Amir Khan and his team plan to inquire with the DC commission regarding the performance of referee Joe Cooper last night. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Team Khan and Golden Boy Promotions have released an official statement on last night's upset in the Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson fight, which Peterson won via split decision. The performance of referee Joe Cooper has been criticized by many, and Team Khan will discuss that with the DC commission, and the WBA and IBF.
Here is the statement from Team Khan and Golden Boy:
Firstly, we would like to congratulate Lamont Peterson on his performance against Amir Khan. Not only has he shown that he is a tremendous fighter inside the ring, but also a great man out of the ring.
Following the decision in the fight, Team Khan and Golden Boy Promotions intends to make inquiries with the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission, the IBF and the WBA regarding the performance of referee Joseph Cooper and will also be seeking clarification regarding certain ambiguities with respect to the scores of the fight.
We look forward to an immediate rematch with Lamont as confirmed by Lamont and his manager/trainer Barry Hunter.
Khan and Peterson indeed do appear headed for a rematch in 2012, which is the right fight for both. It was a very good fight, there are some legitimate questions about the referee (though not, in my opinion, about the judges), and the fight simply makes sense even if it were just a closely-scored fight with no referee issues.
They don't say they're going to protest with anyone, and I think that's good. They should do this much, and the rematch should come, and I can just about guarantee that it will. Peterson and Hunter are not guys who are going to avoid Khan, and there's not a bigger money fight for them, either.
For the record, though I scored the fight for Khan 113-112, and though I do not feel that this fight was a robbery, I do believe that Cooper proved himself a few times to be in over his head as a referee in a fight on this level. He seemed to have a lot of trouble getting used to the speed of the fight, and his deductions were questionable, and sure, probably wouldn't have happened anywhere else. You can justify them, and that's fair, but so is feeling that they were a bit over the top.
However, as for the "hard warning" stuff that HBO's team kept going on about, Khan was warned repeatedly. No referee owes it to a fight to stop the action and make a spectacle of warning him.
We'll have more on Khan vs Peterson on Sunday, and I assume the next few days as well. This may have been the biggest upset in boxing this year, and it's got people talking for sure.