Golden Boy Has the “Neutral” Ground For Amir-Peterson Rematch – Its Own Backyard


by Charles Jay

The word I have kept hearing over and over again, as it came out of the mouths of both Richard Schaefer and Amir Khan, is “neutral.”

All they want is a neutral site, with neutral judges, a neutral referee, creating a neutral setting, where at least the poor guy would have a chance.

Jesus, you’d think the kid who ran about the ring on December 10, only to suffer two penalty points on the way to defeat, hadn’t fought 22 of his 26 fights before adoring fans in the United Kingdom, with about a dozen or so of those in or near his hometown.

Schaefer indicated that he has already made a “seven-figure offer” to Peterson for a rematch, and we assume the figure is good only if he cannot achieve an ordered return “go” by the IBF and/or WBA, which I guess is why Peterson is mulling over other options. If he gets what he wants out of the appeal process, which was put in motion less than two weeks ago by depositing a $10,000 non-refundable check with the IBF inside the ten day limit on their appeals process (the WBA money is slightly less), that figure may drop significantly. Schaefer was not specific on what he would offer Peterson at that point.

One of the dates I have heard them propose is May 19, and get this – it would be at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Not only does Khan train there, at least when he is under the watchful eye of Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym (1123 Vine Street, in case you’re interested), but Golden Boy Promotions is headquartered there (626 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 350, and please do visit).

In other words, they’d be happy to provide for “neutral” territory, right there in their own backyard.

And so I’m wondering, will Sal Tessio be providing security?

As history buffs know, traveling to “neutral” territory is roughly how Charles “Lucky” Luciano found himself getting all cut up by Salvatore Maranzano. And he wasn’t “lucky” enough to have Eddie “The Clot” Aliano in his corner to take care of the bleeding.

Michael Corleone was too smart to suffer that same fate.

How smart will Lamont Peterson be?

Let’s hope he’s smarter than Joe Pesci’s character in “Goodfellas,” who thought he was on his way to the best day of his life until he saw that empty card table.

Okay, the analogies with gangster movies may seem a little excessive, although in a lot of ways, the boxing business is sort of like the gangster business. Here the De La Hoya Family (aka Golden Boy) is coming with smiling faces, while at the same time reminding Peterson that, one way or another, they are going to snatch the title from him, even if it means coming up from behind in some dark alley and putting a couple in his brain. Schaefer is real careful not to blame Peterson for the referee’s perceived ineptitude, he’s got great respect for Peterson and his people, blah, blah, blah – although he is still dumb enough to throw a few digs in there, about all of Peterson’s would-be head-butting during the fight, in particular. And Khan is having as good a cry as possible. Yeah, that’s the way to bring the guy to the table.

And then he can’t help but toss an unsubstantiated “accusation” forward, about how his “sources” have told him that Peterson and his manager were meeting with the mayor of Washington, D.C. about the possibility of having more fights there; the implication, of course, being that the mayor, who is in charge of appointing the officials to the commission, may have been complicit in the conspiracy to take the championship belts away from the poor, victimized Khan.

I have no way of knowing whether part of the proposal for a California site would be to get California officials involved. But
wouldn’t be surprised if the commission out there insisted on keeping all of its officials in place, which, believe me, isn’t going to do Peterson any favors. Unfortunately, if he doesn’t keep his head up he’s not going to see the hitmen coming from around the corner. I hope he’s got somebody better than Fredo protecting him.

In talking to reporters on a conference call, Khan sounded like the son of a Mafia don who has watched another guy steal his girlfriend, and wants someone to step in and shoot the guy to death.

In other words, he’s got a strange sense of entitlement.

In other words, he’s got some growing up to do.

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