Did Golden Boy pull the plug on Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto too soon?Written by James E. King III
It was just announced by Golden Boy Promotions that current WBC Junior Welterweight Champion Danny "Swift" Garcia would be interjected opposite Amir Khan on July 14th in place of current WBA and IBF 140 pound champion Lamont Peterson.
Originally, the Washington D.C. fighter was slated to defend his titles against the UK born fighter at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV, on May 19th, but was scratched due to a positive test result from a random pre-fight drug test.
Light Welterweight fighter Josesito Lopez was also named as a last minute replacement for Andre Berto in what was supposed to be a rematch of 2011's "Fight of the Year" between Victor Ortiz and the two time welterweight champion.
The seemingly uninspiring match-up will still take place on June 23rd as originally scheduled, but most fans and pundits are considerably less excited for the late pairing of the two Golden Boy fighters.
Because it is still undetermined whether the positive test results from both fighters are grounds for suspension or provide a clear intent to enhance athletic performance, many ringside observers are now questioning the judgment of Golden Boy Promotions in cancelling both highly anticipated rematches.
Courtesy Hogan Photos
Since the two recently announced opponents are more favorable match-ups for Khan and Ortiz respectively and fight under the Golden Boy Promotional banner as well, many pundits are now uncertain of the motivation behind the promotional giant's decisions.
Top Rank CEO and founder Bob Arum had this to say about the current boxing quandary in a recent conference call.
"Unless everybody sits down and works through this without rhetoric, we'll have chaos. Personally, I don't believe Lamont Peterson is a cheater; I don't believe Andre Berto is a cheater. With this new sophisticated testing process, I believe everyone got caught up in the positive test results, which doesn't indicate the existence of performance enhancing drugs."
Courtesy Chris Farina, Top Rank
"I think we have to hear out Lamont Peterson and get his story. I think we have to hear out Andre Berto and get his story before we jump to conclusions."
"Secondly, I don't believe that Peterson got any advantage over Khan, or Berto got any advantage over Ortiz based on the content that was found or allegedly from the urine samples from both fighters. That being the case, why were those fights called off? If their performance would not be enhanced, why not let the fight go on and fine them after the fight for being careless in using certain supplements that may have a trace of a banned substance?"
"I think everybody who doesn't know about the findings of the positive test results should shut the hell up until there is an exploration of what the issues are, what's happening here, and then we can more intelligently determine how we proceed in the future."
Arum's comments raise many questions surrounding the controversial decision to cancel both return bouts.
Is it purely coincidental that both fighters who tested positive and were ultimately scratched from competition are not currently fighting under the Golden Boy promotional banner?
Is it merely fortuitous that Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan's chances of a victory dramatically increased when Josesito Lopez and Danny Garcia were named as future opponents?
It will be interesting to see whether or not Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto are exonerated of any and all wrong doing when their hearings take place with both respective state athletic commissions in June.