A sellout crowd of about 9,100 is expected at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the U.S. capital as Washington native and top contender Lamont Peterson faces junior welterweight champion Amir Khan on Saturday night.
Khan (26-1, 18 knockouts) is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, but he might be facing the toughest opponent of his career in Peterson (29-1-1, 15 knockouts).
Since Khan's impressive victory against Marcos Maidana last year, Khan has become among the most prolific boxers today. The Bolton, England, native is looking for a convincing victory over Peterson as a potential bout with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. may await next year.
I'm confident I can outbox anyone, Khan told the Los Angeles Times. He's going to think he needs to do that to win, but I promise you, he can't outbox me. I'm taller, stronger, faster, and have a lot more ring smarts. If he gets hurt, I'm going to finish him off.
Khan, 25, is a very fast boxer who has developed an excellent jab, and is effective at lunging into opponents and delivering damaging body shots. His combinations are sometimes devastating, and they often throw off the pace of his opponent. If there is a knock against Khan, it is his defense. As Maidana proved, Khan is hittable, although he has a better chin than some critics might believe.
Khan will be defending his belt against a quality defensive opponent, and a more formidable boxer than his last fight against Zab Judah.
Peterson, 27, is a powerful and patient boxer. He has never defeated a big-name opponent, but went the distance with Tim Bradley, who is considered another elite pound-for-pound fighter.
In the 2009 bout with Bradley, Peterson appeared tentative. Still, he is regarded as a highly skilled fighter, who is capable of doing damage when he mixes up his formations and punches.
Peterson is a good, consistent body puncher, said ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas. [Peterson] is good technically and mentally.
The problem with Peterson is that he often lets his opponent dictate the pace, and he hasn't progressed to where many expected him to be at this point. It is possible that Saturday's fight, in front of his friends and family, could rejuvenate his career.
Peterson has described his bout with Khan as the biggest of his career.
Khan was at one point a 12-1 favorite.
The fighters weighed in on Friday. Khan weighed 139 pounds, while Peterson came in at 140.