Former WBO middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam has been left devastated at the realisation that he may not get a rematch after commendably losing his title to Peter Quillin on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
The previously unbeaten fighter boxed well in-between an amazing six knockdowns from the heavy-handed ‘Kid Chocolate’ and had thought that a second fight between the pair would be immediately announced.
N’Dam is now citing a reversal by Quillin’s promoters Golden Boy on a stipulated return fight and spoke exclusively to WBN to explain the whole process of the fight being made from start to finish.
“I want to note that we came to this fight against Quillin with an agreement on the contract signed by Richard Schaefer, that in case of defeat the rematch with me would be the next fight for Quillin with a date to be determined,” N’Dam told World Boxing News.
“It was our biggest surprise at the press conference after the fight that we learn that Schaefer had questioned whether we were wrong. We asked if this option would be imposed as the mandatory fight for Quillin, although Schaefer said this was not going in the right direction.
“We started our training camp in the mountains without being aware of any mandatory fight and it wasn’t until mid-August that our promoter Sebastien Acaries tells us that we must make a mandatory defence against a challenger established by the WBO.
“We originally thought it would be Martin Murray and that we just needed to sort out a date and this did not cause us any problems. Although ten days after this, we were told that Murray is no longer the number one contender so we then looked at number two Billi Godoy, which still gave us no problem apart from setting a date.
“Just as we organised our preparations, around August 25, Acaries then tells us we have to meet Peter Quillin on October 20 at his home city in New York. I immediately thought it may be a wrong move to fight Quillin in Brooklyn, but by that time we had less than two months to prepare ourselves for it and had to accept.
“I had my weight under control through the holidays, although due to my lack of ring action, just one fight in 17 months, I was hoping for a warm-up before fighting someone like Quillin, but had to prepare all my physical effort and sparring plus deal with the time difference in less than two months. This to me is incomparable knowing that Quillin boxed five times for this same period and is why I wanted to refuse the fight originally.
“As a result of long and painful negotiations throughout this period, we started thinking that this preparation would lead to a good agreement between us and Golden Boy if we could put in the a rematch clause just in case we were defeated through lack of preparation and ring action.
“We find that just the opposite was apparent and now my nightmare begins as many contracts have been sent by our promoter without any unacceptable conditions for Quillin and very favourable to him and Golden Boy, which doesn’t help us gain a rematch.
The stipulations we had agreed to were as follows.
1. October 20 was a mandatory defence with less than two months of fight preparation and could lead to me losing my title on foreign soil.
2. An immediate rematch in my next fight with Quillin in case of defeat.
“I has numerous problems leading up the fight, including having treatment for an infection of my wisdom teeth, but was told in no uncertain terms that it is ‘necessary to fight’ regardless of the state of my health. ‘otherwise I loses his title to Quillin out of the ring.’
“It was then that we once again stated we would accept the fight, with a heavy heart, provided that the rematch is signed into the agreement and we even hired a lawyer for this purpose. Our lawyer then sent Acaries the contract and the rematch in the next fight wasn’t mentioned. I thought this was a mistake by Golden Boy and that it should be resolved quickly and properly.”
Hassan’s trainer then picks up the story: “The contract arrived on September 30 at 2am, headed by Golden Boy, although due to the time, Hassan was not fully awake and thought he had signed an amended contract, which turns out was identical to the first.
“The contract was therefore mistakenly returned to Golden Boy without the rematch clause inside. Our copy was overlooked, I realised this error and told Acaries to inform Golden Boy of this error. I was then told that Golden Boy would amend the contract accordingly to stipulate the rematch.
“This was three days before we left for the USA to work on sparring for Quillin and we thought everything was signed. Then, following my request, Acaries sent me an urgent message four days before the fight to tell us he had an amended contract from Golden Boy stipulating the rematch for us in the next fight if Quillin won.”
“Our conclusion was that any boxer in the world would have struggled with such drawbacks and constraints in time and preparation and that we were in a healthy state even if we lost the fight.
“We now feel undermined even more by all these negotiations and obligations prior to the fight and now know that Golden Boy’s structure is for the good of their boxer. We can’t really blame them for defending their interests, but we would have liked to have been told that no rematch would be forthcoming.
“It was like Golden Boy signed the contract with their fingers crossed on two hands and it is deplorable after Hassan’s heroics on the night that he feels abandoned by the decision.
“We now hope that the WBO will order a rematch themselves, within five months, after hearing our determined protests – otherwise the credibility of boxing is once against called into question.”
Hassan then finished his argument by stating: “I would be thankful to the Golden Boy organization and Quillin himself if they realised the inconvenience to me and in the spirit of fair play, they are in agreement for this rematch.
“And I would like to point out that our info ASVENTURE contract expires March 17, 2013.”