Amir Khan will get a rematch against Lamont Peterson for the Light Welterweight title, according to the WBA. The IBF will also look into what happened during the fight, from the referee decisions to the Mystery man that shouldn’t have been there and will probably do the same as the WBA.
The person seemingly most excited about this whole affair was Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer – The WBA ordered an immediate rematch. I’m thrilled that he’s getting one and hope we can start the negotiations and get the fight done. Amir and Lamont are both terrific young men and athletes who fought their hearts out in Washington in December and I’m sure this decision will get applause by fight fans around the world. The rematch will be one of the most anticipated fights of 2012 because both guys are exciting, young and I think it’s exactly the kind of fight people want to see.
Despite the WBA ordering the rematch, Peterson isn’t obliged to go ahead with the fight. He could vacate the belt, with his own plans, the same that Amir Khan talked about all year, to move on to Welterweight. Peterson is one of the four Bob Arum is proposing to Manny Pacquiao in regards to his next fight, in May or June. Peterson has also considered going up against Timothy Bradley, another rematch option, although less likely if he wants to keep the belts.
One thing you cannot do is force a fighter to take a fight. Everybody has to do what they feel is best for them. I respect that. In this weight class a rematch is the biggest fight that can be made and it would be a shame if that doesn’t happen. I say that, yes, as a promoter, but also as a fight fan. It would be a hugely anticipated fight.
Lamont Peterson’s manager, Barry Hunter, is probably looking for a big payday. Peterson got a career high $600,000 for the title fight in D.C., with Schaefer immediately offering a bit over one million for a rematch. The bottom line is that after we decided not to accept Golden Boy’s offer for a rematch only days after the fight, and said that Lamont wanted to enjoy the holidays with his family and have time to make the best decision for his career and the future of his family, they started filing protest letters and trying to spin the media as some form of retaliation.
Is this another case of bad blood between promoters interfering with a fight? I hope we can negotiate in a respectful manner. It has been our goal all along to get this rematch done and I hope the WBA decision is going to help the process. My intentions are to do it in a very respectful manner because I like Lamont and Barry very much. We have worked on a few fights together. Whatever happened in Washington has nothing to do with Barry or Lamont. They weren’t the referee or the scorekeeper. Lamont fought his heart out and so did Amir.
Barry Hunter doesn’t seem that enthusiastic about making a rematch happen, citing Golden Boy’s disrespecting Peterson’s win as the main reason for his lack of enthusiasm – Unfortunately, we are in this process of dealing with these unfounded protests. It would be an understatement to characterize Lamont as being disappointed in the unprofessional manner in which Khan is attempting to discredit his performance in the ring and victory. We were raised to conduct ourselves where champions display professionalism, both in victory and defeat. Lamont previously tasted defeat and handled it the way it should be handled — he worked harder on areas that needed improvement to maximize his performance in the ring. Now, he is world champion. Khan blames everyone and everything but his performance and lack of ability to make adjustments in the ring for his loss.
Peterson won’t be world champion, at least in the Light Welterweight division, for the WBA, with that attitude. The IBF, usually the most levelheaded in decision making among the big boxing belt-fivers, will probably do the same. They also have the controversy with the Mystery Man, Mustafa Ameen.
The IBF have confirmed the man is not an official of the organization. He does outreach work for the IBF’s Special Assistance for Retired Boxers Education Fund. Ameen, perfectly clear to everyone, is not a boxing official, and shouldn’t have been anywhere near the judges and the scorecards during the fight.
With that statement by the IBF, Khan’s desire to get a no-contest decision for the fight might have gotten quite a push. In that case, at least one of his world titles reinstated. One thing is clear – If, and when we’ll get a rematch, it won’t be in Washington D.C. – All I want is a fair chance and you know if I had a fair chance on the last fight, I definitely would have won that fight, and it’s just one of the things. I mean I wasn’t treated right and even the fans in D.C. said that I clearly won the fight. I don’t know what the referee was watching.