WASHINGTON (AP) — Hometown favorite Lamont Peterson had a controversial split-decision over champion Amir Khan to capture the WBA and IBF junior welterweight titles Saturday night.
Peterson, helped by referee Joe Cooper taking two points away from Khan for pushing in the seventh and 12th rounds, received scores of 113-112 on two judge's cards. The other had Khan winning 115-110.
Khan, who was favored to win in his sixth title defense, started out strongly, scoring the only knockdown in the fight late in the first round.
Peterson began his counterattack in the third round — taking the fight to Khan — and hitting him with a series of blows to the head, buckling his knee.
Spurred on by a crowd just short of a sellout in the first championship fight held in Washington since 1993, Peterson improved to 30-1-1. Khan is 26-2.
Earlier, heavyweight Seth Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KOs), a former Michigan State linebacker, improved his chance to fight for a heavyweight title with a second-round TKO of Timur Ibragimov (30-4-1, 16 KOs).