NEW YORK — Peter Quillin sat on a dais late Saturday night with a toothy smile and hardly a scratch on his face. Hours earlier, Quillin, the undefeated WBO middleweight champion, the charismatic transplanted Brooklynite who has made the Barclays Center his new home, defended his title, stopping Fernando Guerrero in the seventh round. At 29, Quillin is a fighter with a bright future. Or at least he should be.
Posts Tagged ‘Amir Khan’
For the last year, HBO has watched as Golden Boy Promotions has moved many of its top fighters from HBO to Showtime. On Monday, HBO struck back: The network announced that it would no longer buy any fights from Golden Boy Promotions.
“In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups we’ve decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies,” HBO Sports President Ken Hershman said in a statement.
The decision is a decisive move from HBO to strike back at Golden Boy. Since Stephen Espinoza — a former Golden Boy attorney — took over as the head of the sports department at Showtime, Golden Boy has pulled several of its top fighters including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Canelo Alavarez and Andre Berto off of HBO and onto Showtime. Last month, Floyd Mayweather — who works closely with Golden Boy —announced he was leaving HBO, his broadcast partner for virtually his entire career, to sign a lucrative deal with Showtime.
Among the casualties of HBO’s decision is Adrien Broner, a rising star who has been a staple on HBO. HBO sources made it clear that it was nothing against Broner, but they will not put him on the network as long as Golden Boy represents him. Likewise for Bernard Hopkins, a longtime HBO fighter who last week became the oldest man to win a major title when he defeated Tavoris Cloud on HBO.
The decision to stop doing business with Golden Boy is being called indefinite.
Golden Boy CEO called the decision “retaliation” and “ill advised.”
I’m not really surprised,” Schaefer told SI.com. “I have not had a conversation with Ken Hershman since last November or December. They are upset at me, I’m sure they are upset at Al Haymon. But the ones getting hurt are the subscribers. Whether you like Golden Boy or you don’t, our stable is second to none. I wished them well. (HBO Vice President) Kery Davis, (VP) Mart Taffet, (CEO) Richard Plepler, I consider them friends. But there are people making decisions in the HBO sports department that don’t know the difference between Floyd Mayweather and Jessie Vargas.”
— Chris Mannix
Sports Illustrated staff writer Chris Mannix looks back at Juan Manuel Marquez’s devastating knockout of Manny Pacquiao last weekend at the MGM Grand, then speaks with Amir Khan and Nonito Donaire ahead of their fights this weekend.
Click here to listen:
Some quick jabs …
• How much money did Miguel Cotto leave on the table when he passed on a rematch with Manny Pacquiao? According to Bob Arum, a lot. Arum said Cotto’s guarantee for a Dec. 1 date with Pacquiao would have been around $13 million, with the possibility of going as high as $15 million if the pay-per-view numbers were strong. Instead, Cotto will settle for significantly less in a fight with unknown junior middleweight Austin Trout while Arum signed Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth fight with Pacquiao by guaranteeing just $6 million.
• HBO was thrilled with the rating it got for the heavily promoted Sept. 8 showdown between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. According to the Neilsen numbers, Ward-Dawson attracted 1.3 million viewers, the sixth straight World Championship Boxing telecast exceeding 1 million viewers for HBO.
• Here’s my one and only thought on the proposed partnership between Manny Pacquiao and 50 Cent: I’ll believe it when I see it.
• I’m fully expecting a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez to take place early next year. Chavez Jr. wants it and Martinez isn’t going to sniff that much money against anyone else. Hopefully Chavez will take his training a little more seriously next time. He has the talent to beat Martinez but he has to be in peak condition both mentally and physically if he expects to have a shot against a fighter as fast and skilled as Martinez.
• At 33, comebacking Ricky Hatton probably has one more big fight left in him. And perhaps the biggest one of his career could be out there: Amir Khan. They haven’t invented a word for how big Hatton-Khan could be in England and after a tune-up or two both could be ready for it.
