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01 SEPTEMBER 2014

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz
 

Khan And Schaefer Discuss Peterson Defeat




By: Marc Livitz: Former light welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer conducted an international media conference call earlier today to discuss Khan’s controversial loss to Lamont Peterson. Khan lost his WBA and IBF titles via split decision on December 10th. Since the conclusion of the bout, Schaefer, Khan and other members of his team have been petitioning to have the bout thoroughly reviewed in an attempt to either have the decision overturned or an immediate rematch ordered. The twelve round contest took place in Lamont Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C.

Although Peterson was repeatedly cautioned by referee Joseph Cooper about leading with his head, it was Amir Khan who was subjected to two separate one-point deductions in rounds seven and twelve, respectively for pushing Peterson back each time this took place.

The 45 minute talk session today was somewhat unlike other conference calls. Rather than discussing an upcoming bout, much of the time was spent in effort towards contending who many felt was the true winner of the bout and how some glaring mistakes by the referee and scoring judges alike cost Amir Khan his title belts. In addition to the points deduction by Cooper, the final scorecards took much longer than usual to find their way into the ring announcer’s hands at the conclusion of the fight.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer thanked the media for being part of the day’s conference proceedings. “Thank you all for being on this call and I appreciate you calling during this holiday week. Where we stand and what the next steps we are looking to take are as follows: our purpose is not to attack the performance of Lamont (Peterson). He fought well and he put on an outstanding performance”, he said. Schaefer further explained that he held no ill will against the referee or the three judges (Nelson Vazquez, Valerie Dorsett and George Hill, with the third being held to the most scrutiny). Schaefer summarized his frustration with how the bout ended and how referee Cooper may have not been as patient with Amir Khan as he was with Lamont Peterson.

“We look to allow people to correct their mistakes. There was clearly controversy after the fight. For example, look at the amount of time it took to tabulate the totals. George Hill’s card had it 10-10 for round seven, which was then changed to 10-8. For the (WBA) cards, the results should have all been the same. Shockingly, they were not. The IBF cards disappeared. The IBF supervisor said that the D.C. Commission took the cards when the title was being presented to Peterson. It appeared a few days ago. Clearly there is smoke and where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”, Schafer explained.

He further went on to express his concerns about the point deductions in the seventh and twelfth rounds. Schaefer noted, “There were no fouls and Peterson said the pushing didn’t bother him at all. There are no rules about pushing. Many of his (Cooper’s) fellow referees were outspoken against his performance.” He then added in regard to the referee’s cautioning of Peterson which led to no point deductions when he said, “This was the worst case of home cooking I’ve ever seen. I’m not making this up. Let’s start with round two. The referee warned him (Peterson) three times to keep his head up. In round four, he received another warning. Then, in round five he told him again to keep his head up. After round six, the warning was issued to his corner. Once again, in round eight. By round ten, Amir looked up and complained. In round eleven, there were two more warnings and another one in the twelfth round. (Amir) Khan complained over & over. The inconsistency is shocking. It was clear that Amir was fighting two people in the ring after round one. This has nothing to do with Peterson. The referee didn’t do his job. He did a (expletive) job and the decision must be corrected.” The Golden Boy Promotions CEO indicated that the decision itself could be bad for the sport of boxing as a whole as well as detrimental to fights being held in the nation’s capital in the future. Schaefer clarified his thoughts when he said, “We hope it was all honest mistakes. Anything less will be another black eye for the sport, the commission and Washington, D.C. If someone can’t get a fair decision in the nation’s capital, then there’s a problem. This must be addressed by the D.C. commission, the WBA and the IBF.”

Richard Schaefer clearly is not happy with what occurred on December 10 in Washington and he let everyone know that the matter wouldn’t go quietly into the night. “ I refuse to believe that fighters can’t get a fair decision in D.C. and this is why we have filed a complaint. I hope the decision is overturned or at worst, that an immediate rematch is planned. (Lamont) Peterson and his team have a chance to do the right thing and they said they have no problem with a rematch. Lamont told Amir the same at the hospital when they were being examined after the fight. A possible date is May 19th in Los Angeles. The fight won’t go back to D.C. and it won’t be held in the U.K. This is not about sour grapes. We take nothing away from him. We want fairness and this is the right thing to do.”, said Schaefer.


