Newly-crowned IBF/WBA junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson says he doesn’t know the “Mystery Man” whose ringside presence has sparked controversy surrounding last month’s victory by Peterson over Amir Khan.
“We don’t even know the guy,” said Peterson’s publicist Andre Johnson. “The gentleman that they’re speaking of has no direct affiliation with us.”
WBA President Gilberto Mendoza has called for an immediate rematch between Peterson and Khan after having studied images of the unidentified man accused by Khan of interfering with the judges during his clash with Peterson on Dec. 10.
In the video, which can be viewed by clicking here, the man can be spotted wearing a blue hat as he appears to be distracting WBA supervisor Michael Welsh and other officials at ringside during the fight.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, who handles Khan, said that the man claimed to be an IBF official, adding that he saw the indivfidual “in the ring after the fight celebrating with the Petersons.”
“To speak to the issue of the guy congratulating Lamont in the ring, well, there were plenty of people congratulating Lamont in the ring,” said Johnson. “I mean, people stormed the ring after the fight was over. So if that’s the case, you know, then I guess that everybody was on our side. But to us, it’s really a non-issue.”
A source informed RingTV.com that the man is Mustafa Ameen, who once served as the business manager of former Olympic heavyweight hopeful Michael Hunter.
Citing poor officiating and scorecard descrepancies among his reasoning, Khan has appealed to the IBF and the WBA to overturn Peterson’s victory or else to order an immediate rematch. It is primarily due to the man’s behavior at ringside — caught on video — that Mendoza has called for a the return bout.
“This will be my personal opinion, but that would be the right decision at the moment,” Mendoza told Sky Sports in England concerning a potential for a rematch. “There were a lot of things that make this fight controversial.”
Mendoza is still waiting to hear from Scottie Irving, chairman of the Washington, D.C., Boxing and Wrestling Commission, for possible informatio on who the man is.
Irving spoke to RingTV.com on Saturday.
“We have no comment,” said Irving. “These things need to play themselves out, so the D.C. Boxing Commission has no comment.”
During an interview with RingTV.com within a few days of the fight, Irving addressed the notion of a scoring discrepancy on one of the official scorecards.
Irving also discussed 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 Michael Buffer, as well as referee Joe Cooper’s fouling calls against Khan.
Peterson edged Khan, 113-112, on the cards of judges George Hill of New Jersey and Valerie Dorsett of North Carolina, and lost,115-110, on that of Nelson Vazquez of Puerto Rico.
Johnson said Peterson will continue to weigh his options, which include a career-high offer of $1 million by Schaefer for a rematch with Khan.
Peterson, who earned a career-best $650,000 to Khan’s $1.1 million in their first bout, is also being considered for a clash opposite WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao, whose other options include WBC welterweight titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr., WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto, WBO lightweight titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez, and WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley.
“Basically, it’s a non-issue for us. What’s factual is that Lamont is the newly-crowned IBF and WBA junior welterweight champion of the world. Lamont plans on defending that like any other champion would. With respect to being the champion, there are certain priveleges and rights that come with that honor. One of those rights is to take the opportunity to decide your own path,” said Johnson.
“That means that you have the choice to choose who you want to fight. So, Lamont is going to take his time and make the right decision, and what is best for him and his family and the entire camp. Lamont’s decision on who he fights next won’t be influenced by innuendo or fairy tale-like stories. It’s going to be based on factual data, and not anything that takes away from the positive-ness of this entire experience.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com