Junior welterweights Amir Khan and Danny Garcia have contractually agreed to random Olympic-style drug testing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in advance of their July 14 clash for Garcia’s WBC belt and the WBA’s crown, Khan told members of the national media during a conference call on Monday.
Random testing for that fight was handled by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), whose protocols are considered to be more strict than those of USADA.
“The drug testing is being done by USADA,” said Khan of the Garcia fight. “We’ve been tested in camp, and we’ll be tested before the fight. We’re being tested randomly — not knowing when they’re going to turn up on your doorstep or at the gym or wherever you are.”
“USADA and VADA do the same thing, testing for illegal substances. So I left it to my team, Golden Boy, to come up with whoever they think is good to use for this fight, and that’s what we did. Me and Danny Garcia agreed on taking this test randomly in camp and also before the fight.”
The planned May 19 rematch between Peterson and Khan was canceled due to Peterson’s positive test, leading to the matchup with Garcia.
“What got to me was not having the chance to win my titles back and to have a chance to set things straight. I would have definitely changed a lot of things from the first Peterson fight,” said Khan.
“I know that I made a lot of mistakes in there. At times, I took shots when I didn’t have to stand in there and take shots. But I’ve just put it behind me now. The truth is out there now. I fought someone who was on illegal substances.”
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said Golden Boy sent letters to the WBA and IBF requesting that the sanctioning organizations rule the fight a no-contest and reinstate Amir Khan as their champion.
The WBA has since stripped Peterson of its belt and declared Garcia-Khan, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, as a title bout for the organization.
“The future holds another big fight for me, which is against Danny Garcia for the WBA title and the WBC title,” said Khan. “I’ve put everything else behind me. It’s been a long training camp, but I love training and spending time in the gym. It’s given me a lot of time to work on new things. I’ve paced myself and not overtrained. It’s going perfectly really.”
“I’m glad that both titles will be on the line now. That’ makes it more exciting. It makes the fight even bigger. Me and Danny are young fighters. He’s 24 and I’m 25. We just hope that the IBF may do the same thing and put that title on the line as well, which would help us to promote this as even more of a unification fight.”
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.
Peoples told RingTV.com that the IBF still has not received the information from Peterson’s attorney, Jeff Fried.
“I have asked the Lamont Peterson camp to have to me all of the information that they are going to present or that they have planned on presenting to our office by this Friday,” said Peoples.
In the meantime, Peterson’s legal counsel has asked for a postponement to August of its originally scheduled July 9 meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to Keith Kizer, executive director of the commission.
“As we discussed in our earlier conversations, I am representing Lamont Peterson with respect to his Nevada matters. We appreciate the commission’s willingness to place his matter on the July NSAC agenda,” one of Peterson’s lawyers, Peter Bernard, wrote in a letter to Kizer on June 27.
“However, because Mr. Peterson continues to meet with his medical professionals for further work-ups, I asked to defer this matter, at least to the August agenda, and I will provide medical information as soon as it is available. This letter confirms that the commission will not put Mr. Peterson on the July agenda and will await further information from me.”
Peterson’s can not be licensed until he appears before the commission.
“Mr. Peterson’s counsel requested a continuance so the Peterson camp could get more medical information to the commission, and chairman [Skip] Avansino granted the request,” said Kizer.
“Mr. Peterson cannot compete in Nevada until he comes before the full commission and obtains a license, so there is no rush on our end.”
KHAN’S NO LONGER WORKING WITH ALEX ARIZA
Khan said Ruben Tabares has replaced former strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza, a former assistant to trainer Freddie Roach who had been with Khan for eight of his past nine fights. During that time, Khan earned two belts, knocked out New Yorkers Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi, beat former beltholders Marco Antonio Barrera, Marcos Maidana and Andreas Kotelnik and, most recently, lost to Peterson.
“It was a change really that I needed. It’s always good to change and work on new things. It was a big wakeup call for me after the Peterson fight. This was one of the things that I had to change,” said Khan, who also hinted that a win over Garcia might mark his final fight at 140 pounds.
“We’ll see what happens after we win this fight, hopefully, and then we’ll sit down with the team and we’ll go through what’s going to happen. But it could be one of the last fights. It just depends on how it all goes. But it may be time to go up to the next weight category and go for the new challenges.”
GARCIA: ‘I WANT TO BE THE BEST’
Garcia (23-0, 14 KOs) earned the WBC 140-pound title by outpointing Erik Morales in March. Against Morales, Garcia overcame adversity to floor the four-division titlewinner in the 11th round.
“I think that I showed a lot of heart in that fight. In the 11th round, he cut me on my eyebrow and I started bleeding and my nose was a little swollen. I stood there and I traded with a Mexican warrior, and the fans loved it, and that’s what people want to see in boxing,” said Garcia, a Philadelpha resident.
“They want to see blood, sweat and tears. When the times got heated, and people thought my nose was broken, and my eye was bleeding, my heart got pumped up and I stood there and I traded. If I could say I showed anything in that fight was that I have heart under pressure.”
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.
“If you’re the world champion, you’re supposed to fight the best people in your prime. That’s what I want do to. I want to be the best, and when you’re the world champion, you’re supposed to fight the best for my legacy, starting young,” said Garcia.
“I think that every fight, I learned something different, and you grow as a professional in every fight. You get smarter, you get more confident, and I think that every fight helped me in a different way and led me to this fight.”
JOSESITO LOPEZ SIGNS WITH AL HAYMON
Josesito Lopez (29-4, 18 KOs), who is coming off an upset, ninth-round TKO over former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) on June 23, has signed with advisor Al Haymon, Lopez’s promoter, Dan Goossen, confirmed on Monday.
In signing with Haymon, a move that was originally reported by BoxingScene.com, Lopez joins a stable of fighters that has included Floyd Mayweather Jr., Paul Williams, Danny Garcia, Austin Trout, Peter Quillin, Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Chris Arreola, Andre Dirrell, Seth Mitchell, Adrien Broner, Gary Russell Jr. and Rico Ramos.
“It’s confirmed, and, from our end, I’ve had a lot of good years with Al, so it can only be an added benefit for everyone,” said Goossen, who has promoted Williams, Arreola and Ramos.
Photo by Chris Hutty, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com