News & Politics

Controversy Continues in Khan/Peterson Fight

Who was the “mystery man” seen ringside?

Controversy still surrounds the decision in the Khan v. Peterson title fight. Photograph by Tom Hogan of Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions.

Welcome to DC, where nothing ever goes quite right. Not where professional sports are concerned, at least. The Capitals are underperforming, the Wizards are a disaster, and the Redskins are still owned by Dan Snyder.

The city enjoyed one great night of triumph in the past year, when Lamont Peterson defeated Amir “King” Khan for the WBA and IBF light welterweight titles. We barely even got to celebrate before that landmark win was dragged through the mud.

From the moment local referee Joseph Cooper penalized Khan in the final round, the fight has been subject to close scrutiny. Khan, at the time, reacted pretty reasonably considering the controversial ending.

More recently, the whole matter has devolved into full-fledged—and self-described—Khanspiracy. Because that’s what happens when a disgruntled ex-champion takes to Twitter with tales of a sinister “mystery man” in a dark hat.

The man referenced in that tweet—and in plenty more since—has since been identified as Mustafa Ameen, who was credentialed by one of the fight’s governing bodies. What he was doing there, and why he was wearing such a suspicious hat, remains unclear. However, the idea that Amir Khan was systematically robbed of his titles seems unfounded.

The matter is headed for a hearing on January 18 that will surely result in a mandatory rematch between the two boxers. That would be a fitting conclusion to this whole ordeal. The first fight was a closely contested battle that has recently been nominated for Fight of the Year. A rematch would be welcomed by all, save possibly for Peterson, who hoped to land an even bigger fight with Manny Pacquiao.

When the rematch is ordered, the big questions will be where and when. A date sometime this spring is most likely. But a return to the nation’s capital? Less so.

Conspiracy theories aside, Capital Showdown was not a seamlessly run event. From the layout of the makeshift “arena” to the lax security in place, it was apparent that DC hadn’t hosted a major boxing card in years. Hopefully the city will have another chance to prove itself in the near future, but if it does, don’t expect Team Khan to have any part in it. After all, this is the city of spies. You never know where the next black hat may be lurking.