In choosing to face Khan, Peterson has eschewed an offer from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum for a proposed bout with RING lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez on July 14 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, with the winner to get a shot at that between WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao and WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley that is being targeted for June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
” Lamont had weighed every option available to him — some public and some private,” said Johnson. “There were several options available to us in terms of fights and directions that Lamont could have taken. But at the end of the day, this made the most sense on every level across the board.”
Khan is 26-2 with 18 knockouts, and Peterson, 30-1-1 with 15 KOs.
“I confirmed that it’s all signed. We have indeed reached an agreement,” said Schaefer. “I believe that the rematch between Lamont and Amir is one of the most anticipated fights, and both of these young men are tremendous athletes and they gave it their all in December.
“It was a hard and long negotiation, but I am glad that in the end, both fighters get the opportunity to face each other again.”
Peterson defeated Khan in December at the Washington Convention Center in Peterson’s native Washington, D.C., although the WBA ordered an immediate rematch in response to an appeal by Khan.
WBA President Gilberto Mendoza granted Peterson 10 days from Jan. 14 to appeal the organization’s decision, and Peterson, in turn, filed an official protest of the WBA’s order, which has been dropped.
Peterson’s appeal came in the wake of Golden Boy Promotions withdrawing its own filing against the IBF, a move which canceled a hearing scheduled for the next day with that organization in New Jersey.
Golden Boy and Khan had been seeking to overturn the victory or get an order for an immediate rematch on the grounds that the fight was poorly officiated and that there were scorecard descrepancies.
“The decision wasn’t influenced by protests or by negative comments by the other side or any of that. The only influence was that this was the decision that best suited Lamont Peterson. Lamont took as much time as he needed to weigh every option available equally,” said Johnson.
“We stacked them up against each other and weighed them across the board and then he decided what made the most sense for his future and for his career right now, and he wanted this fight.”
Schaefer told RingTV.com that he offered Peterson “a 50-50 split of world wide revenues and United Kingdom revenues” in the hopes of securing a rematch with Khan.
Peterson was initially offered $1 million by Schaefer to face Khan in a return bout after having pocketed a career-best $650,000 to Khan’s $1.1 million in their first bout.
“This is an opportunity for Lamont to set the record straight and to prove that he is the champion. Lamont is going to come back and prove that. People should understand that Lamont never said at any time that he would not fight Amir Khan again. If it was up to Lamont, Lamont would have fought Amir Khan the Sunday after the Saturday night fight,” said Johnson.
“That’s how much Lamont wanted this fight. But boxing is a business, and it was important to Lamont to weigh every option that was before him and made available to him before he made his final decision. On behalf of Lamont and Team Peterson, I’m here to say on behalf Lamont Peterson as the IBF/WBA unified world champion, that he is very comfortable and very happy with the decision he’s made to do the rematch. He can’t wait to fight.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org