February 23, 2013

Lamont Peterson thrashes Kendall Holt in a capital performance

Capital Punishment - Peterson executes Holt on ESPN
WASHINGTON DC - By John Scheinman

Fresh off his victory over Gavin Rees, rising boxing superstar Adrien Broner is expected to continue campaigning for the time being at 135 pounds.

On Feb. 22 at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C., Broner watched intently from ringside as Lamont Peterson resumed his long dormant career against another comebacking fighter, Kendall Holt.

Broner may have decided 135 might not be such a bad division after seeing the fearsome display put on by Peterson, 29, Washington, 31-1-1, in his methodical dismantling of Holt, Paterson, N.J., 28-6, in defense of his IBF junior welterweight title.

Peterson hadn’t fought in 14 months, following the debacle of a failed drug test for steroids following his scintillating victory against Amir Khan in December 2011 at the Washington Convention Center. The fight propelled Peterson into elite status, and the drug test knocked him right back down and into mothballs. He had his title taken away and then restored, and against Holt he kept it the hard way.

Peterson may have won the first round of the fight, but Holt was in charge in the next two frames, advancing and ripping fast left hooks to the body. Peterson, particularly in the third round, appeared to not have the focus or attack plan necessary to beat Holt, who moved well, punched briskly and fired shots in the middle of Peterson’s combinations.

That didn’t last long. Peterson scored a knockdown in the fourth round and then the route was on. It was as if two different fights took place. "I felt one of his shots; it hit me right on the button,” Peterson said. “I didn't feel anything. Once I knew where to put my guards, I felt more comfortable in there and started coming forward.”

Holt, a former titleholder himself, reportedly had to lose eight pounds in two days to make weight, but he certainly must have been fit to take the beating Peterson doled out.

Peterson and Holt exchange on the ropes
After pressing the action early, Holt was forced to either evade or outright retreat the rest of the fight. Peterson pressed him with a relentless attack, beautifully mixing head and body-shot combinations. Holt was brave, no question, but the KO Digest scorecard had Peterson win 10-8 in the fourth (with the knockdown), 10-8 in the fifth, 10-7 in the sixth (another knockdown) and then the end came by TKO at 1:42 of the eighth round in the scheduled 12.

That Holt survived the sixth at all – when the fight easily could have been stopped – was a testament to his gameness.

The crowd of about 3,500 was raucous and partisan in the old Armory, periodically breaking out into chants of “D.C.! D.C.! D.C.!”

At the end, Holt, who hadn’t fought in 12 months, has his back to the ropes and took a terrible sequence on unanswered head shots before referee Tony Weeks finally leaped in to rescue him. “I knew I could put it together and get him out of there,” Peterson said. “I just had to be patient and wait for the time. The last time I caught him on the ropes, I just let my hands go and then stopped [him]. I knew I could finish it. I just couldn't let up.”

Less than a month before Peterson-Holt, Golden Boy Promotions signed Peterson to a promotional contract, this the same Golden Boy whose executive called Peterson a disgrace after the positive drug test following the Khan fight. 

The Problem scouting 140 lb talent in DC
Clearly, a shrewd and wise move. The only blemish on Peterson’s record is a loss to Timothy Bradley and it may be tough getting that opponent back in the ring. With this action-packed victory and unmistakable presentation of world-class form on ESPN2, Peterson likely has erased a lot of the ill will held against him for the drug test. People like exciting fighters, and he is one. Broner is a Golden Boy-promoted champion not too far away in weight. Both of them will continue to build on their sterling careers and don’t be surprised if a showdown is in the offing.

KO Digest Ringside Report by John Scheinman