By Keith Idec
A June 20 bout between former junior welterweight champion Kendall Holt and Khabib Allakhverdiev was canceled Friday due to Holt’s visa issue.
Holt, of Paterson, N.J., was scheduled to fly to Moscow on Wednesday for a 10-round, 140-pound fight against the unbeaten Russian southpaw.
His attorney, Patrick English, said Friday that Holt’s undisclosed visa problem could not be resolved in time for the ex-WBO titleholder to make the trip halfway around the world. Holt’s contract called for him to arrive in Moscow no fewer than six days before the fight for promotional purposes.
“It’s something that could’ve been resolved if we had more time to work it out,” English said. “This time frame wouldn’t allow it, so unfortunately the fight had to be canceled.”
It was not known Friday if Vladimir Hryunov, Allakhverdiev’s promoter, would try to reschedule the Holt-Allakhverdiev fight for later in the summer or go in a different direction. Hryunov agreed to pay the 31-year-old Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) a six-figure purse for the opportunity for Allakhverdiev to face a proven American junior welterweight, but the 29-year-old Allakhverdiev (16-0, 7 KOs) will have to continue waiting for that chance.
Allakhverdiev, who is trained by former undisputed junior welterweight champ Kostya Tszyu, is ranked No. 11 by the WBA. Holt is ranked No. 6 by the IBF and No. 5 by the WBO.
This cancelation marked the second time in three weeks one of Holt’s fights did not proceed as planned.
Holt had agreed to box Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17 KOs) on June 22 in an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event, but he decided not to sign a contract after Dan Goossen, Lopez’s promoter, secured Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif., as the site for the fight. Holt was concerned about boxing Lopez, of nearby Riverside, Calif., outside during the summer in Southern California, especially since their 12-round IBF elimination match would’ve started before the sun went down.
Holt had hoped to get the Lopez fight rescheduled for sometime in July, at another venue, but Lopez pounced on a more lucrative opportunity to face former welterweight champ Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) on June 23 at Staples Center before those talks took place between Goossen and Gary Shaw, Holt’s promoter.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.