By Marc Livitz: Lamont Peterson and Kendall Holt could have each claimed ring rust or mere inactivity had their highly anticipated bout not delivered "Redemption" (as the fight was billed) for either fighter in a clear and decisive manner. Peterson, of course had his WBA title stripped away from him last year and saw his lucrative payday in the form of a May 2012 rematch with Amir Khan go up in flames after he tested positive for synthetic testosterone. Since winning a pair of junior welterweight titles from the aforementioned Khan in December of 2011, "Havoc" Peterson had been on the boxing sidelines.
Similarly, "Rated R" Holt has traveled his own path of sitting and waiting as he recovered from shoulder surgery which had kept him inactive since March of last year. The former champion from Paterson, New Jersey met up this evening with the current IBF Junior Welterweight titleholder from Washington, D.C. at the D.C. Armory in the nation’s capital. Peterson scored an eighth round technical knockout win after starting slowly this evening.
Neither fighter wasted time to get the action moving once the opening bell sounded. Lamont Peterson utilized a quick, snapping left jab while Holt sought to follow his own left jab with attempts at landing a right hook. The tempo settled a bit a round’s end and both men were throwing jabs from their shoulders. The second was mostly all Kendall Holt. Peterson was stepping too far into his previously effective left jab, which allowed his New Jersey opponent to connect with his jab and move on to double up with his left hook. One to the body and then one to the head. This is what Holt did for a few straight moments to close the period.
In the third, Holt made the decision to angle his body to the side and out of the way of Peterson’s jab. In doing so, he was able to maneuver out of the path of the majority of Lamont’s attack. Kendall tagged his D.C. foe with a number popping jabs thrown from the waist level as well as a handful of overhand rights. The fourth started the same way, only Peterson found his power and rediscovered his ring form midway through the round. He was at first matching Holt punch for punch, but he soon began to connect more often and with greater effect. His punches were visually moving Holt around the ring. With fifteen seconds to go, "Havoc" Peterson connected with a flush overhand right to the head which wobbled "Rated R" Holt and sent him to the canvas. Kendall rose to his feet after referee Tony Weeks reached the count of eight. The round was over and Holt may have just escaped.
In the fifth, the bout swung to the favor and style of Lamont Peterson: close in action. He had rediscovered his form and at times found Kendall Holt standing directly in front of him. He landed straight-on power shots to the head and even found time to whirl his right hand around a few times before he fired another punch. Holt appeared a bit fatigued at best but he still did what he could to survive. Peterson was on the move as the sixth round commenced. He had Holt backpedalling at times, although the fighter from New Jersey continued to fight back and kept trying to land the big right.
At the round’s midway point, as the fighters were in the center of the ring, Holt went down again. Only this time, it was the result of a push down to the back of his head from Peterson. He forced Kendall to the ropes and began his attack once again. Rights and lefts landed to the head of Holt, who would also fire back or attempt to do so. With less than a minute to go, he found himself the object of multiple shots to his head from Lamont. He tried to weave side to side and away from the onslaught, but it was to no avail. He was hit high and low. Peterson caught Holt with a power laden left hook to the head and once again, Holt went to the floor. He briefly sat upon the bottom rope and rose to his feet by the count of eight once again. He soldiered on and somehow made his way through the first half of the contest in Washington, D.C.