Khan repeats calls for loss to Peterson to be overturned

December 20, 2011

Dethroned by D.C. native Lamont Peterson on Dec. 10, former super lightweight champion Amir Khan on Tuesday repeated calls for the decision to be overturned or for the sanctioning bodies to mandate an immediate rematch.

The split decision, following a fight in which referee Joe Cooper deducted two points from Khan for pushing, so incensed Khan’s handlers that they filed official appeals to both sanctioning bodies, and during a conference call Tuesday afternoon, Khan reiterated his position.

“I think the IBF and WBA should order a rematch in my opinion and also look at the fight the way it was refereed,” Khan said during a conference call while on a train to London. “Let’s just see where we go from here. Overall, it was a great performance from Lamont Peterson also. We both were happy with the way we fought, but the referee and the judging just spoiled a great night of boxing.”

Cooper deducted a point from Khan in the seventh and 12th rounds that Khan and his team insist came without customary warning. Cooper, however, warned Peterson repeatedly, Khan’s camp said, for coming in low with his head but did not issue a penalty.

Richard Schaefer, chief executive officer of Golden Boy Promotions, which handles Khan’s publicity, also questioned circumstances that unfolded immediately after the fight. The suspicious activity, Schaefer said, included judges taking an exceptionally long time after the fight to pick the winner; judge George Hill’s card showing 10-10 for the seventh round and later changed to 10-8 in favor of Peterson; and the disappearance of an IBF scorecard that had the fight as a draw.

Schaefer said he spoke to IBF Champions Chairman Lindsay Tucker on Monday morning about the incident and was told the IBF supervisor at the fight said the card had vanished. Schaefer also said Tucker told him it appeared to the IBF supervisor that the D.C. boxing commission removed the card while Peterson was in the ring receiving the belt.

“Then suddenly two days ago, an IBF scorecard appeared,” Schaefer said. “It looks as if it was made up after the fact. No question about it. Or it was made two days ago. The printing was way too neat and consistent, not consistent with what usually a scorecard looks like. We’re just outlining the facts here. There clearly is some smoke.”

Khan’s camp initially sent the IBF a letter stating its disapproval of the refereeing and judging, and the IBF responded by saying it did not see grounds to overturn the decision. Khan’s team then filed an official appeal that Schaefer said is set to be heard in New York on Jan. 19. Khan’s team is still awaiting an official reply from the WBA.

Peterson, meantime, has not announced an official rematch. Peterson said after the fight that he was willing to fight Khan again, and Schaefer said he approached Barry Hunter, Peterson’s trainer, with a seven-figure offer for a bout at Staples Center on May 19. The process of setting up a rematch, though, appears on hold pending rulings from the IBF and WBA.

Peterson’s camp said he is taking some time away from the ring to rest and enjoy the spoils of his new championships. Among the events on his schedule are receiving the key to the city from Mayor Vincent Gray on Thursday and serving along with his brother Anthony as grand marshals for the Martin Luther King day parade Jan. 16.

“It is not our style to complain about what goes on in the ring,” Hunter said. “We look forward to Lamont defending the IBF and WBA world championship belts for many years to come. As I have said all along, what we want is for this young man to take a week or so and enjoy his daughter and his family and his accomplishment in the ring on December 10.”

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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