Amir Khan last night looked forward to a rematch against Lamont Peterson, saying: “Justice has been done.”
The World Boxing Association vice-president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza confirmed yesterday 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 his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles in a split-decision defeat in Peterson's home town of Washington DC on 10 December. He said yesterday: "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."
Khan had vociferously complained about a number of issues since the defeat and lobbied both governing bodies, and the Washington DC commission, to change the result to a no-contest and/or force a rematch. Mendoza said yesterday: "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."
Khan's advisers initially claimed that Peterson's team voluntarily agreed to a rematch in the aftermath of the bout only to apparently change their minds. Peterson could still opt to relinquish his WBA title rather than give Khan a second chance, particularly if the IBF, at a hearing on Wednesday, allows him to keep its belt without fighting Khan.
Khan was unimpressed with the accusations of being a bad loser coming from Peterson's camp. He said: "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."