Why cry foul?

Published: December 14, 2011

It was a great fight where the two really gave all those who watched their moneys worth PHOTO: REUTERS

We, the Pakistanis are a strange bunch. Any ill that befouls any Muslim, or so called Muslim anywhere in the world, suddenly becomes a national cause. The most recent in the sporting world is from the boxing arena, where Britain’s Amir Khan fought Lamont Peterson of the US for the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association light-welterweight world titles.

Amir Khan lost and Lamont won, so why such a big fuss here in Pakistan? Why is there so much media hype about racism? Why are Amir’s fans stating that ‘rightful victory’ was stolen from him?

Ah Ha! Amir, whose parents hailed from the land of the pure and settled in Britain, was declared the loser. Alright, I see that he was hard done by the referee.So? Big deal. But here is the catch; Amir is thought to be a Pakistani and that is why we are making such a big noise about the whole situation. The only other boxer who had a bigger fan following in Pakistan was the great Muhammad Ali, but then he let his skills do the talking.

It was a great fight where the two really gave all those who watched their money’s worth. At least some reporters write that it was by far the best fight of the year. The referee had some strange decisions in the 7th and 12th round where he deducted a point each for shoving and then for hitting after a break was called. Bad call and poor refereeing, I say, but not as bad as we made it out to be.

In the first place Lamont was the seven to one underdog and one, as the proverbial saying goes, ‘that had his day’. Amir should have given him a boxing lesson and won hands down. That he got such a close fight in return must have come as a shock. Lamont certainly rocked Amir with punches and counter-punches and had a good day at the office, while contrary to this Amir had an off day.

Now the referee; both sides could have protested before the fight, but chose not to, so to do so now is not quite “cricket”. He lost and that is that.

Will he get another chance? Well I certainly hope so. Will the WBC overrule the verdict? Sorry, don’t see that happening.

So now what about us here in Pakistan who support a Brit who happens to have Pakistani parents? Do we make a difference? Nay, not in the slightest. So, I say keep quiet and enjoy the outcome. Give credit to Lamont for putting up a good show and Amir for being a sore loser - oops a game loser, and us Pakistanis for creating fire where there should have been no smoke. Hasn’t this happened before? Did we care then? Can you tell me the last fighter who was hard done by the referee? Can’t, right? So, why should we react any differently for Amir the Brit? As far as we are concerned, let us try and produce a great fighter form the slums of Lyari and then cry FOUL!

Brig Ayaz Peer Mohammed

Brig Ayaz Peer Mohammed

A retired brigadier from Karachi who is a sports enthusiast and a self proclaimed sports analyst. Has played most games at a serious level in the Army.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • CaptainCookesPeersahib

    What an absolutely idiotic, one-sided, self hating post. I know amir won the fight. It was a blatant hometown decision. Ask yourself this Mr Ayaz Peer, how many times was Lamont on the canvas? 3 times. Khan? NONE. Look at the compubox records. Khan out-punched him there too. The reality is, you dont know boxing. Because if you did, you would realise Khan was DEDUCTED 2 points, One for “pushing” (in a sport where FISTS are thrown!) :D, and the other, for “hitting on the break”. In my 20 odd years of watching the sport, I have NEVER seen a points deduction for “pushing”. The ref was highly inexperienced, and the fight was in washington…….Before khan-peterson, do you know how many fights occurred in washington for the past 20 years? NONE. And that decision is the reason why.

    Khan went over there to prove it didnt matter where he fought. If theres anyone whose lost from this, It isn’t Khan, but rather Lamont Petersons Birthplace, Washington. A city which isnt much loved by Islamabad either, apart from your generals of course..and a few journos ;)

    From Watergate to Khangate, Washington has much to answer for in the political and sporting arenas.

    It was one point which separated it, according to the two judges. ONE POINT! Khan was DOCKED TWO. The other judge (the one was watching the same fight as i was) scored it 115-110 TO KHAN!

