Lamont Peterson’s return to the ring is set for February 22nd, in his hometown of Washington D.C. Peterson will be defending his IBF Junior Welterweight Title – that being what it is – against the hard-punching Kendall Holt, in the main event of an ESPN2 Friday Night Fights card at the D.C. Armory.
Peterson last fought in December 2011, also in Washington D.C., and took home a disputed Split Decision over Amir Khan. The win went from disputed to extremely controversial in the aftermath of the cancelled rematch between Peterson and Khan, when news broke about Peterson’s failed drug tests and past usage of potentially performance enhancing drugs.
Yet, Peterson was never formally disciplined, suspended or fined. While the WBA returned its title to Khan, the IBF allowed Peterson to retain their strap. So here we are, Peterson’s returning as technically a titleholder, and he gets to make a defense. Friday Night Fights against Kendall Holt is a far cry in terms of money and spotlight compared to HBO and an Amir Khan rematch, but it’s a great opportunity for him nevertheless.
As for Holt, this is the fight and title shot he has been clamoring for. The former WBO titleholder is just 6-4 in his last 10 fights, but that doesn’t tell the full story. His losses include a disputed stoppage against Kaizer Mabuza, a Split Decision against Danny Garcia, and a Unanimous Decision against Timothy Bradley, in a fight where he was this close from scoring a dramatic early knockout win over the undefeated Desert Storm.
His wins in that time include a decision against the then undefeated Demetrius Hopkins, a wacky 1st round KO over Ricardo Torres, a 2011 Knockout of the Year candidate against Julio Diaz, and most recently, a dominant performance and quick stoppage against Tim Coleman.
It’s a high quality and competitive fight which either man could win, and it’s a fantastic main event for a FNF card. It also marks another big event for boxing in the nation’s capital.