By Chris Robinson
On Friday, inside of the DC Armory in Washington, DC, IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson ended a year-plus layoff by emphatically halting former titlist Kendall Holt inisde of eight rounds.
Peterson hadn’t fought since his upset victory over Amir Khan in December of 2011 and it was easy to spot his rust early as Holt got off to a comfortable start while also digging in some nice lefts to the body.
Peterson would erupt in the fourth round, however, as he turned up the pressure and dropped Holt with a crushing right hand. Peterson would score another knockdown in the sixth round, as it was obvious that the end was near.
Referee Tony Weeks would wisely stop the action 1 minute and 42 seconds into the eighth round as Holt was taking punishment along the ropes.
Watching the action from his home base in Indio, California, trainer Joel Diaz seemed impressed with Peterson.
Diaz is no stranger to Peterson, of course, as he led his star fighter Tim Bradley into battle against him in December of 2009. Bradley would end up dropping Peterson in the third round and although he pulled out a unanimous decision in their match, he had to fight every step of the way.
“What I saw, Lamont Peterson looked great,” said Diaz of Lamont’s victory over Holt. “His body, he looked strong. His punches were very solid. He broke Kendall Holt little by little.”
For Peterson, this was more than just a fight. Having failed a pre-fight drug test prior to his scheduled May 19th rematch with Amir Khan last year, as he was found to have tested positive for synthetic testosterone, he had to endure severe public scrutiny while sitting on the sidelines as the bout went up in smoke.
Peterson’s camp always maintained their innocence, citing medical reasons as to why the test came up positive, and so too has Diaz shown his support when asked about the subject.
“I know Lamont Peterson and his camp real well,” Diaz stated. “These are good people. I would not believe it from them for some reason.”
Immediately after the fight with Holt had concluded, the boxing world began to eye Peterson’s future and played around with some possible matchups.
One name thrown out was that of Argentinean banger and interim WBC champion Lucas Matthysse.
“That would be a great fight to watch,” Diaz said when asked to break down such a clash. “You know what? Either way I think it’s 50/50, because both fighters are great fighters; they’re tough. I think Matthysse has a little more solid punches but Lamont has a great defense.”
Peterson already seems to have someone on his mind, as he called out WBA/WBC champion Danny Garcia on ESPN’s airwaves during his post-fight interview.
Garcia is a solid customer and is coming off of a big 2012 that saw him stop Khan while also scoring a pair of victories over the legendary Erik Morales.
Diaz seemed to hesitate when asked to break down that match but overall leaned towards Lamont.
“That’s a tough fight to call,” Diaz admitted. “I think he could beat Danny Garcia. Danny’s slower [and] he’s stronger; he hits hard. I don’t think he’s fast enough to catch Lamont Peterson’s defense.”
Garcia is presently lined up with an April 27th assignment against former champion Zab Judah in Brooklyn, New York.