Friday, January 13, 2012

Justice is served for Khan

After a sound and fair analysis of the facts contained in the appeal filed by Golden Boy Promotions on behalf of Amir Khan with respect to the outcome of the December 10, 2011 World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) world title fight between Khan and Lamont Peterson, the WBA has ordered that an immediate rematch take place within 180 days. Washington DC's Peterson' split decision victory over England's Khan in Washington DC has been riddled with controversy as a result of a plethora of anomalies in connection with the bout including referee Joseph Cooper not counting a knockdown of Peterson and deducting two points from Khan for pushing (something for which points are almost never deducted), both of which ended up having a direct impact on the outcome of the fight; the ringside appearance of an unauthorized individual in Mustafa Ameen who apparently handled official scoring slips, seemingly communicated with fight officials throughout the fight and appeared to be photographed posing with a celebrating Team Peterson in the ring following the fight; and possible differences between the score sheet of the WBA and those of the IBF and the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission. Acting under its authority pursuant to WBA Rule C.26, the WBA concluded that the bout's outcome was impacted by referee Joseph Cooper's questionable failure to credit Khan with a knock down in round one and his questionable decisions to deduct points from Khan in rounds seven and 12. As further cause to order the rematch, the WBA also pointed to Mr. Ameen's apparent intrusion into the scoring process as well as possible discrepancies between the score sheets of the two sanctioning organizations and the local athletic commission. In its resolution mandating the rematch, the WBA went out of its way to note that under normal circumstances it would not disturb the discretionary function of a referee, however, in this case, because of the multiple irregularities, it was necessary for it to order the rematch. "I'm pleased that justice has been done and the WBA has ordered an immediate rematch. All we ask as sportsmen is for a fair and level playing field when we compete," said Khan. "Lamont Peterson proved in our fight that he is a great competitor and I hope that a second bout will be just as exciting. I want to prove without doubt that I'm the best in the 140lb division by taking care of business in the rematch." "I am thrilled about the decision and hope that we can start negotiations and get the rematch done," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "Both Amir and Lamont are terrific young men and athletes who fought their hearts out in Washington last December. I am sure that fight fans from around the world applaud the WBA's decision since this will be one of the most anticipated fights of 2012."

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