Lem Satterfield

Presidential sweet: Could Khan-Peterson in D.C. entice Obama?

Golden Boy Promotions CEO told RingTV.com that WBA and IBF junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan of England will make the first defense of his IBF belt against mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson, of Washington, D.C., likely in an HBO-televised bout from Peterson’s home town on Dec. 10 at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center rather than Constitution Hall.

In addition, Schaefer said that he is targeting heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell (23-0-1, 17 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., for the card’s televised opener if the clash does take place in Washington, D.C.

Detroit and Montreal’s Bell Centre also have been considerations.

“The fight is agreed upon, and we are looking at different sites in Washington, D.C. I think that there is a real possibility that the fight will be in Washington, D.C. Right now, we are looking at the D.C. Convention Center, because the other venue, Constitution Hall, that is too small. It only seats 3,700 people,” said Schaefer.

“We think that the better venue would be the convention center, which seats like 12,000. So we are currently looking at that. We are currently in discussion with HBO to see if we can have Seth Mitchell on that card as well. So, I think that looks pretty good. We are working on finalizing the venue and finalizing the card.”

The 24-year-old Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) has won eight consecutive fights, four of them by knockout. The 27-year-old Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) won an IBF eliminator with a 12th-round stoppage of Victor Cayo (26-2, 18 KOs) in July, earning the organization’s No. 1 contender status and the right to challenge Khan.

The 29-year-old Mitchell has scored his nine consecutive knockouts and has 22 straight victories.

“The plan is to begin the press rout in October,” said Schaefer. “And that would take us from London to Washington, D.C.”

On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, Khan, a practicing Muslim who is of Pakistani decent, was invited to Washington, D.C. as a guest of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a dinner honoring prominent Muslim-American athletes.

“We of course, are going to invite Mrs. Clinton and I know that Amir and all of us would certainly like to extend an invitation to [President Barack Obama] as well, because I know that it is going to be the first big card in Washington, D.C., in a really long time,” said Schaefer. 

“I really think that Amir Khan, as evidenced by the fact that he was invited by Mrs. Clinton to the state dinner, has really grown into the role as an ambassador of the sport. He’s basically trying to bring the different cultures together through sports. We would certainly welcome and be honored to have the president and his family at ringside.”

Khan debuted in America with an 11th-round knockout of Paulie Malignaggi in May of last year at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Khan made his second appearance on American soil in December of last year, scoring a unanimous decison over Marcos Maidana at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

Khan had his third fight in the United States in July, dethroning Zab Judah as IBF titleholder by fifth-round stoppage at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“Detroit has a large Muslim population,” said Schaefer. “I believe the largest here in the United States, so they’re very interested.”

 

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com

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