DC Commission Chairman on Ref controversy and talk he had with Roach before the fight
EXCLUSIVE Q&A: D.C. COMMISSION CHAIRMAN IRVING ON KHAN-PETERSON
Washington, D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission Chairman Scottie Irving offered this Q&A perspective on Saturday night's HBO-televised split-decision upset victory by RING's No. 6-rated challenger Lamont Peterson over English-born, RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight Amir Khan, who was dethroned as WBA and IBF beltholder at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Click here for round-by-round live blog.
A volunteer with the commission who owns a construction company, Irving was ringside as Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) edged Khan (26-2, 18 KOs), winning, 113-112, on the cards of judges George Hill of New Jersey and Valerie Dorsett of North Carolina, and, losing, 115-110, on that of Nelson Vazquez of Puerto Rico.
Khan was deducted one point each during the the seventh and 12th rounds of a fight officiated by Virginia's Joe Cooper, who was chosen by the commission from a list of four judges provided by the IBF, according to the organization's Championships Chairman, Lindsay Tucker.
Khan was penalized for pushing Peterson's head down in the seventh, and for shoving Peterson away in the 12th. Others on the list of referees provided by the IBF included New Jersey's Eddie Cotton, Pennsylvania's Ernest Sharif and Michigan's Sam Williams.
The three judges were chosen from a list of eight names provided by the IBF.
Among the things addressed by Irving in his first interview since the fight are the length of time it took for the scorecards to be delivered to the ring for the verdict to be announced by Michael Buffer, the notion that there was a scoring descrepancy on one of the official cards and the fouling calls against Khan.
******.com: What are some of the things that you would like to clear up about Saturday night's Peterson-Khan fight?
Scottie Irving: One of the things that I would like to clarify is that, for me, the first round knockdown? There were two in the first round. I don't think that the second one should have been called a knockdown.
I think that it was more of a slip. From the commission's standpoint, that was a slip, and not a knockdown. At the final press conference on Wednesday, I said that we wanted to have a clean fight and a technically sound fight.
I said that I wanted them to listen to the referee. I stressed that point a lot. I just think that maybe Khan didn't really pay attention to that point that we were trying to stress at the commission about that.
I also had a conversation with Khan's trainer, Freddie Roach, about elbows and pushing. It was just a one-on-one conversation between us about that.
I had that conversation with Freddie when the guys went and they worked out on the Tuesday before the fight at the Kennedy Recreation Center.
I had that conversation after that workout because I had seen one or two things from Khan during that workout with some elbows from Khan.
After he throws his left hook, he likes to follow up with the elbow. So I had a conversation about that with Roach.
******.com: Are you saying that you saw Khan using elbows during the fight?
SI: Oh, yes. After the review, I saw Khan constantly use that elbow. I saw him constantly push off with that. And any good fighter knows that if you push off with that elbow enough, you get bruising on the other fighter.
That's if you hit him in the right spot. That's how cuts take place.
******.com: What are your thoughts on the referee, Cooper's, enforcement of the rules?
SI: I have not talked to the referee. The referee is in Las Vegas at the WBC's convention. I think that he was just trying to enforce the boxing rules.
Not my rules, not the commission's rules. But just the rules of boxing and the rules of engagement.
******.com: What is your response to people who say that Peterson's victory was the result of homecooking, with Cooper being from Virginia, and, as such, being viewed by some as a local referee?
SI: Well, it was an IBF/WBA fight, so they picked the referee. [Note: IBF Championships Chairmain Lindsay Tucker's assertion above.] Did they pick a local referee for their air-travel expenses because they evaluated it or assessed it, then that's what they did.
We didn't pick the referee. They did. They picked the judges. They brought in judges that we have never seen before. So their guys judged the fight and refereed the fight. That wasn't of our doing.
The only thing that we were looking for as a commission was a great fight. A sound fight. That's what we were looking for, and that's what we sanctioned. Cooper is a referee for the IBF.
******.com: Can you address the scoring discrepancy on one of the judges' cards, which, according to Golden Boy Promotions' President, Oscar De La Hoya, was the one from Vazquez that awarded the victory to Khan?
SI: Yes. They wanted me to review the cards. They were so persistant that we review the cards. They were so persistant and their guys were so adamant that I said, "O.K."
Bernard Hopkins and I had a talk, and I had a talk with Oscar De La Hoya. And I said that only you two guys can come in while we review the card. So we reviewed the card.
And, honestly speaking, Oscar can tell you this, and Bernard Hopkins can tell you this, that they didn't find the error, I found the error in the 10th round. The 10th-round was recorded 10-10.
We went back over that and that's how we got it to 115-110 rather than 114-111. I found that in the 10th round. The other two out of the three were fine.
******.com: Why did it take so long to get the cards into the ring for Buffer to deliver the verdict?
SI: I think that we were just making sure that it was correct and making sure that it was right, and I don't think that there should be a time consideration put on something when you're trying to get it right.
One of the things that we wanted to do was to do a quick tabulation and then get it in. It's a world title fight, and so just to get it in so quickly and be wrong or have to re-calculate something, that does neither one of the fighters justice.
******.com: What is your overall assessment of the way the night went?
SI: You know, it was a great fight. I think that if people look at the past four or five big fights, including Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito, all of these fights lately have had some form of controversy.
They've been tight and they've been good fights, and they've been refereed a little bit harder. They've been judged a little bit harder. But this fight fits right into that. If you go to HBO and look at the last three fights, there's been a little controversy behind all of them.
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
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I didn't get any hint of hometown cookin in this fight. I thought the ref sucked big time but I wasn't really up in arms with the decision. Good fight, Khan lost, it happens.
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So they warned about this days before the fight and yet he Still refuses to listen! Wow khan only has himself to blame for his loss.
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