By Keith Idec
Former WBO junior welterweight champion Kendall Holt tweeted Tuesday that he’ll return to the ring Jan. 24 against Javier Molina.
According to Holt, the welterweight bout will be broadcast by ESPN2 from Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash. The 32-year-old Holt (28-6, 16 KOs) has not fought since then-champion Lamont Peterson (31-2-1, 16 KOs) stopped him in the eighth round of their IBF 140-pound championship match Feb. 22 in Washington, D.C.
After struggling for several years to get down to the 140-pound limit for junior welterweight elimination matches and title fights, Holt has since decided to move up to welterweight. The 23-year-old Molina has won five straight fights since suffering his lone loss, an eight-round unanimous decision to Artemio Reyes (21-2, 17 KOs) two years ago in Atlantic City.
A fight against Holt, of Paterson, N.J., is a significant step up in competition for Molina (14-1, 6 KOs), a resident of Norwalk, Calif, who was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.