When he last fought in his home town of Washington, D.C., in December of 2011, Lamont Peterson attracted around 10,000 fans to the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, where he beat Amir Khan by split decision to win the WBA and IBF titles.
He was subsequently stripped of the WBA belt following a positive test for synthetic testosterone but retained the IBF title.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts), will now face ex-beltholder Kendall Holt, of Paterson, N.J., on Feb. 22 at The D.C. Armory, in what represents both his first fight since the layoff and the first defense of his IBF title.
Promoted by Gary Shaw in association with Head Bangers’ Boxing, the fight between Peterson’s clash with Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) will be televised on ESPN2′s Friday Night Fights.
Holt, 31, is the mandatory defense for Peterson, who turned 29 on Jan. 24 and is 3-0-1 with two knockouts since falling by unanimous decision to current WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley as a 140-pounder in December of 2009.
Holt twice dropped Bradley to the canvas before losing his WBO title by unanimous decision in April of 2009, but has since gone 3-2 with three stoppage victories, including a second-round knockout of Tim Coleman in his last fight in March.
Prior to facing Coleman, Holt lost by split decision in October of 2011 to current RING, WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia, who owns a fourth-round knockout victory over Khan from July of last year.
Holt was out of the ring for an 11-month span after falling by seventh-round knockout to Kaizer Mabuza in February of 2010, but rebounded from that loss with a first-round stoppage of Lenin Arroyo in January of 2011.
Peterson spoke about his upcoming clash with Holt in these camp notes issued by Shaw’s promotional company.
Lamont Peterson talks about his first title defense and fight in 14 months and dispels the notion of ring rust: “To me, it feels great to get back into the ring and defend my IBF title.
“The layoff did not hurt me because I’ve been in the gym training like I was going to fight for the past year. I don’t believe in ring rust. A fighter fights, and that’s what I do.
“But one good thing with the time off is that I have been able to rest my body and work on fine tuning my skills. I’m ready to fight now.”
Lamont Peterson on training in Washington, D.C.: “For a lot of fighters, having training camp at home can be a major distraction. But for me its the total opposite.
“I like training at home. I know where everything is. I don’t have problems getting back and forth from the gym. My routine is regular. I also have the help of family friends during the training camp if I need anything.
Lamont Peterson on sparring: “We have brought several different fighters into camp to work with, but I have done the most work with Dominic Wade, a middleweight who is fighting on the card at the armory.
“He is a heavy puncher who has a lot speed and power. So its been great to get the work in with him.”
Lamont Peterson on fighting at home in Washington, D.C.: “I always like fighting here at home. Early on in my career, I did not get a chance to do so. Any opportunity I get to fight here, we take it. I love the support I get from the fans and the city.
“Washington, D.C. is a big fight town, and I want to give them the great show they expect. It also helps to hear the voices of your friends and family cheering you on.”
Photo by Juan Marshall
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org