Golden Boy Promotions has asked boxing commissioners in Washington to turn English fighter Amir Khan's loss to Lamont Peterson into a no-contest result, ESPN reported on Saturday.
If the District of Columbia Boxing Commission overturns the controversial victory by hometown hero Peterson last December, Khan reclaims the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation world lightweight titles.
The move comes after a Khan-Peterson rematch scheduled for next Saturday was called off in the wake of the American failing a drug test last March. Khan has called Peterson "a cheat" and demanded his titles be returned.
A dismissal of Peterson's split-decision triumph is by no means certain. Peterson had not tested positive for any banned substance before the victory and only did so under Olympic-style random testing that he requested ahead of the rematch, three months after the original Khan fight.
But upholding the validity of the victory would not necessarily keep the titles from being vacated or returned to Khan in the wake of the positive doping test.
The big controversy of the December bout was referee Joe Cooper deducting two points from Khan for excessive pushing. Without those deductions, the fight scoring would have resulted in a draw and Khan would have kept his titles.
A statement from Peterson's camp noted he had not failed a drug test "beyond this isolated and explainable occurrence. We still stand behind the fact that he did nothing wrong and he was more than ready to go through with the fight."
Khan, however, said his family and camp worried for his safety should he climb into the ring with Peterson.
"My parents and team said to me 'Look, at the end of the day Amir, it could be a risk to your life,'" Khan said. "It's not going to be fair to step into the ring with someone who is going to be on drugs and going to be cheating."
Khan is expected to fight again in late June or early July, but specifics could be delayed until the status of the titles is determined.