    Lamont had “had his day”….where do you get this tripe? Lamont Peterson is in his prime, hes a 28 year old hungry fighter, who possesses very good record. Ever heard of the term “styles make fights”…didnt think so.

    Finally, the crude remark about him being “a brit, who just so happens to have pakistani parents, Do we make a difference? ”

    Well, it meant a hell of a lot when he was at the FOREFRONT of a UK wide national campaign to raise money for the Kashmir earthquake, and later the Floods. He did the job your shameful Leader Zardari failed to do. Zardari was over in Europe selling off his Mansion.

    He is of Pakistani descent. That counts for a lot. PAKISTAN NEEDS overseas Pakistanis. The term, Remittances, springs to mind.

    Finally, It has emerged in the past hour, that the WBA have overturned the decision, So Khan gets to keep his wba belt… Bummer huh? Considering this article was posted around 30 minutes ago….

    :( Pakistan Zindabaad.Recommend

  • Nadir

    Great message: “let us try and produce a great fighter form the slums of Lyari and then cry FOUL!” So it doesnt matter who wins fair and square, what matters is whether they are Pakistani enough for you.Recommend

  • Riaz

    Waste of time to read this this mans opinion…Recommend

  • Waqas Ahmed

    man have not u seen green flag which an old man was holding…that makes it our concern to shout n yell…do u hv any prb with that?Recommend

  • http://djdurrani.blogspot.com Saad Durrani

    Here comes a blogger who won’t Google but would blog. Amir Khan gained goodwill by his charity works. Over the years, he made trips to Pakistan for many different reasons. He, himself, said that he represents both the country. (http://tribune.com.pk/story/213059/i-represent-england-and-pakistan/)

    He has helped the guys in Lyari, too. Before making it big, he was given representation in Pakistan. His brother, Haroon Khan, fights for Pakistan.

    There are several examples in sports where people support players of the origin of the parent’s country. Zidane is one of them. Being French, he is equally celebrated in Algeria.

    Furthermore, sport talks without boundaries. We cry foul for our favorite football club even though they are not entirely ours.Recommend

  • Cynical

    It’s all about Ummah, the brotherhood.
    Basically it’s herd mentality, finding safety in numbers.Recommend

  • Red

    I appreciate the sentiments. Any good the child of Pakistani immigrants does makes him ours while any bad makes him theirs…Faisal Shahzad anyone? I find it quite hilarious. If they’re born elsewhere, they are not related to us in any way, shape or form. I had never even heard of him before people starting moaning about his loss in fb statuses! Recommend

  • zalim singh

    i doubt if this Amir Khan guy reciprocates the love and affection showered by Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Shahrukh kazmi

    @Saad Durrani
    You just Nailed it man, No one can or have a right to judge any ones patriotism.Recommend

  • http://www.zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com zaid hamid

    Amir is a muslim warrior that cannot be defeated… he is a Pakistani showing ghe power of Pakistan to the worldRecommend

  • Adeel

    Pakistan loves Aamir Khan, not JUST coz he proudly identifies himself as Pakistani, with a Pakistani flag always waving when he is fighting, etc…
    But also because he is a great ambassador for Pakistanis, British Pakistanis, British, Muslims, Athletes, etc… His charity work, his humility, etc… its all quite appreciative…
    This is why we love him.
    And yes, we DO love anyone and everything Pakistani… its known as being a patriot. Recommend

  • ZD

    listen u first thing is he is a Muslim and a Pakistani to if u had seen the full match in the ring there was a Pakistani flag to Recommend

  • http://www.afficer.blogspot.com Israr

    well…i dont know much about boxing and have not watched the fight…but irrespective of what happened there… i must point out that there was a guy named faisal shehzad and even though he was a US national, Pakistan had to face the consequences of his actions in his country, USA. so nobody wrote a blog piece that we didnt have anything to do with him because he only happend to have parents of pakistani origins…there are many others who are nationals of other countries but the moment they do something bad and the whole media start crying pakistan-based… Recommend

