Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer announced during a national conference call on Tuesday that he has filed official appeals with the IBF and the WBA on behalf of Amir Khan of England seeking the restoration of his junior welterweight belts if not an immediate rematch with Lamont Peterson, whose HBO-televised upset split-decision on Dec. 10 dethroned Khan at the Washington Convention Center in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C.
“Well, we believe that there is enough grounds to get it overturned, and, you know that’s our first priority,” said Schaefer. “But as I said, at the very least, there really shouldn’t be any question about it and there shouldn’t be any argument about it that an immediate rematch should be ordered.”
Schaefer and Khan’s camp have alledged scoring descrepancies and the contention that the match was poorly officiated by Virginia-based referee Joe Cooper, who penalizeed Khan, one point each, for pushing Peterson’s head down in the seventh, and for shoving Peterson away in the 12th.
As a result, Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) edged Khan, 113-112 on the cards of judges George Hill of New Jersey and Valerie Dorsett of North Carolina. Khan won, 115-110, on the card of Nelson Vazquez of Puerto Rico. RingTV.com had Khan winning, 113-112.
“I wasn’t happy refereeing and the way that I was judged in that fight. I thought that bringing the fight to D.C. that I would have it better, because D.C. hasn’t had a fight there in a long time. I thought that this would be the time where we could bring the big, super fight to D.C. and that the world of boxing could use D.C. as a big venue,” said Khan.
“The fans were great, and they were so nice after the fight. They were all so honest. There were a lot of them who came up to me and said, ‘we know that you won the fight, but you fought Peterson in his home town. Other boxers said they were never going to fight in D.C. if we get that chance if this is what happens in D.C.”
Organizations assign their own supervisors who score the bouts as backup references, and WBA representative Michael Welsh scored it a draw, according to Schaefer, while the IBF’s rep Paul Artisst had it for Peterson.
Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) and company want the decision to be either overturned, rendered a draw or else they want to be granted an immediate rematch.
“I think that I deserve a fair chance for a fair fight, somewhere neutral. I’m willing to come back to the United Kingdom to put a fight on here. I’m willing to come back to the United States to put a fight on there. But never in Washington again. I think that people have got to be very disappointed, especially the fans in Washington,” said Khan.
“We brought the fight to the capitol. We brought boxing back there, but that performance wasn’t fair with the unfair judging and the unfair refereeing. I’m hoping that Lamont Peterson gives me the rematch that he said he was going to give me. It’s a rematch that I think that I deserved. I know that if the fight was judged and refereed fairly, I know that I would still be the world champion.”
On Friday, after having reviewed both the three judges’ scorecards and a DVD of the fight that was provided by promoter Golden Boy Promotions, the IBF decided not to order an immediate rematch for Khan against Peterson.
But that request was only a formal protest.
The official appeals were accompanied by the required monetary amount of $10,000 for both the IBF and the WBA.
“The fact is that appeals are expensive, and, we wouldn’t do it if we were not as convinced as we are that this should be a slam dunk,” said Schaefer. “Obvously, we wouldn’t go through this if we weren’t convinced that it is. We did enclose the appropriate fees with our appeals.”
As a result, the IBF will set up a date on which to hold an official hearing during which it will appoint three judges or referees to convene as a panel and review the evidence. That panel will determine whether or not rules were violated and if there is justification for the bout’s being overturned or for an immediate rematch.
Over the course of the next month or so, a hearing will be held during which members of Golden Boy and Khan’s camp will give testimony which will be examined and reviewed by the panel toward coming back with a decision.
Schaefer was told that the WBA’s process is similar to that of the IBF’s, and that the appeals are expected to be heard on Jan. 18 for the WBA, and, Jan. 19 for the IBF in New York.
Schaefer said that Golden Boy’s primary concern is the behavior of Cooper, who was chosen by the D.C. commission from a list of referees provided by the IBF that included New Jersey’s Eddie Cotton, Pennsylvania’s Ernest Sharif and Michigan’s Sam Williams.