AMIR KHAN & RICHARD SCHAEFER CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
Thank you, Christa. I’d like to thank everyone for taking time out of their morning, or afternoon, to join us for today’s call which has the CEO of Golden Boys Promotion, Richard Schaefer on the line, as well as Amir Khan, and Amir’s business manager Asif Vali.
At this time I’d like to send the call to Richard who will introduce everyone and give some opening statements about the fight that occurred on December 10th. Richard?
Thank you very much, Monica, and thank you all for being on this call. I know it’s a holiday week for many and I really appreciate that you guys are taking time out of your schedule. I’d like make some opening marks, remarks, walk you quickly through where we stand and what the next steps are, um, as it relates to Amir and the fight and everything, and then turn it over for Amir for some comments and then opening it up for questions.
Well, first of all let me state that the purpose of this call is in no way or shape to attack or question the performance of Lamont Peterson and his team. I think Lamont fought a very good fight, it was an exciting fight. In fact, many people feel it was another fight of the year candidate, so this is absolutely nothing about taking anything away from Lamont Peterson. It is simply to look at the facts, present the facts, and give the people involved an opportunity to correct their mistakes. It’s basically about doing the right thing.
So let’s look at these facts. Let’s look where we stand. There was clearly controversy after the fight on this scoring. I’ve ha, have hardly ever seen uh, the, the time it took for tabulating this card and announcing the decision. That was very strange in itself.
Then you look at the official card, which showed initially a 10/10 on the scorecard of George Hill for round seven. It was later crossed out and changed to an 8/10 in favor of Peterson. Then you look at the WBC’s WBA supervisor, Michael Walsh, who is a certified public accountant and CPA by profession, and probably the man with the most experience that night sitting ringside there.
Certainly from an accounting point of view, but as well from a fight official point of view, he was involved in many other championship fights before. And he kept, as it is customary, a WBA master score sheet which used as an input the same information as the District of Columbia Boxing Commission used for their scorecard. It’s basically the individual per rounds score slips, which are collected from the referee and then supposed to be given to the Commission.
So the Commission keeps the master score sheet, so does the WBA, and so does the IBF. Therefore the results would be the same, right, because they all use the same information. Well shockingly it was not, it was different. It was the same for the scorecard of Nelson Vasquez, who had it for Khan, and it was the same for Valerie Dorsett, who had it for Peterson, but somehow George Hill’s card had it a draw. Therefore the WBA showed on their card that the fight was a draw.
Dave Itskowitch, our Chief Operating Officer and certainly one of the most honest and straight-forward people I have ever met, and all of those, those of you who know him, certainly would agree with me. He actually saw the card, the official WBA card with his own eyes right after the fight. And the WBA’s not disputing that the WBA card is different from the official, ah, from the official card.
Now what happened with the IBF card, with the IBF master score card? It was gone after the fight. Funny enough, it disappeared. When I talked to Lindsey Tucker on Monday morning, Lindsey Tucker is the IBF official, I asked him what happened, he said that the IBF supervisor who was there for the fight told him that it disappeared, that it seems to him that the District of Columbia took it while he was in the ring presenting Peterson with the belt.
Then suddenly two days ago, an IBF scorecard appeared. It looks as it was made up after the fact, no question about it or was made about, yeah, two days. The printing was way too neat and consistent, not consistent with what usually a scorecard looks like. So, we’re not, we’re just, as I said before, we’re just outlining the facts here. Ah, there clearly is some smoke as it relates to the scorecards and you know the old saying, where there is smoke there is fire.
Now let’s move on to the points deductions. There are serious issues with these point deductions. First of all there were clearly no fouls. Even Lamont Peterson acknowledged in the post-fight interview that the push, that the push-off from Amir did not bother him at all.
There are no provisions in the rules related to pushing. In fact the uniform rules of the Association of Boxing Commission do not mention pushing or even excessive pushing as a foul. Even fellow referees, some of the veterans in the sport and they never; believe me, they never second guess a colleagues performance, had issue with referee Cooper’s point deductions and the way he handled that fight.
