“You look at the official cards, which showed, initially, a 10-10, on the scorecard of George Hill for Round 7. It was later crossed out and changed to an 8-10 in favor of Peterson,” said Schaefer.
“Then, you look at the WBA supervisor, Michael Welsh, who is a certified public accountant and CPA by profession and probably the man with the most experience that night sitting ringside there, certainly from an accounting point of view, but as well as from a fight official point of view.”
Schaefer said Golden Boy COO David Itskowitch saw the WBA’s official transcriptions of the three judges’ scorecards after the fight.
Welsh used “basically the same per-round score slips which are collected from the referee and then are supposed to be given to the commission. The commission keeps a master scoresheet, so does the WBA, and so does the IBF. Therefore, the result should be the same, right? Because they all use the same information,” said Schaefer.
“Well, shockingly, it was not. It was different. It was the same for the scorecard of Nelson Vazquez, who had it for Khan, and it was the same for Valerie Dorsett, who had it for Peterson, but somehow, George Hill’s card had it a draw. Therefore, the WBA showed on their cards that the fight was a draw.”
Schaefer also expressed concern over the length of time it took for the scorecards to be given to ring announcer Michael Buffer before rendering a decision.
“There was clearly controversy after the fight on the scoring. I have hardly ever seen the length of time that it took for them to tabulate these cards and to announce the decision. That was very strange in itself,” said Schaefer.
“We have filed the appropriate paperwork [with the Washington, D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission,] and we have not heard back from them. Obviously, as we saw that night, this is not a very experienced commission. Our attornies are working a date for the appeal with them as well so that we can be heard in front of them.”
During an interview with RingTV.com, Washington D.C., Boxing and Wrestling Commission Chairman Scottie Irving addressed the notion of a scoring descrepancy on one of the official scorecards, the five-or-so minutes of time it took for the cards to be delivered to the ring for the verdict to be announced by Buffer and the fouling calls against Khan.
“The purpose of this call is in no way shape or form to attack or to question the performance of Lamont Peterson and his teaem. I think that Lamont fought a very good fight and it was an exciting fight. In fact, many people feel that it was another Fight of The Year candidate,” said Schaefer.
“So this is absolutely nothing about taking anything away from Lamont Peterson. It is simply to look at the facts, to present the facts and to give the people involved an opportunity to correct their mistakes. It’s basically about doing the right thing.”
In the meantime, both camps have confirmed that Schaefer has offered at least $1 million to Peterson’s manager and trainer, Hunter, in an effort to seek a return bout with Khan for next year.
Schaefer also has the Los Angeles Staples Center on hold for Peterson-Khan II on May 19, although he said the bout could take place in another city as well.
Schaefer indicated on the conference call that the $1 million offer still stands.
“I personally talked to Team Peterson right after the fight, and Barry Hunter told me that he had no problem giving Amir the rematch. I talked to team Peterson subsequently and made them a seven figure offer, and we’re waiting to hear back from them,” said Schaefer.
“We are honorable people. The Khan’s are very honorable people and so are we. So, yes, we really hope that we don’t have to go through this and that we can get this fight done, end of story. It seems to me that if we have to go this route, then we are prepared to go this route.”
In defeating Khan, Peterson improved to 3-0-1, with two knockouts since losing by unanimous decision to RING No. 8-rated pound-for-pound Tim Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) in a failed effort to win the WBO belt in December of 2009.
Khan’s winning streak was ended at eight bouts, including four knockouts, by Peterson, who might also consider a rematch with Bradley. Bradley, his manager, Cameron Dunkin, and his promoter, Top Rank Inc. CEO, Bob Arum, have all said they would be up for negotiating a return bout with Peterson.
Peterson earned a career-high $650,000 to Khan’s guaranteed $1.1 million, this, after having turned down an earlier offer of $300,000 in Februrary to face Khan after talks broke down over money and a rematch clause between Schaefer and Peterson’s attorney, Jeff Fried, for an April bout in England.
When the negotiations fell apart, Khan moved on and defended his crown by technical decision over Paul McCloskey in England.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com