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The World Boxing Association (WBA) vice-president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza believes there should be a direct rematch between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson after English fighter claimed an unidentified man interfered with the judges’ scorecards when he was defeat in Washington last month.
Khan has accused a ‘mystery man’, who the WBA insist is unknown to them, of tampering with the scores during the fight and Mendoza thinks there should be a rerun of the light welterweight contest in the interests of “fairness”.
The DC Boxing and Wrestling Commission also say they have no idea who the man is, while the International Boxing Federation, who co-sanctioned the fight, had no official comment to make ahead of an IBF hearing on January 18th.
Mendoza told BBC Sport: “There should be a direct rematch of this fight. You have to guarantee fairness, you have to guarantee that no one who isn’t directly involved can sit at the table.”
A man in a black hat and a blue suit can be seen passing slips of paper to WBA fight supervisor Michael Welsh, and as yet no one has been able to confirm his identity.
Mendoza laid the blame for the uncertainty at the door of the local commission.
“There was not the proper security in the arena, especially in the ring side zone where the commission sits,” he added. “The commission did not behave properly in this fight in seeking the fairness that needed to be (there).”
The IBF’s public relations director Jeanette Salazar told Press Association Sport : “At this point in time we have been advised by our lawyers not to speak out in order to keep the integrity of the [IBF] hearing which is scheduled on January 18th.”
Peterson’s trainer and manager Barry Hunter was reluctant to discuss the latest developments, but was saddened that the controversy surrounding the fight had taken away from his man’s achievement. He would not commit to a rematch and criticised the Khan camp for making excuses.
“Before this guy, this mystery man, it (the defeat for Khan) was about the referee, it was about the judges, what next?” he told Sky Sports News. “My thing is we need to get back to boxing. We have to step back and see what’s best for Lamont and what’s best for his future as champion.”
Khan had posted on Twitter, in a series of messages, a commentary of the person’s movements during the fight. Although Khan has been vociferous in his criticism of the decision that cost him his titles, he says that he craves a rematch with Peterson more than having the result of the fight changed.
“That’s what we want,” he told Sky Sports News. “I’ve asked for the fight, I’ve asked for the rematch and I’m not getting an answer back from Lamont Peterson’s team. We’ve offered him a lot of money, there’s a lot of money been put on the table for him to take the rematch.
“I really think the whole world thinks I deserve this rematch because I know I was treated unfairly. I’ve asked for the reason and I’m getting no answer. That’s the reason I’m getting desperate now. That’s the reason I went on Twitter and I put the tweets up. I just want another chance somewhere neutral just to prove to my fans that I am the real champion and I won the fight.”
Khan’s business manager Asif Vali said they have asked for explanations from the various governing bodies relating to a number of their concerns but have yet to receive answers.
“There are four or five different things that require answers and my job is to ensure we get those answers,” he told Press Association Sport. “I want to know the reason this person sat there and what’s going on. We did the table plan with Golden Boy Promotions and the WBA official was already in his seat and the IBF official was already in his seat, so who is this person? What’s he doing talking to the WBA? Why is he handling the slips?
“These are legitimate questions and if they give us sufficient reasons for it then I’ll accept it. I want to see what the reasons are.
“We’re not saying there is foul play involved in any way, shape or form. I just need the answers for the sequence of events that have taken place. Nothing else. I’m not accusing any of the bodies. Lamont Peterson is the champion and good luck to him for 2012.
Extracts from Irish Times