Khan rematch with Peterson gets go-ahead

AMIR Khan last night looked for- ward to a rematch against Lamont Peterson, saying: “Justice has been done.”

World Boxing Association vice presi- dent Gilberto Jesus Mendoza confirmed yesterday the WBA had granted the Bolton superstar another shot at the American amid what Khan’s camp described as “a plethora of anomalies” in the original fight.

Khan lost both his WBA and IBF light welterweight titles in a split-decision defeat in Peterson’s home town of Washington DC on December 10.

The 25-year-old has vociferously com- plained about a number of issues since the defeat and has lobbied both govern- ing bodies – and the Washington DC commission – to change the result to a no-contest and/or force the two men to fight again.

And the WBA’s Mendoza said: “I can confirm there we have ordered a direct rematch.”

In a joint statement from Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions, the Bolton fighter’s camp set out the grounds for a rematch as they saw them.

It read: “Peterson’s split-deci- sion victory over Khan in Wash- ington DC has been riddled with controversy as a result of a plethora of anomalies.

“Acting under its authority pursuant to WBA Rule C.26, the WBA concluded that the bout’s outcome was impacted by referee Joseph Cooper’s ques- tionable fail- ure to credit Khan with a knockdown in round one and his questionable decisions to deduct points from Khan in rounds seven and 12.

“As further cause to order the rematch, the WBA also pointed to Mr [Mustafa] Ameen’s apparent intrusion into the scoring process as well as possi- ble discrepancies between the score sheets of the two sanctioning organisa- tions and the local athletic commission.

“In its resolution mandating the rematch, the WBA went out of its way to note that, under normal circumstances, it would not disturb the discretionary function of a referee.

“However, in this case, because of the multiple irregularities, it was necessary for it to order the rematch.”

Khan’s advisors initially claimed Peterson’s team voluntarily agreed to a rematch in the immediate aftermath of the bout only to apparently change their minds.

And while the WBA have ordered the second fight, Peterson could still opt to relinquish that title rather than give Khan a second chance – partic- ularly if the IBF, at a hearing on January 18, allow him to keep their belt without fighting Khan again. Peterson’s trainer and manager Barry Hunter this week accused Khan of using “foul tactics and false accusations” to dis- credit the new champion. However, Khan was unimpressed with the accusations of being a bad loser com- ing from Peter- son’s camp.

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