we'll be instituting a no-hats-allowed policy for ringside at Mandalay Bay."
Yes, he was joking.
Peterson was "more comfortable" staging the bout in Las Vegas than at Staples Center, and Schaefer said he had been alerted by Staples Center officials that the NBA had been increasingly concerned about making May 19 available with both the Clippers and Lakers in playoff position this season.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Lamont Peterson punches Amir Khan during their WBA Super Lightweight and IBF Junior Welterweight title fight in Washington in December. Credit: Al Bello / Getty Images