Several news stories to that effect were published in the last few days and you can read about outspoken comments from fellow referees. There was clearly no basis for one point and certainly, absolutely none for two-point deductions. The fact is that the ref performed one of the worst cases of home cooking I have ever seen. The fact is that Amir complained during the fight about the excessive and continued use of the head by Peterson and coming in low, head first. The ref realized that and warned Peterson.
Let me just briefly walk you through the fight at the relevant warnings from the ref to Peterson, and again, I’m not making this stuff up. You guys can go and watch the tape yourself if you don’t believe me. Rounds two, referee warned three times, keep your head up, keep your head up. Round four, one warning; get your head up. Round five; keep your head up, son. Round six, five of the rounds the ref warned Barry Hunter; anymore of that and I will take a point away. He went on to warn him two more times in that round six.
At 2:04 seconds remaining, Amir looked at the ref and complained about Peterson’s head. Round eight, again keep your head up Peterson, one warning. Round 10, 2:20, 2:44 seconds remaining, Amir looks up and again complains about the low blow. Three more warnings; get your head off him. Let go, keep your head off him, keep your head up. Round 11, two more warnings, another complaint from Amir at the close of the round. Twelfth round; ah, again one warning; break, keep your head up. And again Amir complained about the Peterson head.
So the inconsistency, the inconsistency is absolutely shocking. The ref didn’t deduct any points, but if this is not home cooking I don’t know what is. It’s clear, and I mean very clear, that after the first round that Amir was fighting not one, but two people in the ring. Now again, you can’t blame Peterson for that, and we’re not blaming Peterson, has nothing to do with Peterson.
The fact is the ref didn’t do his job, worse, he did a shitty job. Now people make mistakes, and I believe in giving them an opportunity to correct the situation. These points are razor fact, we don’t make them up. They’re clear and unquestionable facts. This decision has to be corrected. I hope that they were just honest mistakes and the truth will prevail and the result be corrected. Anything but, would be another black eye, for the sports, the sanction organization and the District of Columbia.
Now for those people who have suggested; why did you go to the guy’s hometown, why did they go to Washington? We would never take a fight there. You know you have these Sunday morning quarterbacks voicing and making these kinds of comments.
Well, let me start by stating that if in fact somebody cannot get a fair decision in our nation’s capital, then we have a much bigger problem, a problem which is not fixed by simply ignoring it or not going back there for another 20 years or so. The problem and the issue has to be addressed. It has to be addressed by the District of Columbia Boxing Commission, as well as by the IBF and the WBA.
I refuse to believe that fighters cannot get a fair shake in Washington, D.C. It’s not fair to the great fans of Washington, which came out in huge numbers and to the sport. This is exactly why we have filed the appeal with the Commission and with the two sanctioning organizations. They have an opportunity and an obligation to do the right thing.
I sure hope that for the sake of the fans and the sport that they will do the right thing, which is to overturn the decision and, or order, at least, at worst, order an immediate rematch. By the way, I got an update; we have filed these appeals and we got an update for the IBF and the WBA will order an appeal to happen in the beginning of January, I think it’s January 18th and 19th, uh, in New York.
Now talking about doing the right thing. Lamont Peterson and his team have an opportunity as well, to do the right thing. They agreed after the fight that they would do a rematch. They told the HBO announcers and fight fans around the world that they have no problem doing the rematch next.
I personally talked to Team Peterson right after the fight and Barry Hunter told me the same. No issues, no problem to do the rematch, that it was a pleasure to work with us and that they have no problem giving Amir the rematch. I understand that, Lamont mentioned that to Amir as well, even when they were sitting next, next, next to each other at the hospital getting checked up after the fight.
I went immediately to work and was able to secure May 19th from Staple Center in Los Angeles. Not in Washington, not in the United Kingdom, on mutual grounds; a date, a date which will give both fighters enough time to get ready and to do it again. I talked to Team Peterson subsequently and made them a seven figure offer and we are waiting to hear back from them. Again, this will be a much anticipated fight, this is the fight, fight fans, the boxing world sports fans want to see, so let’s get it done again.