The former light welterweight titleholder was as equally disappointed, though not quite as garrulous. Amir Khan was brief in his opening statements. “I’ve watched the fight again and I have seen a few things that I didn’t like. I did tell the referee several times. I deserve a fair fight, but I’ll never fight in Washington again. Lamont will give me the rematch I deserve. If it was judged fairly, then I would still be the world champion. The ref was making blatant mistakes. I hope commission, the IBF and WBA will watch it and see my complaint. We’ll then see where we go from there. We’re trying very hard to get this decision overturned.”, said Khan Khan stressed that he has received much support from those who felt he won the fight and that the decision was comparable to another robbery in the ring. He explained, “Everywhere I go, not just in England, but everywhere people are telling me that I was robbed. All I want is a fair fight. Right now, Lamont (Peterson) isn’t returning calls to Golden Boy Promotions, but a rematch should be ordered by the commission. It was a great performance by Peterson. We were both happy with the way we fought and I hope that there’s some fights in D.C. again.”

Richard Schaefer then noted that a hearing was tentatively set for mid January. “ There is a hearing for the middle of January. We are honorable people and we will honor our agreement to Lamont. We’ll treat people right and we hope that they do the same.”, he said. Amir Khan was then asked to explain the emotions he experienced at the conclusion of his highly questionable loss. Khan stated, “We were feeling good before the fight and we were ready for it. We didn’t get the decision and we were unhappy about how we were judged. We had hoped this would bring more fights to D.C. and that the world of boxing would return. The fans were great. What happened was bad for boxing and for Washington, D.C.”

Khan then stressed the potentially negative effects the decision could have on the boxing future of the city. Khan added, “ Who will want to fight there now? If you’re going to be judged unfairly, then why even fight there at all? Yes, I was fighting away from home, but you’d think it would all be fair. I don’t think this type of thing should happen in boxing. I just want this to be fair. All who saw the fight in the U.K. were appalled.”

2011 has made itself out to be an interesting year for the sport of boxing. There have been a number of questionable decisions by judges, referees and fighters alike. In August of this year, Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares met for what turned out to be a very ugly evening in the ring in Las Vegas. The bantamweight championship bout was tarnished by multiple low blows from Mares, one of which led to an allowed knockdown in the eyes of referree Russell Mora. Mares won by majority decision, but the respective commissions involved ordered an immediate rematch, which took place earlier this month in Anaheim, California.

Schaefer referenced this bout and its corresponding decision by the acting commissions when he was asked whether or not he felt occurrences such as this were becoming a systemic problem in boxing. He replied, “The referee is important, but he is injecting himself too much into the fight or maybe he doesn’t have the right training. The same goes for judges as well. This was a horrible year from an officiating point of view. People must be held accountable for their actions. As for Mares and Agbeko: yes, a rematch was ordered. In our case, Peterson was warned about fifteen times about coming in low with his head, but the point deduction never happened. I will be SHOCKED (Schaefer appealed to the listening media that the preceding word be in all capital letters) if the IBF ordered a rematch with Mares and Agbeko’s bout, but not so with this one. I’d seriously question the IBF.”

Amir Khan was then asked to clarify his remarks about not wanting to return to Washington, D.C. Khan explained, “The best place to fight is a neutral venue. Bad referees and judges can make boxing look so bad. Even those who don’t understand boxing know that I won that fight. Now I know why there’s been no big fights there in twenty years. There was nothing happening when I was complaining to the ref. I know if I was doing the thing with my head, then I would have been penalized.”

Schaefer closed the conference call with the following statement: “There are clearly some questions about the scorecards. It raises more than a few eyebrows. Just look at all of it. Scoring, deductions from Amir and none from (Lamont) Peterson. That is why we are on this call. Lamont is a great fighter with tremendous courage and spirit. You saw that when he fought Victor Ortiz. I applaud him for agreeing to a rematch.”

December 20, 2011






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