Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Peterson-Khan II makes dollars, sense
By Dan Rafael
The news Tuesday night that Golden Boy Promotions and Amir Khan had dropped their appeal to the IBF, which they hoped would order an immediate rematch between Khan and new unified junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson, came as a surprise -- especially given how hard Khan protested the decision of their controversial Dec. 10 fight in Peterson's hometown of Washington, D.C., and that the hearing was less than 24 hours away when they dropped the case.
So although the IBF won't order a direct rematch -- the WBA already has, which the Peterson camp is vigorously protesting because it made the order without any kind of due process -- the sides are talking rematch, and Khan, who brings the bulk of the cash because of his TV deals, is willing to split profits 50-50. It's a deal that makes sense, so it seems that the big bone of contention, if they agree to fight, will be where the rematch will take place. Khan surely won't want to return to Washington, the so-called scene of the crime. But financially, D.C. -- specifically the city's main arena, Verizon Center -- makes the most sense.
So we'll see what happens there. I think we will ultimately see the rematch, probably in April. The one thing that could change that would be the unlikely event of Manny Pacquiao selecting Peterson as his next opponent. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has named Peterson among the possible opponents on the short list, but I see him as a long shot to actually get the fight.
In the wake of Khan's dropping his appeal with the IBF, Peterson and his manager, trainer and father figure, Barry Hunter, released statements about the situation on Wednesday. Here was Peterson's:
"I want to take this opportunity to thank the fans for all the positive things that I've read over the Internet and messages received via Twitter. I truly did not know how much support I had all over the world. Now that this is over I am ready to move on. As I said before, as champion I plan on representing both sanctioning bodies to the best of [my] ability and that means fighting the best fighters in the world in defending my titles."
"We are extremely pleased that Golden Boy and Amir Khan withdrew their protest with the IBF. As we have said all along, we were not going to be forced to make a decision by one person or entity and we will continue to do what is in the best interest of Lamont Peterson. The Peterson team continuously responded to each of Khan's accusations and the absurdity of the claims. Our reply addressed the rules and also Khan's inability to make adjustments and his performance in the ring, as opposed to placing blame on almost everyone associated with the bout.
"We have an open mind and look forward to Lamont's first title defense. We will discuss internally and assess every viable opportunity available. We will then make the best decision possible for the future of Lamont and his family."
• I get asked a lot about what referees and judges are paid for working world title bouts, and the paperwork related to Khan's appeal gave us a glimpse by making public what the officials were paid to work the December fight. Referee Joe Cooper, whose handling of the bout was at the center of the controversy because of the two points he docked from Khan for unheard-of pushing fouls (which cost Khan the fight), made $2,800 for his night of work. The three judges, George Hill, Valerie Dorsett (who both scored 113-112 for Peterson) and Nelson Vasquez (who had it 115-110 for Khan) made $2,000 apiece.