By Team Maskaev: In recent weeks, team Maskaev has requested that the WBC recuse itself from the selection of ring officials for the upcoming Maskaev – Peter Bout in Cancun, Mexico on March 8, 2008. The reason for this request was due to the ongoing legal battles between team Maskaev and the WBC and the unavoidable conflict of interest and bias they have shown in virtually every action they have taken with respect to Maskaev. The WBC rejected team Maskaev’s request and sent Mr. Maskaev a letter assuring him that he would be treated with all due respect and complete impartiality and fairness. I guess this jives quite nicely with the February 20, 2008 press release posted on the WBC website:
SAMUEL PETER WILL BE IN MEXICO THIS WEEKEND
February 20th, 2008. Nigerian fighter Samuel Peter, World Boxing Council Heavyweight Interim world champion, will arrive in Mexico City this weekend to take part in several television and media activities on Saturday and Sunday. On the other hand, the WBC will offer Peter a formal breakfast on Monday, which will be a special press conference for all the media of this city. Samuel Peter was born and lives in Nigeria, however he trains in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he will take off bound to Cancun, 15 days before his fight against Oleg Maskaev from Kazakhstan (Russia), to become the undisputed winner of the WBC world title.
Samuel Peter holds a record of 29 wins, 22 of them by KO, having lost only once (by split decision) in a controversial and very protested fight against IBF Heavyweight world champion, Wladimir Klitschko, who was knocked down three times by Peter in such bout. Later on, he defeated James Toney from the U.S.A., who was ranked # 1 by the WBC, in a final elimination fight; and in the rematch he beat him once again in a clearer and more conclusive way.
Because of all the legal problems that have frozen the Heavyweight division for over a year, a title fight between Maskaev and Peter was finally scheduled, but with 15 days to go before the fight, Maskaev suffered an injury, reason why the WBC named Peter Interim world champion; Peter has defended his title once, beating Jameel McCline from the U.S.A. by unanimous decision.
Samuel Peter is the first Heavyweight world champion born in Nigeria in the history of boxing. All the way from Nigeria, the Vice-president of such country, as well as a group of senators and a considerable number of fans have declared they will be present in Cancun to attend the bout. As the fight will also be broadcast live by television in Nigeria, it will be watched by a minimum of 30 million TV viewers.
There is no doubt that this fight, which has been called: “History in Cancun” for publicity matters, will be historical indeed, due to the support given by the Governor of Quintana Roo, Licenciado Felix Arturo Gonzalez Canto to present this sort of bout in Mexico for the first time in history (a Heavyweight world title). Promoters Don King and Pepe Gomez are doing a great job to make of the night of March the 8th, an amazing Mexican night that will place the name of our country on all the sports maps in the world.
Maskaev received no such invitation or honor from the WBC. In fact, the WBC refers to Peter as the “World Boxing Council Heavyweight Interim world champion” and they refer to Maskaev as “Oleg Maskaev” without even mentioning that he is the current WBC Heavyweight Champion.
Better yet, I really like the part where they say “Samuel Peter was born and lives in Nigeria, however he trains in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he will take off bound to Cancun, 15 days before his *fight against Oleg Maskaev* from Kazakhstan (Russia), *to become the undisputed winner of the WBC world title.
*Have they already determined the outcome of the fight? Do you think it is necessary for Oleg to show up, or should he just mail in his belt?