Again, very, very important that, and very clear here, this is not about sour grapes, it’s not attacking Lamont Peterson any way or shape, it comes back to like Lamont and his team, there’s nothing, we don’t want to take anything away from him, but have a setback, what we want is we want, we want fairness and we believe that that’s the right thing to do to get the fight going again.
I’d like to hand it over now to Amir for any additional comments and thoughts, and then we’re going to open it up to the media. Amir?
Yes, thank you, Richard. You know I watched the fight and I’ve seen a few things in the fight I wasn’t happy about. Well probably about five times I saw the fight and, there are a lot of warnings in there and stuff and the head and everything and I did tell the referee at times, well it seemed to me that there was no one there to help me.
I’m not taking anything away from Lamont Peterson. He fought a great performance and he was strong and he was, he put on, you have to do what you do. You know he stuck to his game plan and we spoke after the fight and him and his team were very respectful. But I think I deserve a fair chance of a fair fight somewhere neutral and I’m willing to come back to the U.S. and put a fight on there, but never in Washington again.
You know, I think it’s just people that are going to be very disappointed, especially the fans in Washington because we brought the fight in the Capital, we brought boxing back there with that performance, and with the unfair judging and unfair referee. I think it just puts boxing on a low.
But, like I said, overall it was a great fight and I hope Lamont Peterson does give me the rematch like he did say he’s going to give me, and the rematch I think I deserve and, you know, I know definitely if the fight, if the fight was judged and refereed fairly, I know I’ll still be the world champion and, you know, I really think I was just judged unfairly.
I mean every time I watch the fight because the time in the fight where you know about the referee making mistakes and he’s not on my side. But I mean you have to put these things behind you and I just hope that the Commission and also the IBF and the WBA will watch this and hopefully see my complaint and they come back and hopefully fix all this. So it’s in the hands of the WBC.
I saw it over the air, and the IBF, and also the Commission, so let’s see where we go from there. And I’ll go out and by trying my very best to get this solved. Also my team have been trying very very hard to get this sorted out. But you know it’s taking time and I’m just going to stay focused and, you know, overall it was a great fight. I mean one of the best fights of the year, and everywhere I’ve been going and everywhere I’ve been going in England, everyone’s been saying I got robbed. Not even in England, but everywhere I went in the Washington people were saying I got robbed even his own fans.
They said look, there were people in Washington saying look, you come to D.C. and we robbed you. You know, that’s what they’re saying, but you know, end of the day all I want is a fair fight. I mean, you know, I want a rematch just to prove to the world I wasn’t treated fairly and off we go from there.
I’m sure Lamont Peterson has watched the fight as well and he understands and now maybe that’s the reason he’s not coming back and he’s not returning calls to Golden Boy Promotions about the rematch. But I think, you know, the IBF and the WBA should order a rematch in my opinion, and also look at the fight the way it was, the referee. So let’s just see where we go from here and overall it was a great performance from Lamont Peterson also.
I mean I tried, I put on a good performance as well, we both were, you know, we both were happy with it, the way we fought and everything, but it was just the referee and the judges who spoiled a great night of boxing. So, you know, I don’t know if there’s going to be a fight in D.C. again. I hope there is, because I hope they do fix the judging and the referring, but let’s just see where we go from there.
Now are you, are you seeking to have this overturned, or would you want a rematch Richard?
Well, I mean we believe that there are enough grounds to get it overturned, that’s our first priority. But as I said at the very least, really there should be no, there shouldn’t even be a question about it; there shouldn’t really be an argument about it. An immediate rematch should be ordered.
Richard, did you find, I know the procedure with the IBF is $10,000 and they go through an appeals process. What was the process, what do you understand is the process with the WBA you filed with them?
Well it’s similar, it’s a little bit less money, but the fact is appeals are expensive and if we wouldn’t be as convinced as we are that this is, there’s really, it should be a slam dunk. We obviously wouldn’t go through that, but, we are convinced it is, and yes, so with our appeals we did enclose the appropriate fees, which you were correct, a $10,000 in the case of the IBF and it’s a little bit less in case of the WBA.
