Khan could pay for protesting as Peterson turns attention to Bradley for next fight

By Jeff Powell for the Daily Mail

Amir Khan has been warned that he faces a long wait for the chance to regain his world light-welterweight titles now the IBF have rejected his appeal that he was robbed in Washington.

With Khan's protest against the unusual deduction of two points for pushing falling on deaf ears, it now looks increasingly unlikely that Lamont Peterson will make good on his immediate post-fight promise of a rematch.

Rival promoter Bob Arum – who is eyeing instead a complete world championship unification fight between the American who was gifted a  controversial decision over Khan and his Top Rank fighter Timothy Bradley – reveals here that the Peterson camp are unhappy with the constant criticism of that verdict.

Revenge: Amir Khan and his team could be in for a long wait for Lamont Peterson

Revenge: Amir Khan and his team could be in for a long wait for Lamont Peterson

Arum says: 'Lamont and his people feel they and the boxing commission in Washington are being insulted. My understanding is that whoever Peterson fights next it will not be Amir Khan.'

Team Khan asked the authorities to review the points deductions by local referee Joe Cooper which gave former Washington street-kid Peterson a 113-112 victory on the scorecards of two American judges.

The third, a Puerto Rican, saw it heavily in favour of Khan despite the loss of points.

They also protested that the scores were changed during the confusion and long delay between the end of the fight and the announcement of the result.

Khan believed his appeal had 'a 50-50 chance of succeeding' but the IBF have ruled there is no case to answer .

Their official observer at ringside scored it a draw, while the WBA supervisor had Peterson as the winner.

Khan has been supported by a body of opinion among the fight fraternity in Britain, myself included.

But the view in America is very different. Veteran New York based promoter Cedric Kushner says: 'It's difficult to see why this should be overturned. It was a very close fight which could have gone either way and the referee is in there to control the boxers.'

The Peterson camp strenuously opposed any reversal of the decision, even though Khan has promised in turn to give Lamont an immediate rematch if it happens.

Gutted: Khan felt he was robbed as he lost to Peterson in Washington

Gutted: Khan felt he was robbed as he lost to Peterson in Washington

They also resented the Khans' attempt to force an immediate rematch, with trainer Barry Hunter saying: 'We will not bullied into anything now. It is part of my job to make the best deal for Lamont.'

How Khan regrets not simply trusting Peterson to stand by his word.

The Khans have pencilled in a May date at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the rematch but not even the offer of a million-dollar pay-night – as opposed to the $650,000 he received as the challenger in Washington – is likely to be enough to entice Peterson.

Arum says: 'Lamont can get a million dollars to fight anybody now. Most probably, he will take an easier opponent in the spring. Providing he wins, that would make the return with Bradley even bigger for him later next year.'

Bring it on: Khan is desperate for another shot at Peterson for his next fight

Bring it on: Khan is desperate for another shot at Peterson for his next fight

Bradley comprehensively out-pointed Peterson two years ago. But with Arum convinced that Top Rank are edging closer to making the mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jnr – to the exclusion of Khan's US promoters Golden Boy – one possibility is for Bradley and Peterson to appear in separate fights on the undercard with a view to setting up their own big showdown.

No doubt Peterson was being genuine when he promised Khan the rematch but his team must know how fortunate they were to win the titles and the prospect of a two-to-three fight run of big pay-days is much more in their interest.

Politics so often overshadow boxing and very few of the old game's power players in America believed Khan had anything like as strong a case as Bernard Hopkins, who has just had his defeat by Chad Dawson annulled by the California commission and his world light-heavyweight title restored.

Up next: Timothy Bradley (right) could be set to take on Peterson

Up next: Timothy Bradley (right) could be set to take on Peterson

Hopkins was lifted into the air by Dawson and dumped head first into the ropes, dislocating his shoulder in the process. The referee should have ruled a no-contest rather than declaring Dawson the winner.

With Khan unable to prove chicanery with the scorecards, his case has been clouded by shades of opinion.

Now the British 25-year-old's whole career is likely to be knocked off schedule.

The dream of moving up to welterweight and a multi-million dollar bonanza against Mayweather has been put firmly on hold, if not blown away altogether.

The determination to retire at the top, as an undisputed world champion, at the age of 28 has been set back by at least a year, probably longer.

And without his titles, his bargaining position has been seriously weakened.

That would be an unfairly heavy price to pay for some bizarre officiating in America's capital, even though his team must now be rueing deeply the somewhat naive decisions to defend the titles in their challenger's home city and to accept a hometown referee.

DiBella admits Khan concerns

The promoter of the man regarded as the third-best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, No 1 middleweight Sergio Martinez (below) from Argentina, is more worried about how Amir Khan fought in Washington than about the split points decision which went against Britain's now-former world light welterweight champion.

Sergio Martinez

Lou DiBella says: 'Personally I scored Lamont Peterson winning narrowly but that's not the issue. There's no real controversy about the referee and the judges. You can't go shoving opponents across the ring with both hands. Amir got warned and got docked. End of story.

'But I am a huge admirer of his wonderful natural ability and there's something wrong In his head, in his thinking. I don't question his courage for one minute but I couldn't believe how he let himself be backed up by a smaller man who is a light puncher.

'He should have dominated this fight and had he done so he would be heading for a  super-fight instead of going back to regroup.

'With his speed and skills Amir should have been the one going forward. Instead he went backwards and took punches he had no need to take.

'It was so odd that it's hard to say what the problem is. But it needs solving. He's an exciting fighter, beautiful to watch. But he should not be losing fights like this and certainly not the way he lost it.'

