/ Boxing

Khan camp wants WBA and IBF titles returned

Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:51 | Comments

Amir Khan has called Lamont Peterson a 'cheat' and is seeking the return of the WBA and IBF titles
Amir Khan has called Lamont Peterson a 'cheat' and is seeking the return of the WBA and IBF titles

Amir Khan has called for the return of his WBA and IBF titles after claiming Lamont Peterson's failed drugs test proves he was "a cheat".

It emerged earlier this week that Peterson, who controversially beat Khan in December to capture the Bolton fighter's WBA and IBF titles, had tested positive for a banned steroid.

Their rematch scheduled for May 19 has subsequently been cancelled, with Khan's American promoter Richard Schaefer calling on the boxing authorities to "do the right thing" and rule the first fight a no-contest.

Khan said: "The Nevada Commission have taken the licence off Lamont Peterson and they don't want him to fight in the next fight.

"I think whoever I fight next they'll put the titles on the line or we still go through the process and we might get the titles back and the fight that we had last time will be a no-contest."

Schaefer added on Sky Sports News: "We are obviously going to ask the sanctioning organisations, the WBA and the IBF, to rule this fight a no-contest and therefore give back the belts to Amir Khan where they belong.

"I do hope the boxing organisations are going to do the right thing."

Khan admitted the news of Peterson's positive test had come as a "big shock," but added: "The truth's come out now and it just proves that Lamont Peterson was a cheat really.

"It hurt me more than anything because I really did want to go in there and put on a performance and show the world how good Amir Khan is.

"I'm already at the right weight and it was a tough, tough training camp.

"I was so fit and looking forward to this fight. I wanted this fight even when I heard he failed his drugs test.

"I did everything to get the fight on, but my parents and my team said to me 'Look, at the end of the day Amir, it could be a risk to your life. It's not going to be fair to step into the ring with someone who is gonna be on drugs and gonna be cheating'.

"The next fight for me will be June, July. I've got a meeting with Golden Boy Promotions over the next few days and hopefully we'll set a date."

Peterson's camp insisted the 28-year-old was not a steroid abuser and vowed to clear his name.

A statement from Team Peterson read: "Team Peterson is very disappointed and distraught by the decision to cancel the 19 May rematch against Amir Khan. This is an extremely difficult decision to accept.

"We have always taken the position of providing factual information rather than responding emotionally to rumours and innuendoes. We did everything that was asked of us in efforts to comply.

"To support our stance we provided the Nevada State Athletic Commission with a significant amount of factual medical data in response to these allegations.

"Lamont did a battery of tests this week and saw a number of independent board-certified physicians. They all had the exact same conclusion as the doctor that initially treated and diagnosed Lamont's medical condition.

"It began as a confidential medical matter between a patient and his physician; unfortunately, it has now become a public issue in efforts to clear the name and reputation of this young man.

"As a condition for this rematch Lamont demanded that Olympic-style random drug testing be implemented. He has been a true advocate for making boxing drug-free and fair.

"In his 18-year career (10 amateur and eight professional) Lamont Peterson has never failed a drug test and has always complied with the rules beyond this isolated and explainable occurrence.

"We still stand behind the fact that he did nothing wrong and he was more than ready to go through with the May 19 fight.

"He is a man of tremendous character and will. His work ethic is second to none and in every sense of the word he is a true champion, in life, as well as in the ring.

"We will vigorously pursue the truth with regards to this matter and continue to fight to protect this young man's character, credibility and all he has accomplished.

"Once all the facts have been reviewed we have no doubt that he will be vindicated."

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