Sun, Jan 22, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Khan bout ‘mystery man’ threatens slander lawsuit

Reuters, LONDON

British boxer Amir Khan and his camp have been threatened with a lawsuit by “mystery man” Mustafa Ameen unless they apologize for what the IBF volunteer has called “libelous statements.”

Ameen, who helps the IBF assist financially strapped boxers, was accused of “interfering” with the judges’ scorecards during Khan’s defeat by American Lamont Peterson in a world title fight last month.

“Amir Khan will have to apologies because ... I will litigate in court,” Ameen, wearing his trademark black hat, told Sky Sports News on Friday.

“I have been in discussion with legal firms in Britain about the slander and other libelous statements made against me by Amir Khan and other individuals,” he said. “I’m going to fight back. Mr Khan needs to apologize and if not ... I’m going to sue. He’s not alone.”

Ameen said he was also angered by comments made by Khan’s trainer Freddie Roach, who had said the American “has no credentials, he’s not a member of any boxing organization. There’s no reason for him to be at ringside.”

“Mr Freddie Roach has made libelous statements which are untrue and Mr Roach needs to apologize,” Ameen added. “If Mr Roach issues an apology, I will accept it, but he needs to very, very soon as I’m in the process of sorting out my legal team.”

Peterson surprisingly won an enthralling contest in Washington on Dec. 10, taking Khan’s WBA super lightweight and IBF light welterweight belts on a split decision after the Briton was docked two points.

Khan’s team questioned the performance of referee Joseph Cooper, who deducted points from the Briton in the seventh and 12th rounds, one for pushing and one for hitting his opponent on the break.

The 25-year-old’s camp suggested a mystery man, later identified as Ameen, had interfered with the judges’ scorecards.

Khan posted a number of messages on Twitter earlier this month highlighting footage from the fight in which a man in a black hat can be seen next to WBA supervisor Michael Welsh.

The man then appears to reach across in front of Welsh. The British boxer’s camp says that it was at this point that the man interfered with the scorecards.

Ameen said there was a logical explanation for his actions.

“At some point I looked down ... I saw Michael Welsh had an incorrect score ... in the second or third round. Mr Welsh had made a mathematical error and I informed him of that,” Ameen said.

“That night Mr Welsh made several mathematical errors. Mr Welsh can verify or dispute what I’m saying,” he added. “I have nothing to do with corrections on the scorecard. I was talking about corrections that needed to be made to Mr Welsh’s unofficial sheet. Everyone is making accusations against me ... but video tapes vindicate me.”

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