Boxing has always courted controversy. Whether it is debating a points decision, a contentious stoppage or discussing the politics behind the sport, it keeps it in the headlines and for the most part can be viewed as a positive.
However, this week boxing has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Peterson Spurns the Sport That Saved Him
Let’s start with the shocking news that Lamont Peterson has failed a drugs test and fans will no longer be able to see Amir Khan attempt to wrestle his titles back from the American fighter with a Rocky-esque story.
Even the most ardent Khan supporter could not deny that Peterson deserved his moment in the spot light. This was a man that had grown up on the streets of Washington, been taken in by his trainer Barry Hunter (who is like a father figure to the fighter and his younger brother Anthony), and had eventually recognised his dream by winning the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles in his home town, in front of an ecstatic crowd.
The revelation that Peterson tested positive before his first bout with Khan puts the performance of his life into question. He seemed prepared to walk through walls in order to claim his first world title, but now he has seemingly spurned the sport that rescued him. He will struggle to walk away from the tag of drugs cheat.
It is not just Khan that has been let down - he will no longer get his opportunity for revenge – as promoters, fellow fighters and most of all, the fans who travel across American in order to cheer on a fighter with such an inspiring story.
Of course there could be a genuine reason for Peterson’s use of testosterone pellets and his publicist Andre Johnson has insisted that previous tests indicated he had low levels. Yet there will always be that nagging doubt.
It is perhaps more commonplace in athletics but the names of Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and even Linford Christie have been tarnished by the revelations that they failed drugs tests.
Let’s leave the last word on this incredibly sore subject to the man who feels most aggrieved at the news Amir Khan.
“He could have destroyed my life. How can I respect someone like Lamont Peterson now, when he didn't respect my life? And he doesn't respect the sport. I hope he does get punished,” said Khan.
"He has just destroyed his whole legacy. I think he's done now. You know, he made a lot of money in the last fight, about four or five hundred grand; this fight he was making $1.6m, which was by far his biggest payday – and he's not going to get that sort of money any more. It would have changed his life."
Haye and Chisora Reignite Feud After Munich Melee
The ugly scenes that followed Dereck Chisora’s gallant display against Vitali Klitschko ended up eclipsing the Londoner’s performance in the ring. His brawl with the recently retired David Haye made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Verbal threats, physical violence outside the ring and a string of misdemeanors led to the British Boxing Board of Control revoking Chisora’s licence. It was perhaps a rather harsh decision as it was certainly nothing new to the sport, but it has led to yet more controversy thanks to the announcement made by his promoter Frank Warren.
Earlier this week Warren announced Chisora would have the chance to settle his differences with Haye at Upton Park on July 14. One the first day of ticket sales, 17,000 were sold. It is seemingly a fight that a lot of boxing fans want to see but should it really be allowed to go ahead?
The BBBoC have condemned the entire show that is being sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation. They have threatened to cancel the licence of anyone involved with the show, including fighters, promoters, managers and even corner men.
“Any member who participates in such a promotion would bring the sport of boxing into disrepute and would wholly undermine the authority of the British Boxing Board of Control,” read a statement released by the BBBoC.
"For the avoidance of doubt, any member of the British Boxing Board of Control who participates in any way in such a promotion will be deemed to have terminated his/her membership of the British Boxing Board of Control and his/her licence therewith.”
Now the entire card has been called into doubt. Why would any fighter want to risk losing his licence just for competing at a show that will no doubt attract thousands of fans and be watched by millions around the world?
There is a wealth of exciting talent coming through and these are the events that need to be used to showcase British fighters. You can understand the BBBoC wanting their rules to be adhered to but if there is a public outcry for a specific fight then there are always ways around these rules and Frank Warren is an old master at finding these loopholes.
Whatever the outcome it is yet more negative press and distracts from the fact that in the last few weeks there have been some exceptional shows. Tony Bellew’s performance in Liverpool was verging on world class, while Billy Joe Saunders lit up the Royal Albert Hall.
I for one just wish that people would start to show some common sense. But then when has boxing even been about rational thinking.
For more news and opinion from this writer please follow @aidyback