• Little tired of strength coach Alex Ariza taking to Twitter and passive aggressively implying that a fighter would have done better had he been more involved. In the aftermath of Chavez’s loss to Martinez, Ariza, who had reduced role in Chavez’s camp this time around, in a Q&A with his followers, suggested that Chavez would have performed better had he followed his diet and that Chavez was “not in my kind of shape.” It’s not the first time Ariza has done this and it’s getting a little old.
• Arum says he plans on bringing welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley back in December. Possible opponents include Ruslan Provodnikov, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Robert Guerrero. Guerrero is under contract with archrival Golden Boy but Arum told a handful of reporters last week that Bradley-Guerrero was a fight he would really like to make.
• Hasim Rahman, who held the WBC heavyweight title for a year between 2005 and ’06, is getting another crack at a world title. Rahman, 39, will travel to Germany to take on Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 29 in a fight that will be televised in the U.S. on Epix.
• Predictably, the Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco negotiations are progressing slowly. Broner, who is represented by influential and divisive manager Al Haymon, wants the lion’s share of the money and DeMarco isn’t willing to give it to him. Like I’ve said before: Fight each other or don’t fight anyone else in your weight class on premium TV.
• How much did it cost 50 Cent to pry Yuri Gamboa away from Top Rank? That would be $1.2 million. From what I hear from Top Rank officials, that’s just about how much the company invested in Gamboa.
• The always entertaining Gabriel Rosado (20-5) is back in action on Friday night, when he headlines the next installment of NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night series against Charles Whittaker (38-12-2). This is a big fight for Rosado: If he wins, he becomes the No. 1 contender for the IBF junior middleweight title held by Cornelius Bundrage.
• While we all wait (and wait, and wait) for Pacquiao-Mayweather, it’s clear Arum is setting up the winner of next month’s junior welterweight fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado as the next opponent for Pacquiao. Rios-Alvarado is expected to be a war, which should give the winner a nice bounce going into a Pacquiao fight.
• Showtime has to be pleased with the numbers for Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez on Saturday. According to Neilsen ratings, Alvarez-Lopez attracted 1.04 million viewers. Still, that’s a 42 percent drop from Alvarez’s HBO-televised fight against Kermit Cintron in November 2011, which drew 1.47 million viewers.
• Amir Khan is reportedly set to name Virgil Hunter, best known for training super middleweight champion Andre Ward, as his new coach. That’s a good call. Hunter has a brilliant boxing mind who believes hit-and-don’t-get-hit is the only philosophy a fighter should live by. For a shaky-chinned fighter like Khan, that’s the best kind of trainer.
• Speaking of Ward, cross Mikkel Kessler off the list of potential next opponents. Ward had expressed interest in a rematch with Kessler — whom he picked apart over 11 lopsided rounds in 2009 — but Kessler elected to face 37-year old Brian Magee, who owns a minor super middleweight title. It’s just as well: Ward-Kessler would have created no buzz in the United States.
• Last week, Arum spent a lot of time talking to reporters about junior middleweight prospect John Jackson, even going as far as to say Jackson would get a televised slot on the Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast. But on Saturday, Jackson (13-1) ran into another pretty good prospect, the Jack Loew-trained Willie Nelson (19-1-1), who beat him in a close decision. Jackson still has potential and a lot of power (12 knockouts) but needs to polish his game so he can out box fighters he can’t knock out.
– Chris Mannix
LAS VEGAS — It appears the working relationship between former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is about to be over. In the aftermath of July’s knockout loss to Danny Garcia — Khan’s second consecutive defeat — Khan said he would consider replacing Roach in his corner. On Tuesday, Roach said that members of Khan’s team told him the fighter would stay with him only if he agreed to drop Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
“They said ‘Make Amir No. 1, get rid of Manny and Chavez and he will still come back to me,” Roach said. “I said I can’t do that. It’s simple.”
