The WBC Board of Governors approved by a vote of 21 to 10 the immediate rematch between Samuel Peter and James Toney, after their first bout which Peter won by split decision on September 2 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
The World Boxing Council has always supported the decisions made by its ring officials and it will continue to do so. This approval of a rematch in no way questions the decision of September 2.
There were several reasons why the WBC made this decision:
1. First, for having been an extremely close fight which divided the opinions of the media and fans. This rematch will clear the air and we will have an official undisputable challenger to our new champion Oleg Maskaev.
2. The WBC believes that at this moment there can not be a more interesting heavyweight fight than this rematch. There is a huge public demand for this rematch and it will be very good for the promoters, as well as the prestige and the importance of boxing in the world.
James Toney was No. 1 ranked official challenger and he had no need to fight anyone to gain the right to contend for the title. By choosing Samuel Peter, the highest rated boxer adopted a top-level sports decision and the WBC wishes that the official challenger be the winner of this rematch so nobody has doubts about it.
The World Boxing Council decided, however, that should a purse offer be necessary for this rematch, the purse will be divided 55 percent for Samuel Peter and 45 percent for James Toney.
Samuel Peter spoke with me about his respect for the decision made by the WBC; he also stated that even though he wants to fight for the title immediately, he will accept the rematch to show once again his merits to contend for the title.
The WBC invites all parties to kindly restrain from using a hard language in their public statements, since boxing is a sport for gentlemen and we all would like to keep it that way.