Petersen v Khan cancelled

2012-05-10 14:28

London - The rematch between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan has been cancelled.

Golden Boy Promotions announced on Wednesday that the much anticipated fight was off as a result of Peterson’s failure to pass a drugs test.

Peterson and the Briton were scheduled to meet in Las Vegas on May 19. Khan is now looking for an opponent to fight on June 30.

In their previous bout, in December last year, the American took the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles by beating Khan on a split decision.

Golden Boy said Peterson's failed test - it was reported that he tested positive for synthetic testosterone - combined with the Nevada State Athletic Commission's inability to hold a hearing in time led to the fight's cancellation.

"A failed pre-fight drugs test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) coupled with the Nevada State Athletic Commission's legal inability to hold a formal hearing on the matter of licensing Lamont Peterson ... forced the cancellation of the event," the promoters said in a statement.

Khan reacted strongly to the news, putting the blame squarely on Peterson's shoulders.

"The fight is off! Sorry everyone. The only person to blame is @kingpete26. I'll be looking for an opponent to fight June 30," he said on Twitter.

Peterson won their bout in Washington by 113-112 on two scorecards. The other judge had Khan a 115-110 winner.

Afterward, the British boxer - who won an Olympic silver medal as a 17-year-old in 2004 - claimed a "home-town decision" had robbed him of victory.

Khan and Peterson had agreed to random testing by VADA ahead of the rematch.

Peterson's publicist, Andre Johnson, said in a statement earlier in the week the boxer's camp was mystified by the test results.

"We have tremendous respect for VADA and its mission. Lamont, Barry and the entire team emphatically support random drug testing in the most comprehensive manner possible," he said.

"We are working expeditiously with a team of pathologists and other medical specialists to confirm the origin of the test result and in full compliance with the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

"Lamont has never had a positive test either before or after this isolated occurrence."

Reuters reports that Peterson tested positive for testosterone in an unscheduled test conducted by VADA in March.

"My understanding from my brief conversation with Peterson's attorney was that when he was first told in April that he had tested positive for testosterone, he had no clue what it could be but that it had to be a mistake," Nevada Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said.

"Then the B sample came back on May 3, positive as well, and then, at that time, I guess a light bulb went off that he had had some testosterone problems before the first Khan fight."

Peterson's team had promised to present its defence to the Nevada Athletic Commission earlier this week for the commission’s chairman to rule on whether the May 19 fight would go ahead.

"Unless he has some really enlightening defence, he will not be licenced for May 19," Kizer said.