Roach said Khan’s team made the offer twice, first in a face-to-face meeting between Roach and Khan’s manager, Asif Vali and later in a phone call between Roach and Khan’s father, Shah.
Roach says he has no hard feelings for Khan.
“I’m a busy person,” Roach said. “I’ve been with Manny for a long time. Manny is my guy. Someone has to take the blame and it’s usually the trainer. I’ve been fired before and it won’t be the last time. I like Amir. I wish him the best. They better keep him away from punchers.”
– Chris Mannix
What is your takeaway from the aborted fight between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan, and where should both fighters go from here?
CHRIS MANNIX: Hyperbole aside — and boy, has the rhetoric been ratcheted up over the last few days, hasn’t it? — I’m inclined to let this thing play out before I judge Lamont Peterson as a cheater. On one hand, I’m inclined to believe this was a mistake; it was Peterson, after all, who requested VADA testing in the first place. On the other hand, Peterson was given every opportunity to disclose his testosterone injection, and didn’t. His trainer, Barry Hunter, who is closely involved with USA Boxing, should know that any type of synthetic testosterone treatment should have been disclosed. That they didn’t and claimed to have “forgot” is a little fishy.
Let’s see what the Nevada commission has to say about it. If they don’t buy Peterson’s story in a hearing next month, Peterson will be effectively suspended, his reputation stained, his career as a HBO headliner likely gone. In that case, I’d like to see Khan stay at 140 pounds for one more fight: a showdown with Tim Bradley. Khan has chased Bradley for more than a year, and assuming Bradley doesn’t shock the world and beat Manny Pacquiao next month, that’s a fight that still generates a lot of interest.
Admittedly, there is a part of me that hopes Peterson comes back clean. Or at least cleanish. His backstory is incredible, the true definition of the American dream. If the Nevada commission decides that Peterson did have a legit reason for taking testosterone, then I’d like to see Peterson-Khan II as soon as possible.
RICHARD O’BRIEN: The first takeaway is that, once again, professional athletes need to be aware of what’s going into their bodies. Yes, testing is imperfect and (to be cynical) beatable, but chances are, if you’ve taken a supplement of whatever kind, it’s going to show up in the results at some point. Had Peterson revealed back in December, before the first Khan bout, that he had received a medically recommended injection of soy pellets (for his evidently astonishingly low testosterone levels), he might well have been granted a waiver. Now he faces the almost certain prospect of not having his Nevada (and, essentially, universal) license renewed until sometime next year — thus missing out on the lucrative rematch with Khan and on any momentum he had going after his upset win in December.
I was looking forward to the rematch — expecting it to be just as tough and, with luck, less squirrely than the first one. Both fighters are gifted and well-schooled and for both it was going to be a make-or-break fight. Now, it seems, we’re going to see Khan in action in July. Steve Kim of Max Boxing reports the likely venue is Anaheim’s Honda Center and the date July 7. The expected opponent is WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia, who should be a competitive match for Khan. A safer opponent could be the ageless Erik Morales, who lost to Garcia on March 24, but showed himself to be a still credible contender. Another Khan-Paulie Malignaggi bout would draw as well, if Khan wanted to move up to welterweight, but I don’t see Paulie eager to risk his new title so soon, especially not 3,000 miles from Brooklyn.
Khan has said he wants one more fight at 140 before making the leap to 147, where, presumably, the eventual target would be Floyd Mayweather Jr. Khan’s not ready for that yet; a Peterson rematch would have given him some more valuable seasoning, but an impressive win over Garcia (or even Morales) would keep things going in the right direction.
Peterson, meanwhile, has famously overcome so much in his career — and built up a lot of goodwill along the way. However long he’s out, I think he’ll be welcomed back by his fans. By then, though, Khan may have moved on — making it a rare case in which the winner of the first bout will suffer for not having had the rematch.
BRYAN ARMEN GRAHAM: Peterson, who’d lived parentless with his brother on the streets of Washington D.C. from age 9 to 14, was a 7-to-1 underdog when he fought with a rare tenacity and nicked a split decision over Khan for the light welterweight title. From homeless to world champion: it was one of the best sports stores of 2011.
