Barry Hunter, manager and trainer for junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson, issued a statement Wednesday in response to the protests of Amir Khan and Golden Boy Promotions of Peterson's split-decision victory over Khan on Dec. 10. The full text of Hunter's letter follows:
Statement of Barry Hunter
Unfortunately, we are in this process of dealing with these unfounded protests. It would be an understatement to characterize Lamont as being disappointed in the unprofessional manner in which Khan is attempting to discredit his performance in the ring and victory. We were raised to conduct ourselves where Champions display professionalism, both in victory and defeat. Lamont previously tasted defeat and handled it the way it should be handled -- he worked harder on areas that needed improvement to maximize his performance in the ring. Now, he is World Champion.
Khan blames everyone and everything but his performance and lack of ability to make adjustments in the ring for his loss. He claims that the Ring Announcer privately stated he won, then that the referee’s discretionary actions should be overruled, then a mystery man in a black hat with no association to the Peterson Camp somehow affected the outcome of the bout, and also that the judges did not score the Bout correctly. Each claim is boldly false, but because Golden Boy and Khan have the financial resources to file protests and lawyers to create questionable accusations we are forced to address these issues. We will not let these foul tactics take away from Lamont's hard work, dedication and monumental victory. Furthermore, since Khan continues to focus on a man at ringside I want to be very clear -- Mustafa Ameen is in no way, nor has he ever been affiliated or associated with anyone within Team Peterson. That includes myself, Lamont and Anthony Peterson.
If the media reports are true, the WBA President personally believes there should be a direct rematch of the fight. This was oddly stated before an official review had taken place, as well as an official response or decision from the WBA review committee had been presented regarding the various protests and our formal submission. That makes me wonder what procedures were actually followed before the WBA President made these public statements? The Rules should be followed by everyone.
Khan complains that the referee’s decisions should be overturned even though he continued to push Lamont throughout the fight. We believe the knockdown against Lamont was questionable but the rules give the referee that discretion on that call and we respect it.
When Zab Judah filed protests for Khan's repeated low blows in their July 2011 bout Golden Boy and Khan argued that a referee's decisions should be honored. Now, Golden Boy and Khan are flip flopping on the referee’s decision when it’s not favorable towards them not the actions of a true champion.
Immediately following our bout Golden Boy and Khan requested a meeting among us with the sanctioning organizations and the Boxing Commission. When we left the meeting Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins and I agreed with the commission that the scorecards were correct and Lamont won the fight. Real Champions don’t continue to come up with various excuses and false accusations in hopes that something will stick to cover up for a loss.
The bottom line is that after we decided not to accept Golden Boy's offer for a rematch only days after the fight and said that Lamont wanted to enjoy the Holidays with his family and have time to make the best decision for his career and the future of his family; they started filing protest letters and trying to spin the media as some form of retaliation. If the media reports are true, then the actions of a few will put every close decision in boxing in jeopardy of being overturned. We will not let that happen. We will continue to fight for what is just and proper.
January 11, 2012