by David P. Greisman
It was no secret that Kendall Holt had difficulty making the junior welterweight limit for his title fight this past Friday against Lamont Peterson. It’s no surprise, then, that Holt said afterward that his technical knockout loss to Peterson might have been his last appearance in that division.
“I’ve been wanting to move up in weight class for the longest,” Holt said at the post-fight press conference. “It just seems like the opportunities at junior welterweight just keep presenting themselves and presenting themselves. You can’t say no to a world championship fight.”
He said he had not eaten in three days and was in the steam room on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in order to make the weight for Thursday’s weigh-in. (Peterson, for his part, responded that he had needed to spend two days in the steam room.) At the weigh-on on Thursday, Holt had told Lem Satterfield of RingTV.com that he had needed to drop up to eight pounds since Tuesday.
That turned out to be to his detriment, he said after the bout.
“Coming into the fight, I was feeling good. Even at the time of the stoppage, my mind was clear. I was focused. I could see everything that was going on. My body just wasn’t responding. My body and my mind weren’t on the same page,” Holt said. “I think at ’47 I can get both [on the same page].”
He also said: “I’m not making any excuses. I’m just telling you guys the way it is, which could’ve played a part in my energy level decreasing round after round, because I was in tremendous shape. A lot of fighters, they make rash decisions in emotional times like this. I’m not going to say I’m going to make a decision right now, but I will tell you guys that I’m going to sit down and talk it over with my family.
“I think it’s time to make a full move and invade the welterweight division,” he said. “I have good power. I have good speed. I had a great camp, and I still came up on the short end, and I think in part that was due to me killing myself making weight.”
But Holt also mentioned that he was going to need to think about whether to continue fighting. The 31-year-old turned pro in 2001 and has fought 34 times, going 28-6 with 16 knockouts and briefly holding a world title at 140 pounds.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do at this point,” he said. “A lot of times in a fight of this magnitude, the fighter on the losing end, they start thinking about retiring. I’ve been a professional almost 12 years. Retirement is creeping in my mind, because this was a fight I felt I could win.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org