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Khan: I was two points down before the first bell

AMIR Khan claims he began Saturday’s ill-fated world title fight with Lamont Peterson (pictured) two points down before the first bell even rang.

The dethroned light-welterweight star is lodging a complaint through the official channels after seeing local man Peterson snatch his WBA and IBF light-welterweight belts with a split decision win in Washington at the weekend.

Khan is unhappy not only with referee Joseph Cooper deducting him a point on two occasions for pushing but also with the judges’ scoring of the fight.

He looks set to secure an immediate rematch on March 31 – though it is likely to be in a deal agreed between all parties rather than mandated by the governing bodies.

That would mean Khan will be forced to accept far more modest terms than he commanded for Saturday’s fight and his calls for the rematch to be held in Britain will fall on deaf ears.

Khan, who claimed he felt he was up against two men in the ring, said: “In my eyes the referee was a bit on his side and it’s true what Bernard Hopkins (veteran light-heavyweight champion) said that when you come to DC, to someone’s hometown, you are two points down before the fight starts. I think that’s what happened.

“Peterson won the fight but I’m ready for the rematch. I came to DC so now let’s take the fight to the UK and see if he has got the same balls as me.

“We all know who won the fight. I’ve even had a few of the commissioners coming up to me and saying that was disgusting.”

Khan – who lost after two judges awarded the contest to Peterson with scores of 113-112 – under-performed badly at the George E Washington Convention Center but preferred to focus on a perceived injustice, blaming referee Cooper’s decision to dock him a point on two occasions while also disputing the judges’ scoring of the bout.

Indeed, there was an air of confusion at the end of the fight as ring announcer Michael Buffer not only read out an incorrect score but also wrongly announced Peterson’s method of victory as a majority decision rather than a split decision.