Lamont Peterson (31-1-1, 15 KOs) had a dream ending to 2011 by snatching a hard-earned decision victory from then junior welterweight champion Amir Khan. 2012, however, was far less kind. On the verge of a major payday in the form of a rematch with Khan, Peterson’s career was thrown into disarray when the fight was called off after Peterson tested positive for testosterone pellets. Now, looking to rebuild his image, Peterson returned to his hometown, Washington DC, to defend his IBF junior welterweight title against former titleholder Kendall Holt (28-6, 16 KOs). Holt, who has had several struggles in recent years before turning it around against fringe contender Tim Coleman, likewise, was looking to reignite his career. Judging by his impressive performance in front of a raucous crowd, 2012 may turn out to be a better year for Peterson.
As the bell sounded, Holt appeared to briefly turn back the clock by turning out an impressive double-jab, which coupled with a smartly-timed right hand, had Peterson on his feet. During these first two rounds, Peterson appeared sluggish and ill-prepared to deal with Holt’s speed.
However, by the fourth round, Holt’s aggression appeared to get the best of him as he began providing openings, which Peterson turned into an advantage; landing a beautiful left hook which stopped Holt in his tracks. Peterson began to turn the aggression up, and managed to drop Holt with a right hand as the round closed. After this setback, it was all downhill, as Peterson crowded him with an effective attack to the body and head. This included another knockdown in the sixth round in which it appeared the fight was on the verge of being stopped. The referee, Tony Weeks, however, allowed the fight to continue and it all lead to a stunning eight round in which Peterson bludgeoned Holt with a right hand that brought a halt to the bout.
After the fight, Peterson indicated that he wanted WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, while Holt hinted that his career might be coming to an end.