Khan v Peterson: The saga continues

Published: January 11, 2012
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According to the fight rules, only the judges, along with officials of the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission and those appointed by the IBF and WBA were allowed at ringside. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The drama that unfolded after Amir Khan’s controversial defeat to Lamont Peterson, which resulted in the Briton losing his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles to the American, just refuses to die down.

Over the past month we have witnessed a string of accusations ranging from biased refereeing to a ‘mystery man’ tampering with the judges’ scorecard emerging from the Khan camp. Khan had initially started out by blaming referee Joe Cooper of unfairly deducting two points off him for pushing Peterson and had immediately demanded a rematch, along with appealing against the decision to the IBA and the WBF.

However, it is the irate boxer’s latest accusations regarding a ‘mystery man’ at ringside during the fight, which have raised a huge storm.

Admittedly, Khan and his team have been kicking up all kinds of conspiracy theories about the way the score was kept in the fight, but the latest revelations about the ‘mystery man’ – who has now been identified as Mustafa Ameen – seem to have a lot more weight.

It is important to understand here that according to the fight rules, only the judges, along with officials of the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission and those appointed by the IBF and WBA were allowed at ringside, with no other person permitted to interact with them during the bout.

However, when watching the video of the fight, one can clearly see Ameen sitting next to WBA supervisor Michael Welsh at ringside and repeatedly interacting with him and even picking up the yellow scoring ticket, with all his actions seeming to be completely against fight rules.

Although the IBF has confirmed that Ameen is affiliated to the body, it should be noted that he was not the official appointed by it to sit at ringside, which again makes his presence there seemingly unlawful. Now whether Ameen actually had anything to do with doctoring the judges’ scorecard or not is completely conjectural. Yet it cannot be denied that the Khan camp is within its rights to question his presence at ringside and ask Welsh what took place during his interaction with him.

Considering the significance of the fight, one can only hope that Khan’s appeal, which is set to be heard on January 19 and will also see Ameen make an appearance, will clear the whole situation and the bitterness that has followed the bout will die down.

Amna Lone

Amna Lone

A sub-editor for The Express Tribune’s editorial pages.

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