  • wahab

    so whats wrong in supporting any muslim hero who luckily has roots in Pakistan? Article doesnt make sense to me.Recommend

  • http://www.discoverpakistan.pk Ahsan Mansoor

    No we do not think he is Pakistani. We know he is a British with Pakistani origin. And we believe he is a friend of Pakistan because he has visited us during floods, and now planning to visit again to give boost to Pakistani boxing arena. And this is enough to support him. One doesnt always have to stand against the crowd just for the sake of being different.Recommend

  • Faizan

    Mate, I follow sports for fun. I follow football because it makes me feel excited, I follow cricket and basketball for the same reason. I love sports. If you had watched the match closely, Lamont was always there with negative tactics. He had his head down for the whole match, to not let Amir hit him with his punches. That is the reason for the shoving and what not! Just look at the picture you have given, it shows Lamont with his head down punching Amir.

    YOU CAN NOT PUNCH A PERSON WHILE HIS HEAD HIS DOWN, THAT IS WHY HE WAS SHOVING LAMONT AND IS THE REASON HE IS ANGERED AT HIS DEFEAT BECAUSE THE TRICK WAS COWARDLY! Recommend

  • Karan

    pakistan should also support its next upcoming boxer usman uzzy ahmad. hahahahahahaRecommend

  • abid

    Come on dear. It was a great fight. both have done up to the best of their capabilities. But, at the end bad luck for Khan (a british nationality boxer). In fact he won with slight margin (see the scores 113-112, 115-110 & 113-112 in Peterson’s favour) and also the two points cut by referee wrongly. A re-match is must. This match also shown some deficiencies of Khan. I suggest him to ponder upon them and try to be the ‘rightful champ’.
    Mr. Zaid & Company, I appreciate your feelings about muslim world but dear be rational & reasonable. This wasn’t a Muslim vs West bout. It was a simple Boxing Bout.Recommend

  • Jeans

    After reading all the comments i m sure the writer will definitely get some understanding of such hype… his parents are Pakistani, he supports Pakistan,, he helped Pakistan in flood,, his brother played for Pakistan,, he is a Muslim,, or by any mean people of Pakistan love Aamir Khan and writer should not have any issue for the likeness or dis-likeness of any celebrity. Recommend

  • MAD

    “The only other boxer who had a bigger fan following in Pakistan was the great Muhammad Ali, but then he let his skills do the talking.”

    That alone shows that you know nothing about Ali. He was the greatest in ring performer but when it comes to talk there can be no comparision.Recommend

  • http://saidcanblog.blogspot.com Said Chaudhry

    err, I suppose ESPN boxing & HBO, both of whom had Amir Khan winning the fight were wrong. The ref called two fouls on Amir Khan for “pushing”. I have never seen those calls made in any boxing ring. Last, the ref was in Amir’s ear throughout the fight; it was distasteful and a pain to have to listen to the ref constantly calling Amir out. What was otherwise a great fight, was ruined by a referee. The re-match is set for March 31, watch what happens then.Recommend

  • Amjad

    When there is a boxing match, someone has to win and someone has to lose. If you saw the match, there was definitely poor officiating. Being of Pakistani heritage I am biased in my support. You forget that a great number of Pakistanis born abroad support Pakistan and in the case of Amir Khan, he has gone out of his way to support his ancestral home of Pakistan.Recommend

  • rizvi

    Amir Khan shorts are half Pakistani flag and half British Flag…….he is coming to Rawalpindi for a boxing tournament as well. Ofcourse we support him.Recommend

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOgaiKGqc6g Aslam

    Amir was fighting with 3 things the refree , Lamount peterson and the judges. It wasnt a fair fight .. the refree was always blocking his view .. see this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOgaiKGqc6gRecommend

  • Sohaib

    An apologetic article. Why we Pakistanis are always apologetic regarding our identity? Why the writer thinks supporting Amir is wrong? We should stand up like brave people against any gora injustice. Salve mentality will keep us slave always Recommend