WASHINGTON - Lamont Peterson has made an appeal to the World Boxing Association (WBA) to reverse its order for an immediate rematch with Britain's Amir Khan, according to a statement from Peterson's camp on Wednesday.
Peterson also said that despite reports to the contrary, there are no talks ongoing between Peterson and Khan for a rematch of last month's bout in Washington that ended with Peterson a controversial split-decision winner.
Khan, 26-2 with 18 knockouts, lost the WBA and International Boxing Federation titles to hometown hero Peterson, 30-1-1 with 15 knockouts, but won a protest last week to the WBA over the outcome that mandated a rematch.
Among the issues for Khan was referee Joe Cooper taking two points from him for excessive pushing, one in the final round. Had that 12th-round point not been subtracted from judges' scorecards, the fight would have ended in a draw.
One day after Khan withdrew a similar protest to the IBF and promoter Golden Boy claimed vindication in the WBA's ruling, Peterson's camp said their position was vindicated by the withdrawing of the Khan protest to the IBF.
"Now that this is over I am ready to move on," Peterson said. "As I said before, as champion I plan on representing both sanctioning bodies to the best of ability and that means fighting the best fighters in the world in defending my titles."
Unless he wins his appeal to the WBA, Peterson would have to fight a rematch with Khan or be stripped of that title.
"We have an open mind and look forward to Lamont's first title defense," said Barry Hunter, Peterson's trainer and manager. "We will discuss internally and assess every viable opportunity available. We will then make the best decision possible for the future of Lamont and his family."
The Peterson camp statement said it was confident the WBA would overturn its previous ruling based on the same unrevealed information it was set to present at an IBF hearing that was called off once the Khan protest was withdrawn.
"The Peterson team continuously responded to each of Khan's accusations and the absurdity of the claims," Hunter said. "Our reply addressed the rules and also Khan's inability to make adjustments and his performance in the ring, as opposed to placing blame on almost everyone associated with the bout.
"We are extremely pleased that Golden Boy and Amir Khan withdrew their protest with the IBF. We were not going to be forced to make a decision by one person or entity and we will continue to do what is in the best interest of Lamont Peterson."
The withdrawn protest gives Peterson the option to keep the IBF crown and fight whomever he likes, an option that could prod Khan to move up into the welterweight ranks.
Khan was planning to make a move after the Peterson fight unless he could talk unbeaten US fighter Tim Bradley into a light-welterweight showdown between the division's most heralded champions.
But the loss to Peterson put that move on hold as Khan pushed for the chance to reclaim his titles in a rematch against Peterson somewhere other than the new champion's hometown.
Peterson has been mentioned as a possible next foe for Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, although four other fighters, including Floud Mayweather, are also in the mix and most if not all figure to offer richer payoffs for Pacquiao.