Amir Khan Loses Controversial Decision

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

AmirKhan1Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan lost his Junior Welterweight titles to Lamont Peterson this week in a controversial split decision. Khan’s team initially called for an investigation of referee Joseph Cooper, who deducted two points for pushing on Saturday which ultimately led to Khan losing the disputed split decision 112-113, twice, and 115-110. However, he has since decided against appealing. “There is nothing to appeal about,” said Khan. “If I do they are not going to overturn it. I’ve got the rematch pretty much there. HBO want to do it, Lamont has said he wants to do it.”

Sitting side-by-side at the hospital, the two fighters embraced and discussed a second installment. Both men were beaten up. Khan did not leave until 5am, after treatment for damaged hands and having his ear syringed. Peterson’s right eye was almost closed – trophies from what is likely to be deemed “Fight of the Year” Peterson’s younger brother, Anthony, said: “They embraced, took pictures together and said, ‘we can do it again, down the stretch’. It was a moment of great sportsmanship There was no trash talk.”

Peterson, the newly-crowned International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association champion, said: “I wouldn’t mind doing it in England. The deal would have to be right, but if it is, then I would do it.” The sight of a rematch is likely to be Las Vegas however, as March 31st of 2012 is already being discussed with HBO and the casino resorts. It will take some negotiating, but Khan is Peterson’s route to greater paydays, and indeed, further glory. He could double his purse of $500,000 for the next fight.

Khan insisted that he “did not feel like the loser”, but that he would come back from defeat. “I know the little mistakes I have made and I will get rid of them. I’ll get back in the gym and work even harder. “The rematch is going to be bigger and I know now that there is one more fight for me at 140lb [light-welterweight]. I want my titles back and then I’ll move up to 147lb [welterweight]. I am going to work hard now and change things I did in the ring. We will be working on the angles. We know exactly what he does now. We still thought we had won. It was a better Peterson than the one who beat [Victor] Ortiz. They were in shock winning the fight.”

Khan explained some of the confusion after the fight: “One of the Golden Boy guys got the scoresheets and it said ‘Khan, Khan, Peterson’ and then the next thing it was ‘Peterson, Peterson, Khan’. The referee seemed to disappear pretty quickly. I haven’t looked at the scorecard. I don’t blame Lamont for the fight. The blame is for the referee and the judges. I was up against the ref, the judges and Lamont. This was the first time I have had points taken off me – and it happened twice. When you get two penalties in the fight it was like taking four points off me because they take one off me and give him one.” Khan remained highly critical of Cooper. “I wouldn’t let him do a world title fight again. He has refereed 44 out of 51 [fights] in DC and he comes from here. He didn’t warn me.”

Physically, Khan will need time to recover. “My hand has swollen up a bit, but it is not a break and it didn’t inconvenience me,” he said. “I have my first black eye in boxing. The worst damage was behind the ear.” Khan may be physically beaten up, but his psyche, however, is in fine shape. “It is how you come back from these kind of fights. One thing about me is that I give it my all. All my fights are exciting and it finishes my year off on a high note, even though I didn’t get a decision. Things happen for a reason and I have matured. Now I will get this fight out of the way and move slowly up to 147.”

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Kassim Living the Dream

July 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

KassimOuma4Kassim Ouma is a Ugandan boxer who is the current North American Boxing Association middleweight champion.  His life has been so interesting that he was the subject of a documentary entitled “Kassim the Dream” which was made in 2008. It went on to become an official selection at several film festivals.

Born the seventh of 13 children, he started out in poverty, and at the age of six he was kidnapped and forced to join the National Resistance Army in Uganda. As a result he did not see his family for the next five years. Ouma started boxing after leaving the army. He racked up an impressive 62 and 3 amateur record and subsequently made the Ugandan national boxing team and was selected to fight at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. However, he did not attend due to financial difficulties.

On a Ugandan national amateur team trip to the United States, Ouma decided to stay to undertake a career as a professional boxer to support his family in Uganda. Ouma later won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Middleweight world title.

Ouma has been a champion and top-level contender in the Light Middleweight division, ultimately earning the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Light Middleweight title. He later lost this title in a unanimous decision defeat against Roman Karmazin. However, on September 25, 2010, Ouma defeated Joey Gilbert in the 6th round of their 10-round bout for the vacant North American Boxing Association middleweight title at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.

Among the twists and turns in his life chronicled by the documentary, Ouma was shot twice in Florida in December 2002. Among the violence in his life, Ouma also reports that his father was beaten to death by the Ugandan army in retaliation for his leaving the country. Ouma’s younger brother, Hamza Wandera Ouma, is also a professional boxer. So, Kassim Ouma hopes that, moving forward, his dreams, and the dreams of his family, are only happy ones.

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Amir Khan Unification Fight with Bradley Off

May 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Amir KhanPakistani-British boxer Amir Khan and his camp are moving on after an imposed deadline issued by Golden Boy Promotions to junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. came and went last week. Golden Boy CEO Richard Shaefer said that he had not heard from Gary Shaw, Bradley Jr.’s promoter or anyone in his camp before or after the 1pm deadline on Wednesday.  Khan (25-1, 17 knockouts) and Bradley (27-0, 11 knockouts) were scheduled to meet July 23rd in Las Vegas after Schaefer had worked out a deal with Khan, Shaw and HBO. However, in the end, Bradley chose not to accept Shaw’s offer of a minimum of $1.3 million, which would have been a career-high purse for Bradley.  The failure of this fight to occur is disappointing for several reasons. The hype for this fight had begun even before Khan took on and defeated Paul McCloskey in England last month. But more importantly, the fight would have unified three titles in the light welterweight division, with Khan holding the World Boxing Association (WBA) title, and Bradley holding the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) belts.

For now, the back-up plan for Khan is a group of boxers that include interim lightweight titlist Robert Guerrero, Marcos Maidana (who Khan defeated in a close decision back in December), Erik Morales and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titleholder Zab Judah.  Each candidate is promoted by Golden Boy except Judah, who is with Main Events, which has done several fights with Golden Boy in the past. The logical target from this list would be Zab Judah, who is the IBF light welterweight belt holder. So, with Khan’s WBA belt, it would provide at least some level of unification. Discussions, however, are ongoing.

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