Okay, a little bit less, huh? And you said you expect both decisions, you’ve been notified that both decisions will be completed? Did they give you an exact date in January?
Well they have suggested as a matter of fact this morning, the IBF did, January 19th as the date and so I will be talking to the WBA. I talked to them yesterday and they were actually suggesting to me to do the hearing in the beginning of January in New York, so I’m going to be communicating the dates that we can somehow do that during the same time when, um, when the various parties are going to be on the East Coast to take care of this.
And, if they do order the immediate rematch, will your offer still stand to, Lamont the seven figures, or will that–?
Well you know I mean we are honorable people. The Khan’s are very honorable people and so are we, so yes, we really hope that we don’t even have to go through lawyers and we can just get this fight done; end of story. But it seems to me that we have to go that route, we’re prepared to go that route. And, yes, we just, you know, we’re treating people right and I hope, I hope that the Peterson’s will do the same.
Have you gotten any cooperation or any feedback? Have you been able to contact anybody with the D.C. Commission?
We have filed the appropriate paperwork, we have not heard back from them. Obviously this is as we saw that night, it is not a very experienced Commission, and we are, our attorneys are working on securing the date for the appeal with them as well that we can be heard in front of them.
Yeah, can you talk about your emotions after the fight? I know you were before the fight you really wanted to be at D.C., you had the whole experience with Senator Clinton and you were welcomed there. Obviously that night you were very emotional and you said some things. Can you talk about just the process of how you felt before the fight, how you felt the night of the fight, and I have to ask; Glen McCrory, one of the champions from England said that perhaps you shouldn’t have been as harsh with your comments and that maybe since then, just about D.C. in general, you may have thought differently about some of the things you said.
Well, you know first of all, you know, before the fight we were in good shape and we were very confident with the fight and, you know, I wasn’t looking too far ahead. I mean I was just stick to it, you know, doing what I could do, I listened to Freddy and everything and we were ready for the fight. The fight happened. And we didn’t get the decision and everything, we were unhappy with the refereeing and the way I was judged and all I wanted was a fair fight really.
And I thought being in the fight at D.C., it would bring more bigger fights in D.C. D.C. hasn’t had a big fight there for such a long time I thought maybe this is a way, this could be the time near where we can bring the big super fights to D.C. now and the world of boxing will use D.C. as a great venue because the fans were great, I mean, I met all fans after the fight and they were so nice and they came over to me and showed me a lot of respect and they’re all honest.
There’s a lot of peace and fans that come over to me and said to me, “Look, we know you won the fight but you know it was one of them things you fought Peterson in his home town.” And I’m here to get a message to all the boxers who are on the same level, I’m not going to mention no names, and they’ve also said to me, “We’re never going to fight in D.C. If we ever get the option to fight in D.C. we’ll never go there and fight there because if this is what, if that’s what, if this is what happens in D.C., then we’re not, we’re not going to go there.” I think it’s bad for boxing what happened.
You know I’m not taking nothing away from Lamont Peterson, but I think it’s just bad for boxing what happened the way I was judged and that’s just going to put boxing, especially in D.C. really really low. You know, no one will want to fight there. I mean I wouldn’t go back there again to fight there because if you’re not going to get treated fairly then there’s no point for fighting there. First of all, I’m fighting away from home anyway, I’m fighting in America, and even though I’m from England, I’m fighting for the fans even to go to fight away from home and then get robbed, that’s what hurts more.
And people have a lot of respect for me to fight away from home at such a young age and defending my world title and everything. But when you fight someone in his home state you think at least be fair. You know I’ve shown up with the balls, I’ve shown the balls by going there and fighting him there, so why not be fair? Just get me, you know, Golden Boy, and my team have been great, they have just been, speaking to the IBF to find a way to fix this because you know I don’t think it should happen in boxing. We want it to be fair, we want to be fair in sport.
We want, boxing, I mean it’s one of the biggest sports in world, but we just want fair, we just want everyone to be fair and we’re not getting that, I mean, especially the judging and the referee on that night, I think it was really really bad. You know, everyone who saw the fight in the U.K. were appalled. They were disgusted with the referee and the judging and the, now, you know, that’s only going to pop people off boxing.
