By John F. McKenna (McJack)
The International Boxing Federation (IBF) has acknowledged that the “Mystery Man” seen sitting with World Boxing Association (WBA) fight supervisor Michael Welsh during the fight between new WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO’s) and former champion Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KO’s) is not an IBF official.
Initial reports were that the “Mystery Man” identified as Mustafa Ameen was an IBF official but after days of confusion the IBF finally set the record straight and said Mustafa is not one of their employees nor is he a sanctioning official. The Khan Camp is alleging that video taken during the fight shows Ameen interfering with Welsh when he was supposed to be monitoring the fight.
The Peterson – Khan fight, which was held in Washington D.C. on December was first marked by controversy when referee Joe Cooper took the unusual step of deducting two points from Khan for pushing off. The point deductions were instrumental in Khan losing not only the fight, but his IBF and WBA belts as well.
The controversy intensified when the “Mystery Man” showed up on video allegedly talking to talking to Welsh and passing slips of paper around at ringside. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Shaefer has filed a complaint with the IBF and WBA governing bodies and a hearing will be held on January 18 to discuss the various controversies involved in the fight. Mustafa Ameen has stated that he has nothing to hide and will be present at the hearing.
Khan’s trainer Freddie Roach had clamed days ago that despite reports to the contrary Ameen was not an IBF official and had no business being at ringside. Roach in fact said that he had previously thrown him out of his gym. Schaefer feels that he now has enough ammunition to have the fight declared a no contest.
The loss by Khan has put a crimp in his plans to move up to the welterweight division and challenge the undefeated WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s). Some boxing observers feel that the loss to Peterson was not necessarily a bad thing for Khan and that it will help him to mature as a fighter. Many other top notch fighters have had losses in their careers only to come back better than ever. It is evident that Khan needs to work on his inside game against an aggressive fighter like Peterson. Khan also took far too many head shots in the Peterson fight.