WBA officials are concerned over the well-being of ringside scorer Michael Welsh, the supervisor whose score card and activities involving IBF affiliate Mustafa Ameen were caught on video and were at the center of the controversy surrounding last month’s split-decision victory by Lamont Peterson over Amir Khan.
According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, Welsh had reported feeling “depressed” as attention increased around the Peterson-Khan situation.
“We have called him several times but we are getting no response from him,” said WBA Vice-President Gilberto Mendoza to the Daily Telegraph, adding that Welsh’s home is to be visited this weekend. “We hope that by the end of the weekend we will be able to put out a statement explaining this entire situation.”
Ameen’s behavior during the fight included picking up a yellow scoring slip near Welsh, and led to Golden Boy Promotions’ filing appeals with the IBF and the WBA.
On Tuesday, Golden Boy withdrew its appeal in part due to the fact that IBF officials were not able to contact or locate Welsh to secure his presence at a hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday but then cancelled.
“We were unable to reach Mr Welsh after repeated attempts to contact him,” IBF public relations director Jeanette Salazar told The Daily Telegraph.
“We have no jurisdiction over Mr Welsh as an official, and therefore could not demand his presence. We could only ask him to appear.”
The WBA has ordered an immediate rematch, a mandate against which Peterson’s camp also has filed an official appeal.
RingTV.com could not reach Welsh despite repeated calls to a cell phone number believed to be his.
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.
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.
On the night of the fight, Ameen told BBC Sport that he “noticed an error and a subsequent one” on the card of Welsh, adding that he, “assisted in correcting it without touching anything.”
“I happened to look down, I believe at the end of the third round, I looked down and I saw Mr Welsh’s score. I saw, I believe, it could have been nine, nine and nine – which is 27 all day long,” said Ameen, who was also photographed in the ring appearing to celebrate with Peterson camp members.
“There was an error. It might have been 26 or 28 but he was off by a point or two. I happened to look down and I said ‘Michael, nine times three is 27’. He said ‘oh my God’ and corrected himself. And he said ‘I’m not feeling well this evening, thank you very much.'”
Ameen was set to testify at the IBF hearing on Wednesday before it was cancelled.
KLITSCHKO BROTHERS’ DEFENSES SANDWICHED AROUND ONE BY ALEXANDER POVETKIN
Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 knockouts) will defend his WBC crown against Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs) on Feb. 18, followed by WBA counterpart Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs) taking on rising former cruiserweight beltholder Marco Huck (34-1, 25 KOs) in his division debut on Feb. 25, and Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) putting his IBF, WBO and WBA Super belt on the line opposite Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs) on March 3.
RONNY RIOS HEADS UP GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS’ SOLO BOXEO 2012 PREMIERE
Junior lightweight and former amateur star Ronny Rios (16-0, 7 KO’s) will take on Jeremy McLaurin (9-2, 5 KOs) on Feb. 4 in the 2012 Golden Boy Promotions’ premiere of the Solo Boxeo Tecate on Telefutura from the Pheonix Club in Anaheim, Calif.
Also on the card is a featherweight co-main event between Alejandro Perez (15-3-1, 10 KOs) and Derrick Wilson (9-2-2, 3 KOs).
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV’S TRAINING WITH FREDDIE ROACH
On the night of the Provodnikov-Torres bout, however, Roach will be in camp with WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in preparation for the Feb. 4 defense of his belt against Marco Antonio Rubio.
“I’ve been working with Ruslan in the gym,” said Roach. “I can’t be in his corner that night, but he’s a great kid and a great prospect, and I plan to work with him in the future.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com