Team Peterson Responds to Golden Boy and Khan Decision to Withdraw IBF Protest
Washington, DC-In a stunning announcement yesterday evening Amir Khan, through his promoter Golden Boy Promotions, withdrew his protest with the IBF ending his efforts to force an immediate rematch against World Champion, Lamont Peterson. The Peterson team aggressively responded with sound and factual supporting documentation to each of the various accusations which Khan used to dispute his loss of the World Championship to Peterson. This also included an unfounded allegation that a "mystery man" at ringside affected the outcome of the bout.
Other allegations by Khan were against the referee's actions during the bout and the calculation of the scorecards by the judges as part of the reason he was declared the loser of the bout. Khan and Golden Boy vigorously used the media in efforts to further advance their argument, while Team Peterson responded with the facts and remained firm that they would not permit these tactics to detract from the Jr. Welterweight World Championship Lamont earned in the ring.
"We are extremely pleased that Golden Boy and Amir Khan withdrew their protest with the IBF. 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," said Barry Hunter the Manager and Trainer of Lamont Peterson.
"The Peterson team continuously responded to each of Khan's accusations and the absurdity of the claims. Our reply addressed the rules and also Khan’s inability to make adjustments and his performance in the ring, as opposed to placing blame on almost everyone associated with the bout,” added Hunter.
Team Peterson feels this development serves as a form of vindication as it relates to the ruling of the IBF that Lamont is the IBF Junior Welterweight Champion of the World. Furthermore, this ruling essentially turns back the clock to December 11th and provides a number of options for Lamont to explore as he continues his professional boxing career.
Although rumors have surfaced that we are now in negotiations for a Peterson vs. Kahn rematch in Washington DC, at this time there are no open negotiations for this bout. The Peterson team’s focus is on the WBA’s decision mandating an immediate rematch. A comprehensive written appeal has been submitted to the WBA and we are confident that the WBA will overturn its decision mandating an immediate rematch and recognize Lamont Peterson as the true and final WBA Jr. Welterweight World Champion.
"We have an open mind and look forward to Lamont's first title defense. We will discuss internally and asses every viable opportunity available. We will then make the best decision possible for the future of Lamont and his family,” Hunter stated.
Over the past month there has been an overwhelming amount of interest garnered with respect to the outcome of the championship bout; however, what is consistent is the appreciation from fans across the world in support of Lamont’s efforts as a fighter and the true World Champion.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the fans for all the positive things that I’ve read over the internet and messages received via [email protected]. I truly did not know how much support I had all over the world,” said Peterson. “Now that this is over I am ready to move on. As I said before, as champion I plan on representing both sanctioning bodies to the best of ability and that means fighting the best fighters in the world in defending my titles.”
IBF RESPONDS TO GOLDEN BOY/KHAN's WITHDRAWAL AS WELL
Springfield, NJ – It is unfortunate that in the wake of Golden Boy’s withdrawal of their appeal of the Khan-Peterson championship bout, the International Boxing Federation finds itself in a position where its integrity must be defended and the measures set forth for this appeal must be justified, when every step to provide a fair and just hearing for both parties was taken and was given the utmost importance.
Immediately, when the organization received the formal complaint from Golden Boy Promotions, the process of securing a date and a panel to hear the appeal was started. The members of the panel that were to hear the appeal were boxing officials Jack Reiss, Samuel Viruet, and Glen Feldman. All world-class officials with extensive experience in officiating boxing matches, and hardly what one would consider members of a “kangaroo court.”
The three judges who officiated the Khan-Peterson bout, Valerie Dorsett, George Hill, and Nelson Vasquez were not required to be present at the hearing. Nevertheless, at the onset of the of the allegations that arose putting into question whether the scorecards had been tampered with, the IBF sent copies of all of the individual scorecards to these three judges for confirmation that their handwriting and their signature was on all cards. Each judge responded in writing and confirmed that this was indeed the case. This, along with all information regarding the appeal, was provided in a packet that was distributed prior to the hearing date to the panelist and all parties involved in the appeal.
Referee Joe Cooper, whose performance and calls were the basis of this appeal, was also not required to be in attendance at the hearing. In an appeal hearing of this nature, the referee is not typically given the opportunity to discuss his or her actions. He or She performed their duty during the bout in question, and the purpose of the hearing is for the panel to review the referee’s performance and utilize their expertise to recommend whether or not a rematch should be ordered.
IBF Supervisor Paul Artisst, who was the assigned supervisor for the Khan-Peterson bout, was going to be in attendance at the hearing and willing to provide testimony if required. Mustafa Ameen would also have been present at the hearing to answer questions and explain why he was seated at ringside and what he was discussing with WBA Supervisor Michael Welsh.
The only person the IBF could not produce and failed in its attempt to secure his attendance for the hearing was Michael Welsh. This was explained to Arnold Joseph, the attorney representing Golden
Boy Promotions in this matter, by IBF counsel, Linda P. Torres prior to the hearing date. The IBF has no subpoena power and therefore could not compel Mr. Welsh to be present and provide testimony at the hearing. This was an unfortunate circumstance but one beyond the IBF’s control.
Furthermore, the IBF recognized the media and public interest in this matter and took steps that are not usually taken in this type of situation to provide the media with as much information possible. The hearing was closed to the media, which is typically the case, in an effort to keep all the participants focused on the issue at hand and not be distracted by cameras or who is watching. Yet, shortly before the announcement was made of the appeal having been withdrawn by Golden Boy Promotions, the IBF released to the media all the contents of the aforementioned packet distributed to the panelists and parties involved in the appeal. Included in the packet was the formal complaint from Golden Boy Promotions, the response from Peterson, the rules that applied to the appeal from the IBF, the Association of Boxing Commissions, and the Washington, D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission, copies of the individual scorecards and the judge’s written statements regarding those scorecards, copies of the IBF and Washington, D.C. commissions master scorecards and, lastly, the statement identifying Mustafa Ameen. The IBF had also made arrangements to have the proceedings recorded and to have the unedited video available on its website after the hearing.
Clearly, all attempts were made by the IBF to provide an equal and fair hearing for both the Khan and Peterson camps as well as to provide as much disclosure possible to satisfy the public interest while not compromising the matter. The IBF/USBA is satisfied with its efforts in doing so.