Freddie Roach claims to know the identity of the “Mystery Man” whose ringside presence has ignited controversy surrounding last month’s victory by newly-crowned IBF/WBA junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson that dethroned Amir Khan.
During an interview with the BBC Sport, Roach reiterated what a source had originally told RingTV.com — that the man is Mustafa Ameen, who served as the business manager of former Olympic heavyweight hopeful Michael Hunter when Roach worked as an advisor to Team USA in September.
“He comes to my gym. He came to the [U.S.] Olympic training center and I actually had him removed one time. I told the coaches: ‘There’s no need for him to be here,’” said Roach, speaking from his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
He goes to gyms and talks to other people’s fighters. But he does know the boundaries because he doesn’t go after my fighters. But he does talk to other people’s fighters, and he’s been told not to a couple of times, even here in my gym.”
WBA President Gilberto Mendoza has called for an immediate rematch between Peterson and Khan after having studied images of the unidentified man caught on video who is believeed to be Ameen, and who is accused by Khan of interfering with the judges during his fight with Peterson on Dec. 10.
In the video, the man can be spotted wearing a dark 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.”
But Roach casts doubt that the man is an IBF official.
“[Ameen] has no credentials. He’s not a member of any boxing organization,” said Roach. “There’s no reason for him to be at ringside. Why he was ringside and why he was in the ring afterwards celebrating and so forth? I have no idea.”
It is primarily due to the man’s behavior at ringside that Mendoza has called for a return bout.
“You’ve got a guy sitting beside [Michael Welsh] that’s talking about who’s winning rounds and so forth. We can only speculate on what they were talking about. But most likely they are talking about the fight,” said Roach.
“And people get influenced by other people easily. And that’s why the rules are that no-one but officials are at ring-side. It should be no-contest or a mandated re-match.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org