Khan/Peterson Ongoing Controversy and Drama

Photo courtesy of katieharbath
US Supreme Court
courtesy of katieharbath

Lamont Peterson winning the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles in DC was big news when it happened, but not the ongoing controversy threatens to overshadow what was a great fight. Yesterday there was a press release from the Peterson camp responding to the accusations of Amir Khan that the fight should be overturned and was not a fair fight. The way Khan tells it it should have been clear to anyone in attendance that he not only won the fight but that he dominated. That was not the fight I saw.

The fight I saw could have gone either way and was extremely closely contested. Both fighters fought a great fight and it is a shame that this controversy has drug on. If Khan had filed the protest and kept his mouth shut then he could still come out of this looking good, but at this point he is starting to look like a sore loser who might not want to get back in the ring with Peterson. If Khan feels he is such a superior fighter to Peterson he will work to smooth things over and get a rematch as soon as possible and prove his ability in the ring.

As a fan of the sport this type of controversy and insistence to have the decision of a sporting event play out in a courtroom is frustrating. The Khan/Peterson fight was one of the best the sport has seen in a long time. Boxing needs less controversy and more fighters willing to challenge the controversy in the ring and not the courtroom. Below is the press release from Lamont Peterson’s trainer Barry Hunter in its entirety.

Statement of Barry Hunter
Unfortunately, we are in this process of dealing with these unfounded protests. It would
be an understatement to characterize Lamont as being disappointed in the
unprofessional manner in which Khan is attempting to discredit his performance in the
ring and victory. We were raised to conduct ourselves where Champions display
professionalism, both in victory and defeat. Lamont previously tasted defeat and handled
it the way it should be handled – – he worked harder on areas that needed improvement
to maximize his performance in the ring. Now, he is World Champion.
Khan blames everyone and everything but his performance and lack of ability to make
adjustments in the ring for his loss. He claims that the Ring Announcer privately stated
he won, then that the referee’s discretionary actions should be overruled, then a mystery
man in a black hat with no association to the Peterson Camp somehow affected the
outcome of the bout, and also that the judges did not score the Bout correctly.  Each
claim is boldly false, but because Golden Boy and Khan have the financial resources to
file protests and lawyers to create questionable accusations we are forced to address
these issues. .We will not let these foul tactics take away from Lamont’s hard work,
dedication and monumental victory. Furthermore, since Khan continues to focus on a
man at ringside I want to be very clear– Mustafa Ameen is in no way, nor has he ever
been affiliated or associated with anyone within Team Peterson. That includes myself,
Lamont and Anthony Peterson.
If the media reports are true, the WBA President personally believes there should be a
direct rematch of the fight. This was oddly stated before an official review had taken
place, as well as an official response or decision from the WBA review committee had
been presented regarding the various protests and our formal submission. That makes
me wonder what procedures were actually followed before the WBA President made
these public statements? The Rules should be followed by everyone.
Khan complains that the referee’s decisions should be overturned even though he
continued to push Lamont throughout the fight. We believe the knockdown against
Lamont was questionable but the rules give the referee that discretion on that call and
we respect it.
When Zab Judah filed protests for Khan’s repeated low blows in their July 2011 bout
Golden Boy and Khan argued that a referee’s decisions should be honored. Now,
Golden Boy and Khan are flip flopping on the referee’s decision when it’s not favorable
towards them not the actions of a true champion.
Immediately following our bout Golden Boy and Khan requested a meeting among us
with the sanctioning organizations and the Boxing Commission. When we left the
meeting Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins and I agreed with the commission that the
scorecards were correct and Lamont won the fight. Real Champions don’t continue to
come up with various excuses and false accusations in hopes that something will stick to
cover up for a loss.
The bottom line is that after we decided not to accept Golden Boy’s offer for a rematch
only days after the fight and said that Lamont wanted to enjoy the Holidays with his
family and have time to make the best decision for his career and the future of his family;
they started filing protest letters and trying to spin the media as some form of retaliation.
If the media reports are true, then the actions of a few will put every close decision in
boxing in jeopardy of being overturned. We will not let that happen.  We will continue to
fight for what is just and proper.
Barry Hunter

David Huzzard

David Huzzard was born at Fairfax Hospital in 1981 and has spent his entire life in the Washington, D.C. area. He has been a fan of all the area sports teams either since he was born or since they arrived here. He is also very pleased that his hometown is a burger town.

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