Wonderful. Richard, it seems like this is just the latest in a series of incidents that we’ve seen in the sport this year with questionable calls from referees and judges. I think back to Amir’s fight with Zab Judah in Vegas where Judah complained. I think, of course to the Agbeko Mares fight in Vegas with Russell Mora, the Hopkins Dawson fight in L.A, the Ortiz Mayweather controversy and Pacquiao Marquez decision. And now we’ve got Amir’s situation in D.C.
Is this just a bigger thing than just that one night? Do you think that sport, there’s a sys, a systemic problem right now in boxing throughout in terms of refereeing and judging?
Well, I really think that maybe the time has come to have the refereeing; the ref is an important part of the fight, and I think if the ref is injecting himself too much into a fight, and or doesn’t have the proper training and experience, it obviously is an issue because there’s so much at stake. So I do think that there is a lack of proper training for referees and frankly for judges as well. And I think that you’re absolutely right.
I mean the whole year was a horrible year from an officiating point of view and I think something has to done about that. But at the very least, people have to be held accountable for their actions and I refuse to say that to believe even that this ref was corrupt, but what it is, is people make mistakes. As I said, you saw at the Hopkins Dawson fight, the ref acknowledged at the hearing that he didn’t see it; he had a chance now to review the tape and he saw that he made the wrong call and he corrected it, you know.
That is what should happen, and this is not about, all were turning all the decisions or so, it is about doing the right thing, you know, that like it was the case in other sports, maybe instant replay should be introduced for some of the questionable calls. And there’s definitely going to have to be something done to educate and further the officials and refs and so you’re absolutely right, I think it is part of bigger picture. The IBF by the way, you mentioned Mares Agbeko, uh, where some of those calls were missed as well; the low blows–
They ordered a rematch.
And they ordered a rematch and here it’s clear again, I don’t have to walk you through it, but it was 14 or 15 times that the ref actually warned Peterson for coming in low with his head, the ref even went into Peterson’s corner, I mentioned it before, warned Barry Hunter, one more there’s going to be a point deduction for Peterson, well it never happened. Peterson continued to do it and got away with it.
And, you know, in a way when you look at the Mares fight, there were no warnings and Mares got away with it and he kept on, you know, doing it because it didn’t have any consequences. So Peterson kept going in low with the head, Amir had to push him off because the ref didn’t do anything about it.
And again, so I really would be shocked, and I mean you can print shocked in capital letters if the IBF is not going to, is going to be so inconsistent, but ordering a rematch for Mares Agbeko just a couple of months ago and denying a rematch of this fight. I mean I would be shocked and I would seriously, and I mean you can put seriously in capital letters as well, question the idea of what the hell is going on.
Yes, because this whole thing with that scorecard disappearing that night seems very suspicious at the very least.
Where there is smoke there is fire.
Yeah. Amir, if you don’t get your rematch with Peterson, what would be next, and you sound like someone who’s not going to be as willing to fight in the States given what has happened to you. Who would you fight next and will you insist the fight be held in the U.K. where you know you’ll get a fair shake?
Very quickly, Amir, in the event you don’t get your rematch with Peterson, who would you like to fight and would you be willing to fight that person somewhere in the States whether it’s in Nevada or California or somewhere other than Washington?
You know, one thing I love fighting in the States, and my previous fights in the States have been fairly fair. I’ve had some performances, and this is just the one fight that I was treated, and even if I was beaten, then I’d put my hand up and I’d say yes, I was beaten.
But watching the video and everything and beating the fight, I knew I was not beaten and I was treated unfairly. I was complaining at the referee by being hit below the belt and also, you know, being not treated right and getting the ref was always just complaining of things I was doing, but not complaining, not warning Lamont Peterson I mean, you know, that just kind of hurt me because I thought, look at this, you know, I’m the world champion who’s traveling to just a big entertainment to people’s State and they’re not giving me the fair chance, you know, and not many people would do what I’m doing by traveling from England.
