Amir Khan shouldn’t be without the WBA and IBF belts right now, but he lost points on some shoving calls, some unauthorized person messed around with the scorecards and the judges, resulting in Lamont Peterson causing the upset that night in Washington. Now, after months of back and forth between both camps, the rematch (May 19 in Vegas) is a done deal.
Khan was looking for a rematch from the moment he ended up on the wrong end of the split decision. Talks of getting robbed, screwed over and what not shortly followed. Appeals to the WBA and IBF were made. Mustafa Ameen emerged as the mystery man at ringside with some ridiculous explanation, which didn’t explain why he was on the ring, celebrating along with Lamont Peterson.
The man most hurt by all this was Peterson himself. Peterson, who rose from oblivion to become the Light Welterweight champion, suddenly looked like the bad guy, at least to some, and an unjust winner. In the beginning he seemed open to a rematch, but as the verbal assault from Golden Boy and Khan continued, Peterson, managed by Billy Hunter seemed to be turning his attention elsewhere. Maybe out of fear of fighting against Khan but not on home soil, which had a lot to do with his win. Maybe because of the Pacquiao option.
I do believe that despite the WBA threatening to strip Peterson of his title if he doesn’t go for a rematch with Khan, Peterson would have gone for the Pacquiao fight if he would have been offered it. Eventually, he was the least attractive, financially, out of the opponents Bob Arum shortlisted for Manny Pacquiao, and the announcement regarding Timothy Bradley soon paved the way for the Khan vs Peterson rematch.
Still, despite being the obvious choice, Golden Boy exec Richard Schaefer admits it was never easy – Both sides are signed, but this has been one of the most difficult negotiations I have had for any fight I have ever been involved with. here was a lot of back and forth, but it all ended good in getting this fight done. I think it’s one of the most anticipated rematches. It’s the right fight for Lamont and the right fight for Amir, and I’m really excited both parties agreed to do this fight.
We offered 50-50 because that was how much Amir wanted this fight. There were times where it looked like we were close to getting it done, but it was a drawn out process. But in the end it was not a sanctioning organization, a TV network, the media or fans who made this rematch.
It’s the fighters who wanted to get the fight done. It was Lamont Peterson saying he didn’t want to fight anybody else except Amir Khan and it was Amir Khan saying he wanted to fight only Lamont Peterson. That is what makes fights.
The truth is both fighters had other options. But it really came down to what they wanted most. For both guys, other options might have been more lucrative, but it was not really only about the money. They realized the right thing to do was to fight each other again.
Despite Khan being the obvious bigger draw, especially from a global standpoint, the British fighter was willing to give Peterson a 50-50 split on the global share just to get the fight done. He truly believes he’s the better fighter, and can’t wait to get those belts back. It almost seems like he can’t take the next step, which in his mind is Welterweight and fighting Floyd Mayweather, before he regains his WBA and IBF belts.