Tomorrow night, Friday Fight Fights on ESPN 2 will have their biggest fight of the year and their biggest overall fight in a long time as Lamont Peterson squares off against Kendall Holt for the IBF light welterweight title. Friday Night Fights is normally known for both up and coming fighters, or fighters that are still trying to find themselves in the sport. However, this week we have the pleasure of seeing a world champion in Lamont Peterson going against a former champion in Kendal Holt, in Peterson’s hometown of Washington DC.
We all know the story of the 29 year old Lamont Peterson (30-1-1 with 15 KOs), who’s only in ring blemishes are a loss to Tim Bradley and a majority draw with Victor Ortiz. After winning a controversial split decision against Amir Khan to win the IBF and the WBA super welterweight titles, also in his home town, he was stripped of both titles before their rematch due to a positive test for a synthetic testosterone. Peterson denied the results and after I spoke with his team recently, he reiterated that he took nothing that was banned and what he took was a therapeutic. He also said that independent doctors, as well as IBF doctors, have tested him and found nothing that would indicate he took performance enhancing drugs. Peterson now looks to put all of that past him as he gets back in the ring for the 1st time since December 2011.
Looking across the ring from Peterson will be Paterson, New Jersey’s own, Kendall Holt. The 31 year old, 12 year veteran, comes into this fight with a record of 28-5 with 16 KOs. Some of Holt’s losses are to current champions like Danny Garcia and Tim Bradley. He is known as a solid fighter that will keep good fighters honest. He won his only world title fight against Ricardo Torres in a crazy fight that had 3 knockdowns in 61 seconds, with Holt being knocked down 2 of those times and an accidental headbutt immediately following the Holt punch that KO’d Torres. Torres is the same person that defeated Holt a year earlier with an 11th round TKO, when most though Holt was winning the fight as the time, with a bunch of controversy also surrounding that bout. He comes into this fight trying to further establish himself as a big threat at the light welterweight division. This is Holt’s 1st fight in almost a year.
Holt has the slight reach and power advantage in this one, but Peterson is a grinder that will try to turn this into a slower, dirty boxing, type of fight. It will be interesting to see which fighter can shake the ring rust off the quickest even though both fighters don’t think that will be a problem. Holt will have to mix his punches up, use the jab and have some lateral movement. Peterson will try to get inside, lean and hold and throw more body shots; pretty much trying to wear Holt down. I think their level of competition is pretty similar, but Peterson has had more success against those better boxers. I expect this to go the distance and for Peterson to come out on top in a close unanimous decision. This could then push him forward for a possible fight with the very hard hitting Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse. No matter who comes out on top, it’s going to be a treat to see 2 champions square off in what is an even main event compare to the recent mismatched that we have seen lately on television. To top it off, you don’t need HBO or Showtime for this fight as it will air on national TV via ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Enjoy the fight.