Which is what makes the events of the past seven days such a bummer. Multiple organizations had named Peterson-Khan I the Fight of the Year — an honor the IBF ominously rescinded last week — and the rematch was one of the year’s most anticipated fights among hardcore boxing fans. As Chris suggests above, the accusations don’t seem to fit Peterson’s character; but his excuse isn’t exactly ironclad either. He used testosterone, didn’t disclose it, and tested positive. It’s pretty much as open as shut as it gets.
Yes, Peterson was visibly shaken in his first TV interview since the news broke – apologizing to Khan and the fans for failing to disclose the treatment – and his trainer continues to plead ignorance. But if the commission doesn’t clear his name, Peterson’s reputation will be permanently tainted.
For Khan, it means his long-speculated rise to 147 pounds must wait at least a little while longer. He will fight once more at junior welter according to trainer Freddie Roach, but it’s no secret a showdown with Floyd Mayweather is in the plans, an international bonanza that could draw thousands of British fans to Las Vegas — or lure as many as 80,000 fans to Wembley Stadium.
What follows is the complete statement from Dr. Margaret Goodman, president of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, issued Thursday in response to the cancellation of next week’s Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan rematch in Las Vegas:
VADA’s mission is to help protect the health and safety of athletes who are willing to demonstrate their commitment to clean sport. As a voluntary organization, we depend on those who share our vision to help rid boxing and MMA of PEDs. VADA understands and shares the disappointment that is felt by Golden Boy Promotions, Amir Khan, the undercard fighters, HBO, and the thousands of fans who were looking forward to Khan-Peterson II. This unfortunate situation, however, serves to underscore the need for PED education and the high-caliber testing procedures that VADA offers.
VADA has respect for Richard Schaefer, GBP, and their commitment to clean sport. However, VADA disagrees with Mr. Schaefer’s characterizations of the contractual relationship between GBP and VADA. The facts are as follows.
There was never a final or signed contract between GBP and VADA. When VADA became involved with the Peterson-Khan fight in March, the individual athletes signed up for the VADA program and executed the proper documentation.
VADA was told that GBP also wanted a contract so that GBP would be authorized to receive the testing results, including the preliminary results from an “A” sample analysis. It is important to understand that “A” sample results are only preliminary, do not legally stand up by themselves, and under commonly accepted anti-doping procedures are typically released only to the athlete.
In order for VADA to release the preliminary “A” sample results to a third party such as GBP, VADA requires an executed authorization allowing us to do so. VADA sent GBP a draft contract for its signature which would have authorized the preliminary “A” sample results to be released to GBP. This initial draft (which was never signed) contained a clause pursuant to which GBP would have represented that it had obtained the necessary authorization from the fighters. GBP’s legal team rejected this clause and instead suggested making the fighters signatories to the contract with their signatures being the necessary authorization. VADA’s counsel made it clear to GBP that, if GBP wanted to handle it this way, GBP must take responsibility for obtaining the athlete’s signatures. Unfortunately, and to VADA’s dismay, GBP never obtained the signatures. Various versions of a draft contract were sent back and forth between GBP and VADA. The contract was never finalized. Richard Schaefer may, or may not, have been aware of this situation. The bottom line is that VADA had no contract with GBP. This is not a mere technicality. It involves issues of medical ethics. VADA needed a signed contract in order to deviate from its Results Management Policy (posted on our website) and release the preliminary and personal medical information to a third party. VADA still has never received a signed contract or signed athlete authorization from GBP. VADA would have been happy to inform GBP of the preliminary “A” results. But we needed a signed authorization allowing us to do so, which we never received.
