Amir Khan tonight looked forward to a rematch against Lamont Peterson, saying: “Justice has been done.”
World Boxing Association vice president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza confirmed today the WBA had granted the 25-year-old 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.
He said today: “I’m pleased that justice has been done and the WBA has ordered an immediate rematch. All we ask as sportsmen is for a fair and level playing field when we compete.
“Lamont Peterson proved in our fight that he is a great competitor and I hope that a second bout will be just as exciting.
“I want to prove without doubt that I’m the best in the 140lb division by taking care of business in the rematch.”
The Englishman has vociferously complained about a number of issues since the defeat and has lobbied both governing 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 told Press Association Sport today: “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-decision victory over Khan in Washington 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 questionable failure 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 possible discrepancies between the score sheets of the two sanctioning organisations 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 – particularly 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 discredit the new champion.
However, Khan was unimpressed with the accusations of being a bad loser coming from Peterson’s camp.
He told Sky Sports News: “I think deep down he knows he lost that fight. I think he knows if he fights me again he’ll get beaten.
“That’s the reason they’re digging out these little excuses that I’m a sore loser – if he really thinks I’m a sore loser, come and do it again.
“If they think they can beat me properly then let’s have it again because I know next time I fight him it’s not going to go the full distance. I will knock him out.”
Asked when the rematch might happen, Khan said: “Normally I give myself a 10-week training camp. I think the fight could happen round about mid-April or May. We’ll be more than ready.”
And on what his next move would be should he beat Peterson, Khan added: “My ideal fight would be against someone like Floyd Mayweather.
“Floyd Mayweather is a fight that could happen. If Manny Pacquiao is not going to fight him then I will step in and fight him towards the end of this year.
“People say ’Has it (he loss to Peterson) put you back in any way?’ In a way it’s only put me back three months. As soon as I beat him I’ll be back where I am and hopefully Floyd Mayweather will be the fight this year.”