Lamont Peterson Retains Jr. Welterweight Belt With 8th Rd TKO of Kendall Holt
Considering that IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Lamont Peterson had been out of the ring for 14 months and it was challenger Kendall Holt’s first fight in 11 months it was understandable why there was some ring rust in the first few rounds of their title bout at the Armory in Washington D.C. on Feb. 22. The fight didn’t really come alive until the fourth round, but once it did, it was quite entertaining.
Peterson was too much for Holt though and he eventually wore him all the way down and earned a well-deserved eighth-round TKO. It was Peterson’s first bout since he was found to have synthetic testosterone in his body while failing a drug test. Peterson won the IBF and WBA title from England’s Amir Khan in a highly-controversial showdown in December of 2011 and the positive drug test resulted in the cancellation of a big-money rematch last May. The WBA also stripped him of their championship.
Holt seemed to shake off his ring rust quicker than the champion as he controlled the first three rounds even though they were relatively uneventful. Holt then stepped up the pace during the first half of the fourth round and looked to be taking over, but this woke Peterson up and the tide turned from that point onwards. He dropped Holt with a looping right hand to the head before the round ended and this was more or less the beginning of the end for the challenger.
Holt found himself on the canvas again in the sixth round after getting nailed on the button by a left hook and then a combination by Peterson. He was up at the count of eight and managed to escape the round and got through the seventh without suffering any more major damage. However, his luck ran out in the eighth round as Peterson landed at will while Holt was trapped on the ropes and referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the barrage of punches at the 1:42 mark.
The 29-year-old champion raised his pro record to 31-1-1, with 16 Kos with the win while the 31-year-old Holt lost for the fourth time in his last seven outings and fell to 28-6 overall with 16 Kos. It was also his fourth career KO loss. Holt had trouble making the 140 lb. weight limit as he was eight pounds overweight two days before the bout. He said after the fight that if he continues his boxing career he’ll likely move up to the 147 lb. welterweight division.
Peterson said he got tagged with a couple of Holt’s best shots early in the fight and knew that the challenger didn’t have the power to hurt him. He said he felt more comfortable moving forward after that and grew in confidence. He added that he knew he could eventually stop holt, but wanted to be patient instead of rushing in. He said he knew the time was right when he had the challenger on the ropes in the eighth round and just let his hands go until Weeks jumped in and stopped him.
Peterson said he’d like to take on current WBA champion Danny Garcia to unite the titles since he isn’t happy that the WBA stripped the title from him. Garcia’s next bout is scheduled against former champion Zab Judah on April 27. Another possibility for Peterson is a bout against Argentina’s knockout artist Lucas Matthysse sometime in May.
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