By Keith Idec
Kendall Holt hopes the successful shoulder surgery he underwent Friday will completely eliminate any apprehension he has had about letting his hands go.
The former WBO junior welterweight champion’s deserved reputation as a detrimentally economical puncher has increasingly been caused by the nagging pain in his right shoulder. The 31-year-old Holt first began feeling discomfort in his shoulder after his career-changing, technical knockout victory over former WBC lightweight champion David Diaz in February 2005.
Experts eventually diagnosed partial tears to the labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder, but Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) repeatedly picked physical therapy and massages as his forms of treatment. The tears grew worse over time, however, and the Paterson, N.J., native decided Monday to schedule the surgery while he was waiting for the scheduling of his next fight.
“I’m happy because I’ve been dealing with pain in my right shoulder off and on for different reasons since I beat David Diaz,” Holt said. “Now I can go into each and every fight with a clear mind and not have to worry about holding back in the fight or in training.”
Dr. Steven Stoller, a respected surgeon who has operated on numerous boxers, performed the surgery Friday at his facility in Englewood, N.J. Stoller deemed the procedure a total success and determined Holt should be able to resume boxing-related activities within about six weeks.
Holt admits he should’ve undergone the surgery long before Friday, especially since the injuries had a negative impact on his style and preparation. The heavy-handed 140-pound contender emphasized, though, that he isn’t using his shoulder injury as an excuse for losses to Timothy Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs, 1 NC), Kaizer Mabuza (24-9-3, 15 KOs) and Danny Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) over the past three years.
Meanwhile, Gary Shaw, Holt’s promoter, wants to get Holt back in the ring by the end of the year. He has not fought since dominating Baltimore’s Tim Coleman (19-3-1, 5 KOs) en route to a four-knockdown, second-round technical knockout victory that was broadcast by ESPN2 on March 16 in Cabazon, Calif.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.
For more information on Holt’s surgery and career, visit him on Twitter @Kholt456