The move was made in the wake of a formal appeal from Golden Boy Promotions on behalf of Khan, who is also awaiting the results of a Jan. 18 hearing for a similar filing with the IBF to overturn Peterson’s victory or else to order an immediate rematch, based on the belief that the fight was poorly officiated and that there were scorecard descrepancies.
“I just received, a half an hour ago, a letter from the WBA on their official decision that they are going to order an immediate rematch,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “I think that it’s the right decision, and I hope that we can get the rematch done.”
Some of the controversy stems from the actions of IBF affiliate Mustafa Ameen, who has been dubbed the “Mystery Man” as a result of his ringside behavior that was caught on video, which seemed to include picking up a yellow scoring slip near WBA ringside scoring official Michael Welsh during the Dec. 10 fight.
Sanctioning organizations like the WBA assign their own official scorers to bouts as backup references, and Welsh scored it a draw, while the IBF’s rep Paul Artisst had it for Peterson.
Ameen was also photographed in the ring appearing to celebrate with Peterson camp members.
In the official judges’ scores, 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 from Puerto Rico.
Ameen will address his actions during the IBF hearing and discussion with officials representing Khan and Golden Boy in New Jersey, and Schaefer is hoping for a similar result.
“The WBA and the IBF are two different sanctioning organizations,” said Schaefer. “But I hope that the IBF is coming to realize that the proper thing and the right thing to do is to order an immediate rematch. But that’s not going to be my decision, that’s going to be the IBF’s decision.”