Khan got caught up in the hype

Amir Khan
Amir Khan
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It is no good Amir Khan’s camp bleating about his shock world title defeat in America at the weekend.

I am afraid the Bolton man made the classic mistake of getting carried away with all the big talk of a 2012 showdown with Floyd Mayweather.

He needed to be thinking of the very real and present danger presented by the under-rated Lamont Peterson – especially as the American was fighting in Washington DC where he grew up in grinding poverty on the streets.

Khan should have known things might easily go wrong in his opponent’s backyard when he signed to fight there.

And in a thrilling battle, it did… horribly.

The British boxer thought his speed and class would be enough.

He believed the publicity machine of his promoters Golden Boy, who fed the media stories of how their man was destined to become boxing’s pound-for-pound king.

It made great copy last week – but the reality in the ring was very different.

Khan ran into a determined foe, a hostile crowd and a hopeless referee in Joe Cooper who nonetheless correctly deducted two crucial points for fouls.

‘I was fighting two men in there – Peterson and the referee,’ moaned Amir.

Without those deductions, Khan would have held on to his titles, and he was denied an extra point when the inept Cooper ignored a second knockdown in the first round.

But our man did so much shoving and pushing down on his opponent he was always asking for trouble.

It was a naïve and tactically-erratic display, in which he allowed Peterson to bully and drag him into the trenches too often.

Impossible to think the likes of Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Rafael Marquez – the fighters Khan is now being compared to – having that much trouble with Peterson.

While this fight showed that Khan may still be short of elite level, it was exciting enough to widen his appeal to American TV and fight fans.

The loss is not catastrophic, but will set him back a year or so.

Khan is still a very good fighter who will learn from this and I would back him to win a rematch with Peterson.

Meanwhile, I will be in Atlantic City on Saturday for another Anglo-American clash.

Nottingham’s Carl Froch meets unbeaten Andre Ward in the final of ‘Super Six’ world super-middleweight series.

Ward, a former Olympic champion who has not lost since he was 12 years old, starts as the favourite.

He is technically gifted and mentally strong.

But Froch is an old-school tough nut with heavy hands, total self-belief and an uncanny knack of finding a way to prevail.

Ward’s skills make him a likely points winner in what may be another memorable affair.