I mean I could have all my career in England, but I choose to travel and play in America, just all my fans and for boxing, you know, to make boxing a bigger sport. But it’s just upsetting when you see these things happen because I’m thinking, boy, it should never happen and especially what the world of boxing got to see the fight on HBO and also Sky TV.
But I’m sure they thought, wow, you know, is this really boxing, I mean I’m getting Twitter messages, and other messages everywhere I have been going and people are saying, “Wow, we didn’t think this happened in boxing.” I mean, we know it happens in other sports, but boxing is one sport we thought was fair and it didn’t look good for boxing.
Hi, I’m very well thank you, thank you. There’s a question for Richard first of all. You read out that list of the warnings issued by Cooper to Peterson, I mean it sounds like you have an annotated list of those warnings. Can you just tell us who it was who sat down, and watched the tape and made that list for you to present to the WB and IBF. Can you just tell us who it was who did that?
Yes, the full team from the U.K. have sat down and reviewed the tapes. We, mostly studied it close over the last few days. Amir himself has been away in London for the last few days doing other stuff. When Amir comes back, he’s on the way back now, we’re going to sit down with him straight again and we’re going to go through the list again to clarify and confirm exactly what’s happened. But the full team sat down with it.
We had an understanding here that the IBF had already rejected the appeal, but from what you’re saying, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
No that was not the official appeal. Basically we sent immediately a letter to the sanction organizations informing them that there will be an appeal and we asked them, we made them aware of it, and the IBF came back very quickly within a day and said that they initially just looked at the tapes and they do not feel that anything is warranted to file an appeal.
But, based on section 12 I believe, of the IBF rules and regulations, you can file an appeal within ten days of the bout and we had an official appeal, and so have filed this official appeal and that official appeal will basically trigger a very thorough review of the facts and the surrounding of this decision and we will have an opportunity to present that, obviously we have put it forward in writing, be we will have an opportunity to present it to the IBF on January 19th. And then they will make their decision whether they will either overturn the result or order an immediate rematch, or let the decision stand as it is. And it’s the same process with the WBA.
You touched on this a bit earlier but I want to get a clarification. Are you saying you would not consider coming back to D.C. based on the event that transpired on the 10th? And how will this, if at all, impact your decision to fight other challengers in their hometown?
I mean, you know, yeah, you know, first of all I fought other places like neutral venues. I think the best thing for me is to find neutral venues. I mean this can always be hard for me to fight, so I want to know even though you know I fought Lamont Peterson in his home state I beat him and I was against the referee, I was against the judging.
I think in boxing it’s bad to have bad judging and bad referees, it just looks so bad for the sport and, you know, we don’t want this because it’s just making boxing look bad and it’s happened with me now and I’ve got friends all over the world, people who understand boxing, people who don’t understand boxing, and even those who don’t understand boxing here I will not fight.
And it just puts down Washington, now I know why they didn’t have big event for the last 20 years. You know people are afraid to go there, people are going to be afraid to go there again. Now after seeing what happened with me, they’re going to be like why we should really stay away from that place and we don’t want that, we didn’t want that to happen. All we wanted was a fair fight. You know, be fair in boxing, that’s what it’s all about, I want fair fights and I just don’t get the fair fight.
So, I think the world knows, even the press, you guys, and the media, you’ve all, I’m sure you’ve all watched the fight and you all know exactly who won the fight and how the fight was. Now all I’m asking is for a rematch, a fair chance back and a fight in neutral just for me to prove to the world of boxing, now look, I clearly won that fight. And that’s all I want and, you know, again I mean it would be brilliant if you can return the judging on me.
If we put ourselves in neutral judges and a referee to watch the tape of the fight, I could guarantee you that they’ll have me the winner and then points won’t be deducted. You know, at the time I was complaining to the referee there was nothing happening with that. I mean the time when the referee told me, when he says ‘Khan you should take a step back,’ which are in the rules, and box on, but they lost their taken and Lamont’s head was going in there – I know if that was me doing the head thing I would have been disqualified. That’s how I feel.
