We usually have to read about the insipid ways of the past in books or view the evidence of such presently viewed thickheaded decision making at a museum. It is a perfect case of 20/20 hindsight to most of us to easily condemn certain world views of yesteryear.
What was their excuse?
There could be various explanations. Technology, reason, and rationale have all played a major role in bringing us to where we are today. The transition overall has been easy for most. What is the prevailing excuse of those darn kids from the west coast? Without naming names (as if there is any need to do so), a few members of the boxing bourgeoisie are a bit too far away from Massachusetts to get away with a reenactment of the Scarlet Letter.
Still, with much of the boxing media in tow, the fate of one Lamont Peterson has already been inexorably stitched with a red letter "S".
Perhaps it's just that much simpler to tag the light welterweight champion with a single rune than to abbreviate steroid pellets with "SP". The fighter from Washington, D.C. never really got to stick a feather in his cap and celebrate his split decision victory over Amir Khan last December in the nation's capital. The plots and subplots surrounding the pandemonium on the Potomac and the nonsense that followed is something straight from a spy novel.
By now, everyone has been briefed on the story.
Peterson defeats Amir Khan in a controversial fashion. The bout took place in Lamont's hometown. The losing fighter from Bolton, Lancashire, UK cries (loudly) foul, even though it was his own fouls that may have indeed led to his downfall in the bout. Khan had a point deducted in rounds seven and twelve, respectively for pushing. Peterson got away with a few instances of bending the rules himself, though he was not officially penalized. Nevertheless, the bout itself was entertaining. Khan controlled much of the pace with his effective jab, while Peterson landed his share of shots when the action got close. The scores were read at the end of the bout and the mudslinging got into full swing in no time at all. The mundane accusations began to swirl.
All seemed well once the rematch slated for this Saturday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas was announced...sort of.
Courtesy of Hogan Photos
Lamont Peterson and his brother (and fellow boxer) Anthony have told their story of poverty and homelessness on several occasions. They have each come a long way since that time. Individuals who grew up with nothing somehow managed to give everything to gain a piece of the pie.
However, especially in the case of Lamont, a crucial error was made.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has been able to increase his net worth into the highest skies due to the simple fact that he acts as his own promoter. This allows him to exercise the utmost amounts of control over the negotiations of his bouts and the final allocations of accounts receivable. Just about every popular fighter defers the question of his possible foe to a promoter. The ability to do even this would likely be a bit more difficult if there was no such endorsement in a boxer's corner.
Just ask Lamont Peterson. The losing party was waiting to pounce on any chance to further discredit his victory gained on December 10, 2011.
Complaints aplenty rolled in from the moment the decision was announced. Just ten days later, Khan and company actually held a trans-Atlantic teleconference to discuss the disgust they experienced in Washington, D.C. At the time, a possible date and site for a rematch was May 19, 2012 in Los Angeles. Oddly enough, Peterson had agreed to another bout with Amir Khan yet there wasn't enough satisfaction in a man simply giving his word. The fighter from Bolton stressed his disdain for the decision and referee Joseph Cooper.
"Who will want to fight there now? If you're going to be judged unfairly, then why even fight there at all? Yes, I was fighting away from home, but you'd think it would all be fair. I don't think this type of thing should happen in boxing. I just want this to be fair. All who saw the fight in the U.K. were appalled. We're trying very hard to get this decision overturned", said Khan.
He further took a swipe at D.C. as a fight town.
Courtesy of Hogan Photos
"The best place to fight is a neutral venue. Bad referees and judges can make boxing look so bad. Even those who don't understand boxing know that I won that fight. Now I know why there's been no big fights there in twenty years."
What more did he need? Now that all has come to light in regard to Peterson's failed drug tests, the boxing world's most annoying case of Sore Loser Syndrome has suddenly been immunized.
The Khan camp has strongly insinuated that Lamont Peterson is a Juice Head and a blatant cheat, even though his doctors have stated that the introduction of time-released testosterone in his body are for health reasons and not to enhance athletic performance. Nevertheless, indeed Peterson did drop a ball of his own by failing to report this to the Galactic Empire, also known as the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Rules are rules, of course. There's bound to be some sort of disappointment setting in. Instead of moving or postponing the fight, the powers that be for some reason have thrown it all away. Lamont is to be chucked under the bus as well. Without the benefit of having either warring faction promotional companies on his side, he is in for a long cold winter in the heat of the summer.
Either way, give em hell, Lamont. Fights take place at casinos for a good reason. There was money to be made. Now it's by the wayside.
There may have been other routes to consider than the one taken. "No Doubt" was the tagline for Lamont Peterson but now it can be known as "No Dice". In the meantime, Amir Khan and his flock are collectively bellowing for the return of his championship titles and for the result from last year to be nullified.
The greatest fighter in history, Bruce Lee, was emphatic about the "Art of Fighting Without Fighting". This is hardly what he had in mind. Boxing doesn't need this. Nor do we need to see Jim Lampley in his newly acquired Poindexter spectacles. His glasses must have been placed in boiling water for some time in order to soften them enough to stretch across his face.