“There’s no concerns whatsevever. We know that we’re in hostile territory. We know that we’re in Lamont Peterson’s backyard. But there’s no concerns whatsoever. Amir Khan’s a professional, Lamont Peterson is a professional. But Amir Khan will take care of business.” Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, which handles Khan.
“We don’t plan on using the judges. We plan on taking matters into our own hands. I’m not familiar with the face and the name together of the referee. I may know him. But like I said, we’re going to control what goes on inside the ring.” Barry Hunter, Lamont Peterson’s trainer.
“I don’t know none of them names, but, to me, it really doesn’t matter. To me, it’s just that the only thing that I can do is to control me, so that’s what I’m going to do.” Lamont Peterson, challenger.
“I checked them out, they’re all fine. I talked to my good friend, [Hall of Fame Golden Boy matchmaker] Don Chargin, and I asked him about the referee, and he told me that he’s a fair guy. He usually favors Philly fighters, but there are no Philly fighters here
“I think that we expect the judges to be professional, and I think that they will. The officials that they’ve chosen for the fight are top notch and very good, and I’ve checked them out. No controversies.
“Amir, when we fought Paulie Malignaggi, there were no problems in New York, Paulie’s home town, and we believe that it will be the same thing here,” Freddie Roach, Amir Khan’s trainer.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) prepares to face THE RING’s No. 6-rated Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday, some attention has focused on the fact that the fight takes place in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C.
HBO’s ringside commentator Harold Lederman offers his assessment of the referee and the officials below:
Referee Joe Cooper, Virginia:
Skinny: “You know, he probably would have worked a lot more fights, and he’s been refereeing a long time, but he hasn’t worked a lot of fights because there’s not a lot of big boxing around here. He works mostly in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. He lives in Virginia.
“People that have seen him like him a lot so I’m sure that he’ll do a good job. He’s probably one of the more experienced guys that they have down here. If they’re going to use a local, then Joe Cooper is fine with me.”
Judge Valerie Dorsett, North Carolina:
Skinny: “Brilliant woman. She’s from Charlotte, North Carolina. She’s got God knows how many masters’ degrees. She’s the chief attorney for transportation and safety administration for the states of North Carolina and South Carolina, and before she worked for the TSA, she worked for the federal aviation administration.
“So she’s been with the federal government for a long time. She’s so experienced boxing, though, that at one time, she was the state athletic comission chairman for the state of Georgia. So she’s got a ton of experience. She’s a good, IBF judge.”
Judge George Hill, New Jersey:
Skinny: “He’s been around since around 1989, and he’s a former sparring partner for Bennie Briscoe. Now that takes a lot of guts. He’s a good judge. He judges a lot in Philadelphia, and I believe he lives in Philadelphia.
“He’s a real veteran in sections of Philadelphia. He’s from the old Georgie Benton school of boxing, and a typical Philadelphia left-hooker. A helluva judge and a nice man. He’s a very old school judge and I like him a lot.”
Judge Nelson Vazquez, Puerto Rico:
Skinny: “Nelson Vazquez, in all honesty is one of the most experienced judges in the entire world. He’s very good. He works mostly for the WBO, but he’s worked previous fights for the IBF — a lot of them.
“Last week, he worked on one of the undercards on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito in New York. Very, very experienced judge. He’s judged a long, long time, since the 1980s.”
Lederman’s conclusion: “What I’m saying to you is that the three judges are really good. I don’t see any problems. They’re experienced. They’re all good guys and all good judges.
“So I think that it’s going to be a tremendous fight, I really do. Amir Khan is one of the rising stars in the sport of boxing, and Lamont Peterson can certainly fight. Peterson looked great with Victor Cayo. I’m just looking forward to a real war.”
Photo by Delane Rouse, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com