So, you know, it’s just one of those things, I just really think I was treated unfairly. That’s the reason we are putting this complaint in because I know if I lost the fight then I would not complain and make myself look stupid. But because I know I won the fight and I’m so confident that IBF and WBA can do something about this, and they can change around, that’s the reason we’re doing this, because I think it’s hurt in boxing when things are happening.
Yeah, and I just want to add to that I think, you know, it is yes, IBF and WBA, but I really think the Washington Commission needs to do something about that as well, Gene, because it doesn’t look right. And it doesn’t look right that I was told through my sources that the Petersons met with the mayor of Washington this past week, and talked about doing a potential other fight in Washington. It just doesn’t look good. It doesn’t look good and I really don’t want to dig deeper here because I really don’t want to, but what I want is, and what I request, what I will fight for, that the truth come out and the record will be set straight. And the easiest way to set the record straight is let’s just do it again.
How will this at all impact your decision to bring Golden Boy fights to D.C. again?
Well, you know I have to tell you, we are promoting some of the best young talent in Washington, and I want to come back to Washington. I think saying that, “Hey you can’t, you can’t go to Washington because these people don’t know what they’re doing and there is like, you know, there is, you know, there’s no way to go to Washington to get a fair decision.” I think as I said in my opening remarks, that’s just very unfair to the fight fans and the sports fans of Washington. And it is in the control of the Commission, of the Washington Commission to do something about that, just like the California Commission did.
You know I mentioned that we’re going to come back here to California with Amir’s next fight, but you know what, the Commission here in California, again the ref made the mistake, but you know what, it was corrected. And that is what this is all about. If something wrong happens, people should have an opportunity to do the right thing. And as I said, the WBA, the IBF, and the Washington Commission have an opportunity to do the right thing and I hope and – are not going to do the right thing, if they’re not going to do the right thing, then I have to tell you, you’re putting your fighters at risk to go to Washington, and I don’t want to do that. That’s not right.
And I’m sad also, you know, I really think even if the referees or the judges do change and look back and change decision, I think they’ll get a lot more respect than not doing anything about it because it just shows that they have to do something about this situation because the situation on the world knows. I mean you can’t hide what’s happened over the last weekend of the fight between me and Lamont Peterson. It cannot be hidden and we all saw the fight, everyone saw the fight and everyone had their own opinions.
So I think the Commission, and also the referee will have more, get more respect and also in Washington D.C. there will be more fights if that in my opinion is to change because people think, okay fine, they made a mistake and they’ve changed and they’re going to learn from their mistakes and not do that again.
Okay. You know, sorry, I wouldn’t go as far as, or maybe I should go as far because I got a funny email today from Dan Rafael from ESPN and he said that some people, some fans have created a Facebook page called Joe Cooper Should be Banned for Five Years. I think the reason why I’m saying that, there is a true outrage out there about the refereeing. You know, nobody is attacking Lamont Peterson here. Nobody is saying that he did anything wrong, but there’s a clear outrage against the officiating and something has to be done about it.
If the fight were to be overturned, what would be the decision? Would it be a no contest?
Well, I will leave that decision up to the, up to the sanctioning organizations and, if they would rule this as a no contest or a draw or whatever it would be, but I think it probably, or if it would be, or if the fight would be awarded to Amir. I think there are different scenarios here and we have outlined the scenarios to the sanction organizations in our appeal and we’ll leave it up to them. So what decision they’re going to take, it’s in their hands now. We stated our case and as I said, I hope they’re going to do the right thing.
Do you feel that the outcome of the fight was a result of Lamont Peterson being from Washington D.C., or is it just a Washington D.C. thing in general?
Well, I mean I think it’s probably the two of them are probably connected to each other. But I think what it is, it was an absolutely poor officiating job and either the referee just wasn’t up to speed and up to par and he made close calls. And at this point he doesn’t know the rules and regulations, or it could be something else.
But as I said, I don’t want to go there, I want to give the referee an opportunity and I believe that if the referee is going to in fact review the tape himself, he’s going to see that these point deductions were not warranted and that if he’s taking points away that he should have been consistent and done the same for Peterson.
