Fight card moving from D.C. to Calif.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said Monday that he has decided against putting on a planned June 30 Showtime card in Washington, D.C., because of the continuing fallout from the disclosure that junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson failed a random drug test while preparing for a rematch with Amir Khan.
Instead, Schaefer told ESPN.com that he is moving the special edition of Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" to the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.
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Peterson, who is from Washington, won a controversial split decision against England's Khan to claim two 140-pound titles in an all-action fight at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Dec. 10. They were supposed to meet in a rematch on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
However, the fight was canceled last Wednesday because Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone, a banned substance, during a random urine test conducted on March 19. The results came to light last week.
Peterson has admitted to having testosterone pellets implanted inside him, although he claims it was done under the supervision of a doctor for medical purposes -- an abnormally low testosterone level.
Peterson did not disclose the testosterone use to the Nevada State Athletic Commission or to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which was overseeing the random pre-fight testing that Peterson asked for and Khan agreed to. Had he disclosed it, he could have attempted to get a medical exemption.
But the reason why the result of the December bout in Washington is in doubt is because Peterson admitted to taking the testosterone about a month before he faced Khan, even though Peterson's drug tests came back clean after that bout -- likely because the tests conducted by the Washington commission are less sophisticated than those conducted by VADA.
Because the banned substance was in Peterson's system for the December fight, Golden Boy has asked that the Washington Boxing and Wrestling Commission to change Peterson's victory into a no decision. Golden Boy has also asked that the WBA and the IBF, which sanctioned the world title fight, return the belts to Khan.
"We have to move the Washington show," Schaefer said. "We want to see what will happen in with the whole Khan-Peterson thing. The Washington, D.C. commission, the IBF and the WBA can make a statement that they don't tolerate fighters using banned substances, using testosterone. Peterson said he took it in November, which means he had it in his system when he fought Amir.
"I need to make sure when I go somewhere to do a fight that the jurisdiction knows how to deal with world championship boxing events and that the commission in Washington is going to do the right thing before I go back there. So I am not going to go to Washington on June 30."
The Washington commission could not be reached for comment.
Instead of Washington, Schaefer said the show would move to the casino in Indio, Calif., where Golden Boy regularly puts on events.
Although the card is not finalized, Schaefer said two of the bouts are in the works.
He is planning for the main event to be Washington, D.C., native Gary Russell Jr., 23, the 2011 ESPN.com prospect of the year and 2008 U.S. Olympian, against 2004 Cuban Olympian Luis Franco (11-0, 7 KOs), 30, who defected in 2009, in a featherweight title elimination bout.
Russell (19-0, 11 KOs) has yet to fight in 2012 because cards he was scheduled to fight on were postponed and because he also suffered a sprained ankle.
"I would like to have Gary in the main event. He's the prospect of the year and this would be his most significant fight so far in his career," Schaefer said. "He is coming along nicely, he's an exciting guy and his ankle is OK."
Schaefer said he is negotiating the fight with Franco promoter Gary Shaw.
Schaefer also said that junior middleweight titlist Cornelius "K9" Bundrage will make his mandatory defense in a rematch against former titleholder Cory Spinks on the undercard.
Golden Boy does not promote Bundrage or Spinks, but recently won a purse bid for $211,011 to claim promotional rights to the bout. Golden Boy is heavily involved in the 154-pound division and said it bid on the fight because it would like to get exposure for the winner, who looms as a possible opponent for star titleholder Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, whom Golden Boy does promote.
The first time they met, Bundrage destroyed Spinks in August 2010 in St. Louis, Spinks' hometown. Spinks' trouble making weight and his inactivity caught up to him as Bundrage thrashed him before knocking him out in the fifth round to claim the title.
Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs), 39, of Detroit, has only fought once since, a title-retaining decision against Sechew Powell last June. Ongoing contractual issues with promoter Don King -- who bid only $51,000 on the fight -- have kept him inactive. Spinks (39-6, 11 KOs), 34, has won both of his bouts since being knocked out by Bundrage, including a decision in a title eliminator against Powell in January.
Schaefer said his decision to move the card out of Washington does not mean he would not go back there to promote an event in the future.
"I'm not down on Washington, D.C.," he said. "I think D.C. is a fantastic market for boxing. There are great boxing fans there and just because something happened there doesn't mean I'm down on the city. But what I think is important is if you have a fighter (Peterson) who admits he took testosterone pellets a month before a fight there, (the result) should be overturned. Peterson is on the record saying that he took this before the fight with Amir. So I want to give the Washington commission an opportunity to review it.
"I don't want to go to Washington, or anywhere where I have major issues with the commission while I am filing appeals. I want this to be out of the way first."
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