The failure to keep Peterson on the back foot – let alone knock him out – has raised doubts in some quarters about Khan's punching power.

DiBella says: 'On this evidence, even if he hadn't blow his chance of fighting Floyd Mayweather he should still be thinking seriously about whether he should go up to welterweight. If he can't put away 140-pounders how's he going to stop a Mayweather?'

That is one of several questions which Khan and his family-based team have to ponder over Christmas and the New Year.

Macklin set for Irish party in New York

Matthew Macklin is on the brink of a world title shot in New York's Madison Square Garden against the best middleweight on the planet.

The challenge to Sergio Martinez is virtually set for March 17, a date which will maximise the turnout in New York in support of Macklin, given his Irish antecedents.

All that can prevent the deal being finalised is if Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr agrees to mandatory championship fight against Martinez but that is considered highly unlikely.

Start spreading the news: Matthew Macklin is set to fight in New York

Start spreading the news: Matthew Macklin is set to fight in New York

Promoter Lou DiBella says: 'Bob Arum (Chavez's promoter) does not want this fight yet for young Julio. So although we are going through the motions I think we all know Matthew will be fighting Sergio on St Patrick's Day.'

If, as expected, Chavez declines, he seems sure to be stripped by the WBC – with that then-vacant championship also being disputed by Macklin and Martinez along with the Argentine's Ring magazine world title.

Macklin has helped push himself into this exciting, if challenging, position by taking up part-time residence in New York and becoming hugely popular among the Irish community.

Martinez recently defeated another Brit, Darren Barker, but DiBella, who has guided the Argentine to the summit of boxing, admits: 'Macklin will be a more dangerous fight for Sergio. Matthew is a bigger middleweight and a tough customer.

'Sergio is quicker so it makes for a great fight. I enjoy the luxury of promoting both of them but we have a rematch clause in case Martinez loses because it's my duty to protect the champion.'

Otherwise, he might have added, Martinez would be in even greater danger of blowing the off-chance of Floyd Mayweather Jnr agreeing to meet him at catch-weight in what would be the next biggest money fight after Floyd v Pacquiao.

Pound-for-pound ratings


Born: 17/12/1978
Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines
Current titles: WBO welterweight world champion
Jeff's verdict: Still the best despite almost coming undone his his third installment with Marquez.

Born: 24/02/1977
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Current titles: None
Jeff's verdict: Hates being second best.

Born: 21/02/1975
Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Current titles: WBC Diamond and Ring World middleweight champion
Jeff's verdict: Showed his class to dispatch Darren Barker recently.

Born: 23/08/1973
Mexico City, Distrito Federal
Current titles: WBA, WBO and The Ring lightweight world champion
Jeff's verdict: Classic Mexican warrior who took Manny to the wire in another epic contest.

Born: 16/11/1982
Talibon, Bohol, Philippines
Current titles: WBC and WBO bantamweight champion
Jeff's verdict: The next Pacquiao.

Born: 25/03/1976
Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan
Current titles: IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA heavyweight champion
Jeff's verdict: Longest reigning champion, completely commanded Haye in a one-sided fight in Germany.

Born: 19/07/1971
Belovodsk, Kirghiz SSR (now Kyrgyzstan)
Current titles: WBC Heavyweight champion
Jeff's verdict: It is now time Vitali gets the recognition he deserves

Born: 23/02/1984
Oakland, California, USA
Current titles: WBA and WBC  super middleweight champion
Jeff's verdict: Super-slick operator moves up a place after his win over Froch.

Born: 15/01/1965
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Current titles: WBC and The Ring Light Heavyweight champion.
Jeff's verdict: The 4Os phenomenon.

Born: 02/07/1977
Nottingham, England
Current titles: None
Jeff's verdict: Fantastic run against world-class opponents but unable
to solve the riddle that is Ward. He still proves himself the second best super-middleweight in the world by reaching the Super Six Final through a remarkable series of big fights and clings on to a place in the world top 10.


Born: 02/07/1977
Nottingham, England
Current titles: None
Jeff's verdict:
Froch remains at No 1 despite being unable to solve the riddle that is Andre Ward and losing his world titles. He still proves himself the second best super-middleweight in the world by reaching the Super Six Final through a remarkable series of big fights.

Bolton, England

Current titles: None
Jeff's verdict: Mugged in Washington and will want revenge against Peterson next March.

Born: 17/02/1987
Caerphilly, Wales
Current titles: WBO light heavyweight world champion
Jeff's verdict: Thinking man's world champion.

Born: 13/04/1983
Bellshill, Scotland
Current titles: WBO world super featherweight
Jeff's verdict: Scotland's finest and exceptional in points win over Katsidis.

Born: 29/10/1984
Romford, England
Current titles: WBO intercontinental lightweight champion
Jeff's verdict: A focused, dedicated Mitchell is world class.

Born: 03/05/1986
Sheffield, England
Current titles: British welterweight title and the WBO Inter-continental title
Jeff's verdict: Rising as fast as Haye punches.

Born: 19/05/1982
Barnet, England
Current titles: British and European middleweight champion
Jeff's verdict: Class boxer who almost made Martinez think twice.

Born: 26/03/1988
Hammersmith, England
Current titles: Commonwealth and British Super Middleweight
Jeff's verdict: On the up, great win over Smith at Wembley.

Born: 14/05/1982
Birmingham, England
Current titles: None
Jeff's verdict: Just fell short against Felix Sturm in what may be his best world title chance.

Born: 01/06/1988
Manchester, England
Current titles: British and Commonwealth heavyweight

Jeff's verdict: Showed great character to climb off the canvas and stop Neven Pajkic.

*Macklin fights under the Irish flag but was born in Birmingham.

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