Amir Khan has hailed the WBA’s decision to order an immediate rematch between himself and Lamont Peterson as “a brilliant idea” and urged the IBF to do likewise next week.
Angrily dismissing claims from the Peterson camp that he is nothing but a sore loser, the recently dethroned junior welterweight titleholder from England countered by stating the American is running scared because he knows he will be beaten the second time around.
Since losing a controversial split decision in Peterson’s home city of Washington, D.C., in December — after twice being docked a point for pushing — Khan and his team have launched a sustained campaign to either have the fight declared a no-contest or, at worst, land a rematch.
In addition to complaining about the referee’s handling of the 12-round thriller, Khan’s camp suggested there were discrepancies with the judges scoring before, more recently, identifying a mystery man in a hat apparently interfering with some of the scorecards ringside.
That last factor appears to have been key to the WBA demanding a rematch, and the Bolton star greeted confirmation of that news on Friday in understandably jubilant fashion.
“I think it’s a brilliant idea, to be honest,” Khan said on Sky Sports News. “We wanted a rematch and now the WBA have ordered a rematch and, hopefully, we will get it — in a neutral arena, with neutral referees and neutral judges. I really thought I won the first fight, I didn’t get it, now I want to put that right.
“I just want to thank all those people out there who supported me in my appeal. We have done this for the fans. Hopefully, I can go out there now, second time, win the fight and prove to all of them that we really won it the first time as well.
“The WBA says there will be an immediate rematch. Now we are waiting for the IBF to come back with the same decision. I hope they will because the WBA has done it and the WBA is a huge organization in boxing. Hopefully, the IBF will follow in their footsteps.
“I will be going to New York for the hearing next week and that’s when we will see what they have to say. There is talk of the mystery man being there too, so we’ll see what he’s got to say as well and why he was at the top table when he had no accreditation and shouldn’t have been there.”
When asked about the accusations from Peterson’s corner that the appeal against the original decision was sour grapes on Khan’s behalf, the Brit’s response was swift and to the point.
“That’s not true at all,” he said. “We want a fair fight and everyone out there knows Amir Khan won the first fight. Now we’ve won the rematch. Is Peterson afraid? Is he afraid of having the rematch because he knows he got beat the first time.
“In my eyes, I just think they are scared and they don’t want a rematch because they know those two titles are coming back to Britain.”
As for the possibility of a proposed matchup between Peterson and Manny Pacquiao wrecking a rematch with him, Khan was equally unperturbed.
“There is talk of that fight happening but would Manny Pacquiao really want to fight somebody who got beat? I mean, Manny trains alongside me and our trainer Freddie Roach would really prefer a fight between me and Petersen again, ” Khan said.
“The Manny Pacquiao fight has not been done yet and I think maybe Petersen knows he will get beat again and that’s why he wants to go for the big fights now. It’s why he’s chasing the money.”