Boxer Lamont Peterson asks WBA to overturn order of immediate rematch with Amir Khan
By Gene Wang
Junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson has taken another step in trying to end Amir Khan’s protests over what Khan’s camp alleged were improprieties in judging and officiating during their Dec. 10 title bout at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Jeff Fried, the attorney representing Peterson, faxed and e-mailed paperwork to the World Boxing Association on Wednesday afternoon urging the sanctioning body to overturn its decision last week ordering an immediate rematch. The WBA issued its ruling after Khan and his Golden Boy Promotions team filed an appeal in the wake of Khan’s loss to Peterson via 12-round split decision.
Khan decried the outcome of the fight, citing referee Joe Cooper’s deduction of two points without warning and outside interference with the judging at ringside. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer reiterated those charges in a news conference shortly after the bout and applauded the WBA’s decision during a telephone interview on Friday.
Immediately after learning of the WBA’s ruling, Peterson’s team sent correspondence to the International Boxing Federation, which was set to hear Khan’s appeal on Wednesday. But before the IBF could rule, Golden Boy withdrew its appeal to that sanctioning body, thus clearing the way for Peterson to receive that belt.
“We are extremely pleased that Golden Boy and Amir Khan withdrew their protest with the IBF,” Barry Hunter, Peterson’s trainer, said in a statement. “As we have said all along, we were not going to be forced to make a decision by one person or entity, and we will continue to do what is in the best interest of Lamont Peterson.”
Peterson’s camp now has shifted its focus to the WBA, calling on the sanctioning body to reconsider its decision because of concerns with “internal procedures undertaken by the WBA and apparent unilateral decisions and communication with Khan’s representatives,” according to paperwork submitted by District-based Fried & Company.
The letter charges the WBA with ignoring communications from Peterson’s team and cited a 1982 legal ruling, “Duva v. World Boxing Association,” in which the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., addressed the WBA’s “logically absurd” interpretations of the WBA rules and the lack of due process.
The letter also dismissed as baseless Khan’s protests that included ring announcer Michael Buffer privately claiming Khan won the fight; judges miscalculating the scorecards; and a mystery man at ringside later identified as Mustafa Ameen affecting the outcome.
“The Peterson team did not appreciate Khan’s efforts of trying to dictate the direction of Lamont’s career,” Fried said. “Barry always stated that all he wanted was for Lamont to enjoy the world title during the holiday season with his family without being forced to react based on anyone else’s timetable or demands. That was accomplished, and now the focus turns to making the most prudent decision for Lamont’s career.”
With the IBF belt secure, Peterson could elect to vacate the WBA title if it doesn’t rescind its order for an immediate rematch. Hunter said through Fried, though, that if Peterson were to grant Khan a rematch, the District would be an ideal site.
Peterson also has been mentioned as a prospective opponent for a fight against Manny Pacquiao in June. Pacquiao’s camp reportedly has narrowed the list of challengers to four, with Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez the other possibilities.
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