It has also been asked why it took so long to test the “B” sample after the first positive test result. When VADA notified Mr. Peterson of the adverse finding on April 13, Mr. Peterson had one week to challenge the “A” test result and ask for the “B” sample to be tested. During that time, Mr. Peterson also had the opportunity to supplement his earlier written submissions to VADA with regard to drugs and other medications that he had used prior to the testing. Mr. Peterson’s representatives waited eight days (until Saturday, April 21) to respond. At that time, they did not communicate any of the “exculpatory” material later offered to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Instead, they chose to challenge the positive test result, asserted their right to be present when the “B” sample was tested, and asked that the “B” sample be tested on Friday, April 27th. The UCLA laboratory said that Friday was an inappropriate day to begin testing because four consecutive days are needed to complete the test. The sample “B” test began on Monday, April 30th.
VADA has complied in every way with all signed contracts that we had and will continue to do so. VADA welcomes the discussion about the dangers of PEDs to those who use them and to their opponents. We also reiterate our contention that it is imperative for the managers, promoters, and friends of these brave athletes to assist in the education about PEDs. VADA will help in every way we can. Our hope is that there will come a time when every test is negative.
– SI.com staff
The team behind IBF and WBA light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson issued the following statement on Thursday morning in response to the cancellation of the May 19 rematch between Peterson and Amir Khan:
Team Peterson is very disappointed and distraught by the decision to cancel the May 19th 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 rumors 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 test 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 8 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 19th 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.
– SI.com staff
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
– Bryan Armen Graham
LOS ANGELES — When Michael Buffer boomed out Lamont Peterson’s name Saturday night, officially awarding Peterson a pair of junior welterweight titles and ending Amir Khan’s reign atop the 140-pound division, the first person I thought of was Tim Bradley. Bradley, of course, has had a very public back and forth with Khan over the last year, one that intensified when Bradley passed on a $1.8 million payday to fight Khan last summer. Still, I was interested in getting Bradley’s thoughts on his archrival losing to Peterson, whom Bradley destroyed over 12 rounds in an alphabet title fight in 2009.
“I thought the fight went exactly as I thought it would,” Bradley said. “Peterson can box but he likes to bang and brawl. He attacked the body the same way he did with me. He looked a little more confident though. He said he wasn’t mentally ready when he fought me. He said he was a little nervous. He looked more comfortable, like he was ready to be there.”
The ending was controversial, of course, because referee Joe Cooper deducted two points from Khan for pushing. The deductions proved to be the difference in the fight. While Khan protested the referee’s calls, Bradley says they were fair.
“Review the tape, see how many times Khan pushed and shoved Peterson,” Bradley said. “He was pushing him and trying to get space. The ref warned him. He took action. The ref did his job. A foul is a foul.”
Bradley said he had no sympathy for Khan getting a raw deal in Peterson’s hometown.
“It was in D.C., you allowed that to happen,” Bradley said. “You should look at your promoter and say, ‘You set me up.’ Khan goes to Vegas and he does five or six thousand fans. In D.C. there was about nine thousand. That’s more money for the promoter. They thought it was going to be safe but when you go into someone’s hometown, you take a risk. I know when I fight, I look at who is going to be the judge, the ref, everything. Khan has himself and his team to blame. What they did was arrogant and stupid. You are the No. 1 guy at 140 pounds and you allow that to happen? I’ve been saying Amir needs to focus on Lamont and not me and Floyd [Mayweather]. Now he lost his belts.”
Bradley says he has been taking some time off since his win over Joel Casamayor last month but plans to get back in the gym next month. He is waiting for word on a fight with Manny Pacquiao — he is believed to be one of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s top choices as a possible opponent should negotiations for a megafight with Mayweather fall apart — but he won’t wait forever. He says he is still open to fighting anyone, including Peterson, who does not owe Khan a mandatory rematch.
“That would be a good fight, a tough fight,” Khan said. “Peterson, now that he has those belts, it is going to be hard to take them from him. It’s definitely a challenge that I would love to face. He’s a guy who can make an exciting fight. It would be a tough fight, but I believe it is a winnable.”
– Chris Mannix, SI.com