Taking the advice of his family and his promoter, Amir Khan has finally pulled the plug and cancelled his proposed May 19th match against Lamont Peterson after the American failed a drugs test.
Khan was hoping to regain the WBA and IBF light-welterweight belts he lost in controversial circumstances in December.
Khan's PR team issued the following statement this morning: "A failed pre-fight drug test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), coupled with the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s (NSAC) legal inability to hold a formal hearing on the matter of licensing Lamont Peterson for his Saturday, May 19 rematch against Amir Khan until Tuesday, May 15, has forced the cancellation of the event.
"Ticket refunds for “Peterson vs. Khan II” will be available at your point of purchase. Ticketmaster may be reached at (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. Event ticket refunds for fans traveling from the United Kingdom are available at www.sportscorporation.com or by calling +44 (0)845 163 0845."
A disconsolate and understandably angry Khan told Sky Sports: "First of all I'm disappointed because I trained very hard for this fight. It was only 10 days away from the fight where my dad came knocking on my bedroom door and said to me 'look, Lamont Peterson's failed his drug test and the fight's no longer going to happen'.
"It was a big shock for me. My head was all over the place, I really, really wanted to win my titles back and have the fight. But the truth's come out now and it just proves that Lamont Peterson was a cheat really.
"It hurt me more than anything because I really did want to go in there and put on a performance and show the world how good Amir Khan is.
"The Nevada Commission have taken the licence off Lamont Peterson and they don't want him to fight in the next fight, so I think whoever I fight next they'll put the titles on the line or we still go through the process and we might get the titles back and the fight that we had last time will be a no-contest.
"I'm looking at fighting June 30. I'm in great shape now. I was looking forward to fighting next week. I'm already at the right weight and it was a tough, tough training camp. I was so fit and looking forward to this fight. I wanted this fight even when I heard he failed his drugs test, I did everything to get the fight on, but my parents and my team said to me 'look, at the end of the day Amir, it could be a risk to your life. It's not going to be fair to step into the ring with someone who is gonna to be on drugs and gonna be cheating'.
"The next fight for me will be June, July. I've got a meeting with Golden Boy Promotions over the next few days and hopefully we'll set a date."