By Chris Robinson
On Friday night, inside of the DC Armory in Washington, DC, IBF junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson made a stirring return to the ring in halting a game but outgunned Kendall Holt inside of eight rounds.
Peterson was sidelined all of last year due to failing a pre-fight drug test ahead of his scheduled rematch this past May with Amir Khan, who he had upset in December of 2011.
After Khan saw his opportunity for revenge against Peterson go up in flames, he then turned his attention to a July encounter with Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia. In a shocker, Garcia would drop Khan three times on his way towards a 4th round TKO.
Khan would end up parting ways with his trainer Freddie Roach shortly thereafter before aligning himself with Northern California coach Virgil Hunter, known best for his work with super middleweight king Andre Ward.
It’s only natural for Hunter to be curious about Peterson’s performance and he wasn’t shocked to see him turn up the heat against Holt.
“He did what Barry [Hunter] said he was going to do,” Hunter stated. “He put a lot of pressure on Holt. That seems to be Holt’s Achilles heel.”
Khan is tentatively slated for a ring return in late April, as he is looking to build on the momentum that came from his first fight with Hunter, a late stoppage over Carlos Molina in Los Angeles this past December.
Meanwhile, there are curious observers who would love to see Khan try and get revenge against both Peterson and Garcia.
Asked what match he like for his charge, Hunter seemed a bit indifferent.
“I’m focused on what’s going on right now,” Hunter said of Khan’s April match. “There’s really not a personal preference. I respect Lamont. It might be good to fight Garcia to obtain that belt. Then, with Lamont having the IBF belt, it could work both ways.”
On January 26th, Hunter was dealt a setback when his fighter, junior welterweight prospect Mike Dallas Jr., suffered a chilling one-punch knockout at the hands of Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse inside of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Matthysse is creating a serious name for himself these days and Hunter admits that Dallas simply wasn’t prepared to face him on that kind of stage.
“Matthysse, he’s definitely a player in the 140-pound division, without a doubt,” said Hunter. “It was a tough fight for Mike; he wasn’t ready for that fight but it gave him an opportunity to find out where he is. He has much more ability. He was kind of overwhelmed I think. He wasn’t ready for that situation yet.
“But you can’t stop a kid from taking a pretty good opportunity,” Hunter added. “We knew going in that was going to be a real difficult situation. We knew that.”