Two men at the centre of the controversy surrounding Amir Khan’s loss to Lamont Peterson will not appear in front of tomorrow’s International Boxing Federation hearing.
Khan today jetted into New Jersey to attend the hearing which could make or break his hopes of a rematch with newly-crowned WBA/IBF champion Peterson.
However, while he will be on hand to give evidence along with Peterson and ’mystery man’ Mustafa Ameen tomorrow, Press Association Sport understands neither referee Joe Cooper nor WBA supervisor Michael Welsh will be present.
Cooper has been accused by Khan of unfairly docking him two points in the split decision loss, while Welsh was the man seen being approached and allegedly interfered with by Ameen, who had no apparent reason to be there.
Khan, who will attend the hearing with father Shah and business manager Asif Vali, has demanded answers to a number of questions – not least what role Ameen played when interacting with ringside officials.
The Bolton fighter said on Facebook today: “(En) route to New york, for the ibf hearing.
“Let’s see what the mystery man has to say!”
Ameen will indeed speak at the hearing, as will Khan and Peterson.
However, arguably the most credible witness will not be present in Newark, New Jersey, with the IBF confirming to Press Association Sport that Welsh will not be on hand to explain what Ameen was doing or saying, because he is a representative of another governing body and therefore not answerable to them.
The hearing is expected to last no more than a day, with the three-man panel granted up to 10 days to make a decision. That panel comprises referees Jack Reiss and Samuel Viruet and judge Glenn Feldman.
The World Boxing Association last week confirmed they had granted 25-year-old Khan another shot at Peterson amid what Khan’s camp described as “a plethora of anomalies” in the original fight.
Khan, who 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, is hoping the fight happens as soon as possible. However, he must wait to discover the IBF’s decision before he can begin planning his revenge.
Should the New Jersey-based body rule in Peterson’s favour, the American could realistically choose to give up the WBA belt and refuse to fight Khan, safe in the knowledge he still has another version of the light-welterweight ’world’ title.