And I do hope, just like it was here in California, the ref will review the tape and come to the right conclusion and will give his recommendation to the District of Columbia Commission. That’s what I hope for and I really don’t want to go and speculate what else could have been or what other forces were behind it, or whatever, because that doesn’t bring us anywhere.
Congratulations on a great performance and thank you for putting on one hell of a fight. My question is, in case the immediate rematch does not happen, and let’s say it takes place further down the road, is there a possibility that that rematch could take place at 147 and if so is that something you’re okay with?
Well you know in the best case, we would like a rematch as soon as possible because I want my title back and I want to prove to the boxing fans out there that where the real champion is. And if he wants to fight one fight and then me, I will fight this division and we’ll go fight again in the 140 division and then the 147 division. You know one thing about me, I’ve never said no to an opponent, I’ve always not turned anyone away.
I fight whoever they put in front of me and it just shows what type of guy I am, I will fight people in their own backyard because I’m not afraid of fighting them. All I want is a fair chance and you know if I had a fair chance on the last fight, I definitely would have won that fight, and it’s just one of the things, I mean I wasn’t treated right and even the fans in D.C. said that I clearly won the fight. I don’t know what the referee was watching, he was on one side and he was not being on my side, in my opinion.
Did it almost strike you that you actually might lose from your point of view and from the point of view most? Did you think about that in the ring and sort it out properly?
No, you just want to have a fight. I mean we trained so hard, both fighters. I’m not taking anything away from Lamont. We trained very very hard. We just hope for that one night we put everything into this fight, and we just want to be treated fairly.
I know Lamont Peterson trained very hard for the fight. He boxed really well, he had a good game-plan and everything, but the referee in a way, stole that fight from me. And if I had lost fair and square I would have put my hand up and said fine, he beat me, he was the better fighter of the night, but I don’t think he did that. It’s all about now just let’s see hopefully they can watch the fight again, the Commission, and they do come back with the right vision.
Can you just tell me about this master scorecard thing, because that seems like quite an important part of your case that you presented there and certainly something that you’re very interested about.
Yes, absolutely. We obviously do feel that there’s clearly some questions surrounding the scorecards really can’t explain why. As I said, Michael Walsh, the WBA Supervisor, Certified Public Account and CPA by profession, very adapt working with numbers, why, and has done that many times before in that same position, why his scorecard was different than the one from the Commission, and the IBF scorecard going missing.
I mean it obviously does raise I think more than a few eyebrows. You just look at everything from the scoring to the point deductions from Amir, to the inconsistency from the ref by not deducting any points from Peterson, even though he has warned him 14 times or so, and you look at all of this, I think that is why we are on this call. And I am not one who takes these lightly, because I believe going to cry foul is not really in the best interest of the sport either.
But what is in the best interest, not just of the sport and of anything is when you have been done wrong you have to stand up. You cannot just do nothing about it. This is what this is about. And let me just that Lamont Peterson is a great fighter. He has tremendous heart, he has tremendous courage, everything that he’s overcome to earn that spot, that job. My hat goes off to Lamont Peterson. He’s a great, great fighter.
And you saw that when he fought Victor Ortiz. When Victor knocked him down and he came up. He has the heart and the courage to never give up. And I applaud him for that. And I really applaud him as well to have agreed to do the rematch, and I do believe that Lamont Peterson at the end of the day it’s not going to be Barry Hunter or his team, or whatever. It is going to be Lamont Peterson who is going to have to go to his team and tell them, you know what? What is right is right. The right thing is that we’re going to do it again. That is what this call is about.
Richard Schaefer Thank you to all the media members and I’m going to be forum and we’re going to close the call I’m going to give it to Amir to say the final words, but to all my friends from the British media, to all my friends from the U.S. media, I wish you all a very happy holiday season. Enjoy the time off, we’re going to have an exciting start to 2012. Enjoy the time with your family and I really appreciate your continued support of the sport of boxing. Thank you, thank you very much. Amir?
Amir Khan Yes, thanks. Just thank you very much for all of your support guys and hopefully we can get this resolved. And thanks for calling on the conference to the U.S. media and also the U.K. media and have a good Merry Christmas and happy New Years guys and hopefully we’ll see you in 2012.
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