Amir Khan has spoken of his hurt and disappointment following the cancellation of his world light-welterweight title rematch against Lamont Peterson and says the American champion's failed drugs test proves he was "a cheat".
It emerged earlier this week that Peterson, who controversially beat Khan in December to capture the Bolton fighter's WBA and IBF titles, had tested positive for a banned steroid. The news cast doubt over the pair's May 19 rematch in Las Vegas until Golden Boy Promotions and Khan himself confirmed on Thursday that the bout has been scrapped.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Khan said: "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'."
He continued: "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."
Asked about how he can get his belts back, Khan said: "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."
Khan, who revealed he would meet Golden Boy to discuss a potential fight in June or July, added: "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 going to be on drugs and going to be cheating'."
A statement from Golden Boy read: "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."
According to Khan's American promoter Richard Schaefer, Peterson tested positive on both 'A' and 'B' samples from a test submitted in March. However, a subsequent, separate test submitted in April was found to be negative.
The issue was referred to the NSAC, who were due to hold a meeting on Tuesday, May 15, but Golden Boy decided that would be too close to the fight.