English boxing promoter Frank Warren has launched a stinging attack on Amir Khan, telling his countryman to stop moaning about the way he lost his IBF and WBA junior welterweight titles to American Lamont Peterson.
Warren entered the debate surrounding Khan’s controversial split decision defeat last month in Washington, D.C., following the dethroned titleholder’s decision to publish pictures on Twitter of a mystery man sitting ringside and seemingly talking with WBA representative Michael Welsh throughout the explosive contest.
Although, as of yet, nobody has been able to identify the hat-wearing individual, Warren still believes Khan — twice docked a point against Peterson for pushing — and his team should drop their ‘garbage’ complaints and accept that on the night he was beaten fair and square.
“Most people in boxing are looking at this and saying: ‘For God’s sake, Amir, give it a rest,’” Warren said on talkSPORT radio. “I can’t see what is untoward about (the pictures). Everyone has got to step back and look at the fight. Was it an outrageous decision? The answer to that is ‘no’.
“He was told on numerous occasions he would get points deducted if he kept doing what he did. He kept doing what the referee told him not to do. Jim Watt, in his commentary on Sky TV, said it more or less the same time that I was thinking ‘if he keeps doing it, the referee will dock another point.’ That’s exactly what the referee did.
“It’s like clutching at straws. They shouldn’t have gone to Washington if they had a big worry about it. If they want a rematch, get a rematch sorted, but stop bleating about it. The fact is, it was a very, very close fight that could probably have gone either way. But there was no outrageous decision and people should stop coming out with this garbage. Get the rematch on, fight the guy again and the best man will win.”
Those comments from a rival promoter are sure to infuriate 25-year-old Bolton star Khan. From the moment it took more than ten minutes for the result to be announced, Khan and Golden Boy Promotions have questioned the legitimacy of the scoring procedures and lodged appeals with both the IBF and WBA.
And Khan’s business manager, Asif Vali has defended their right to ask who the man in the hat is — and what exactly he might have been doing as he chatted to Welsh and handled slips of papers on several occasions. Vali insists they only want closure before planning the next step in Khan’s career.
“We did the table plan with Golden Boy Promotions and the WBA official was already in his seat and the IBF official was already in his seat, so who is this person?” Vali said on BBC Five Live. “What’s he doing talking to the WBA? Why is he handling the slips?
“These are legitimate questions and, if they give us sufficient reasons for it, then I’ll accept it. I want to see what the reasons are. We need to know so we can get on with arranging Amir’s next fight in April. We’re not saying there is foul play involved in any way, shape or form. I just need the answers for the sequence of events that have taken place. Nothing else.
“This is not sour grapes. I’m not accusing any of the bodies. Lamont Peterson is the champion and good luck to him for 2012.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda