Khan denies being distracted by thoughts of Mayweather

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Amir Khan maintains he was fully focused on Lamont Peterson going into last weekend’s bout in Washington and is now thinking only of a rematch at a neutral venue early next year.

Khan lost both his WBA and IBF light-welterweight world titles in a controversial split decision defeat to local fighter Peterson at the Walter E Washington Convention Center in the early hours of Sunday morning. The Bolton boxer had hoped to move up to welterweight after the contest, with a view to taking on the likes of the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Those plans are now on hold, and while he still intends to pursue them at a later date, Khan is adamant he was not preoccupied in the run-up to the meeting with Peterson by thoughts of the future.

“We were focused on Lamont Peterson 100 per cent,” said Khan. “We knew it was going to be a tough fight and we didn’t look past it.

“Every fighter has ambitions and you want to face the best fighters in the world.

“My ambition is to fight someone like Floyd Mayweather and that will probably be the highest point of my career.

“That is still there for me – he is the guy out there to beat and that is still what we want to do. But whoever is put in front of me, 100 per cent I am focused on that opponent.

“The only thing I am looking at now is a rematch. It is going to keep me in this division for one more fight, then I will move up to 147lbs.”

Initially there was talk of a rematch in the UK, but Khan yesterday expressed doubt at that prospect and suggested that meeting at a neutral venue – such as Las Vegas – would be preferable anyway given his grievances at what happened at the weekend. The 25-year-old admits he made mistakes by allowing himself to be dragged into a scrap by Peterson, yet maintains that he did enough overall to win the fight and blamed referee Joseph Cooper’s decision to dock him a point for pushing on two occasions for the outcome.

Khan also disputed the judges’ scoring of the bout, and with his team making official complaints to the relevant authorities about those matters, the Lancastrian wants the rematch to be organised in a way that leaves no room for speculation about partisanship.

“We want the rematch just to settle the score, and this time somewhere neutral – maybe Vegas,” Khan said.

“I don’t think he will come to the UK. I’m happy to fight him early next year, either March or May, and I’ve left it to Golden Boy (Promotions) to get that fight for me.

“I think anywhere but DC will be perfect.”