Amir Khan pressed his case on Tuesday to overturn a controversial loss to Lamont Peterson and force a rematch, while his promoter expressed concern Khan might not have a chance to avenge that defeat.
Hometown hero Peterson won a split decision over Khan in Washington on Dec. 10 for the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-welterweight titles.
Referee Joe Cooper took two points from Khan for shoving Peterson, the last in the final round, and two judges gave Peterson a 113-112 victory. The third saw Khan a 115-110 winner. Peterson improved to 30-1-1. Khan fell to 26-2.
“The referee in a way stole that fight from me,” said Khan, who would have kept his crowns in a draw without the 12th-round deduction. “Everywhere I went people said I got robbed. All I want is a fair fight. I think I deserve it.”
“I’m willing to come back to the US and put a fight on there, but never in Washington again. The best thing for me is to fight in neutral venues,” he added.
Khan’s camp has appealed to the WBA, IBF and Washington’s boxing commission. The sanctioning bodies will investigate Khan’s claims of wrongdoing and are expected to hold a hearing on the matter in New York next month.
“They have an opportunity and an obligation to do the right thing,” Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer said. “The refereeing was clearly one of the worst cases of home cooking I have ever seen. Amir was fighting two people in the ring.”
After the victory, Peterson said he would give Khan a rematch, but Schaefer said he has yet to hear back about a proposed May 19 rematch at Los Angeles.
“I hope Lamont Peterson will give me the rematch like he said he would. I hope he will give me the rematch I deserve,” Khan said. “I think maybe the WBA and the IBF should order a rematch. I really think I was judged unfairly. Maybe that’s the reason he’s not returning calls from Golden Boy about the rematch.”
Schaefer said his deal would pay Peterson, who made US$650,000 for beating Khan, at least US$1 million, but that he has heard Peterson’s camp met with Washington city leaders last week about staging a fight in the US capital, a deal-breaker for Khan.
“Lamont Peterson is going to have to go to his team and tell them to do the right thing,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer said he would hope the IBF, which already said it did not feel an appeal was warranted, and WBA would wipe out the result and demand an immediate rematch.
“We believe there is enough grounds to get it overturned. That’s our first priority,” Schaefer said.
“I would be shocked, you can print shocked in capital letters, if the IBF does not order a rematch. There’s a clear outrage out there and something has to be done about it,” Schaefer added.
Khan, who made more than US$1.1 million from the fight, has put plans to move up to welterweight on hold for the chance to avenge the loss.
Khan said he was unhappy that Peterson was warned about moving in low with his head, but did not have points deducted, saying he shoved the American to avoid head-butts.
“There was [sic] a lot of warnings about the head,” Khan said. “If that was me doing the head thing, I probably would have been disqualified.”
“It’s just bad for boxing the way I was judged. Getting robbed, that’s what hurts more. I love fighting in the [United] States. My fights have been fair. It’s this one fight I was cheated,” Khan added. “If I had not won the fight, I would not make myself look stupid. But they can do something about this. I want my titles back and I want to prove to the boxing fans who the real champion is.”