Lamont Peterson has been stripped of the WBA 140-pound title he won from Amir Khan as a result of his failed pre-fight drug test, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. The vacant belt will be on the line when Khan challenges WBC titleholder Danny Garcia on July 14.
Thus the winner of the HBO-televised Garcia-Khan fight, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, will be partially unified junior welterweight titleholder.
Khan (26-2, 18 knockouts), who lost a split decision and his WBA and IBF titles to Peterson last December, had a scheduled May 19 rematch with the Washington, D.C. native cancelled after Peterson tested positive for the banned substance testosterone.
Schaefer said Golden Boy Promotions sent letters to the WBA and IBF requesting that the sanctioning organizations “rule the fight a no-contest,” and, asking “the IBF and the WBA to re-instate Amir Khan as their champion.”
On Wednesday, Schaefer told RingTV.com that the WBA notified him that it will sanction Khan’s bout with Garcia (23-0, 14 KOs), who earned the WBC 140-pound title by outpointing Erik Morales in March.
“I’ve gotten verbal confirmation that the WBA is going to have Amir fight for the WBA title, so that’s that,” said Schaefer. “As it relates to the WBC, we already know that the fight is also going to be for the WBC title [owned by Garcia,] so their fight will definitely be for two belts.”
Peterson-Khan still is to be reviewed by the IBF, which had indicated that it would not decide whether or not to strip Peterson of their belt until after his medical records were examined by IBF President Daryl Peoples and an organization-appointed physician.
But the IBF still is awaiting information from the Peterson camp, according to IBF Public Relations Director Jeanette Salazar.
Peterson’s attorney, Jeff Fried, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Peterson admitted to using synthetic testosterone in November prior to facing Khan, claiming it was for medical reasons. Peterson had surgically implanted “testosterone pellets” inserted into his hip by Las Vegas-based Dr. John Thompson on Nov. 12 after he was diagnosed with an abnormal or low testosterone level.
Peterson and Khan contractually agreed to have their blood and urine randomly tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), whose president and founder is Margaret Goodman.
Goodman informed Nevada State Athletic Commission director Keith Kizer that Peterson’s “urine specimen … was collected on March 19” and that its test results were “consistent with the administration of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone.”
In an interview with RingTV.com, Peterson said that he passed the pre-fight urine test conducted by the Washington D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Athletic Commission before facing Khan.
D.C. commission director, Scottie Irving, also has yet to render a decision and had no official comment when reached on Wednesday.
Morales was the third straight current or former world titleholder for the 24-year-old Garcia, following consecutive decisions over ex-beltholders Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt in April and October, respectively.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org