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Lamont Peterson Wins Super Lightweight World Championship.

Gary "Digital" Williams | 12/15/2011, 2:11 p.m.
Newly crowned Lightweight Champion of the World Lamont Patterson (District of Columbia) wearing his newly acquired belts is elevated in the air by his training staff so fans can admire him. Patterson won the split-decision against the former champion Amir Khan (England) on Sat. Dec.10 at Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C./Photo by John E. De Freitas

Add Lamont Peterson's 12-round, split decision victory over Amir Khan to the list of great championship bouts that were controversial in nature.

The two championship-caliber boxers put on a fight-of-the-year caliber performance that thrilled the 8,467 in attendance at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. and a world-wide television audience on HBO in the United States and Sky Sports in England.

Khan's hand speed and maneuverability set the tone for the first two rounds. Peterson seemed to have trouble catching up to Khan which led to a right hand dropping Peterson midway through the first round. Peterson eventually regrouped and by the third round was starting a solid body attack that paid heavy dividends.

At times, Peterson's body shots made Khan hang on to Peterson to keep from following. By the midway point in the bout, Peterson was adding solid uppercuts to his arsenal to get Khan off of him.

The first turning point in the bout came in the seventh round when referee Joe Cooper deducted a point from Khan for pushing. This seemed to let Peterson back into the fight as it negated the 10-8 round won by Khan in the first round. Peterson took full advantage of the opportunity winning three of the next four rounds on the scorecards of judges George Hill and Valerie Dorsett. Judge Nelson Vasquez gave rounds 9-11 to Khan.

Then came the 12th round and Cooper's gutsy move to take another point from the now-former champion for pushing. While many would have liked to have seen the boxers decide the bout, Cooper, known as a take-charge type of referee in beltway boxing circles, made the call without hesitation. The infraction turned a round that all three judges thought Khan won into a 9-9 round that made the ultimate difference in the scorecards.

Peterson, the new WBA/IBF Super Lightweight champion is now 30-1-1, 15 KO's while Khan is 26-2, 18 KO's.

In the co-feature, undefeated Brandywine, Md. heavyweight Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell made a serious statement that he is ready to join the higher echelon of the heavyweight division with a thunderous second-round stoppage of heavyweight contender Timur Ibragimov of Uzbekistan.

Mitchell pummeled Ibragimov with right hands for the entire bout until Ibragimov's corner stopped the contest at 2:48 of the second round. Mitchell is now 24-0-1, 17 KO's while Ibragimov, who was stopped for the first time in his career, is now 30-4-1, 16 KO's.

Lamont Peterson's brother, Anthony, was solid in his eight-round unanimous decision victory over fellow D.C. boxer Daniel "The Prophet" Attah. Anthony Peterson was dominant in his battle with the former world title challenger, winning by shutout on all three cards.

Other Khan-Peterson notes: A number of personalities were spotted in the crowd. All four "Beltway Boxers" who shared world titles at the same time in 1996 - Sharmba Mitchell, Keith Holmes, William Joppy and newly-elected International Boxing Hall of Famer Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson - were there along with number one ranked heavyweight contender Tony "The Tiger" Thompson as well as Adrian "The Problem" Broner. Also in the crowd was Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin.

Peterson is the first D.C. boxer to win a world title in his hometown since Holmes and Johnson did the feat on the same card in April of 1999 at the MCI (now Verizon) Center. Holmes defeated Hacine Cherifi to win back his WBC Middleweight title while Johnson won a decision over Ratanachai Vorapin to capture the IBF Super Flyweight title. (For more boxing photos visit www.informerphotos.com.)