by David P. Greisman
For the first three rounds against Kendall Holt on Friday, Lamont Peterson appeared to be doing little on offense, leading many of his fans in attendance in his native Washington, D.C., to yell for him to let his hands go.
But that was all part of the plan, Peterson said after scoring an eighth-round technical knockout to defend his junior welterweight title.
“As you know, I like to put pressure on fighters. I knew eventually that it would get to that point,” Peterson said at the post-fight press conference. “From the tapes that I watched on Kendall, he always seemed to land a good counter hook and an overhand right — kind of like a straight right, an in-between shot. I just wanted to make sure I was able to guard both of those punches before I’d go charging at him. Once I felt I had those two punches down pat, then I started charging forward. That changed the fight.”
Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, explained the strategy further:
“Kendall is a very, very dangerous fighter, always has been, and I noticed that most of the times that he would either put someone on their behind or stop him, it’d be in almost like a free-for-all exchange. If you go back to the [Timothy] Bradley fight, if you go back to [Ricardo] Torres, most of the times if Kendall knock you out [or down], it’s in a wild exchange. … So what we wanted to do is slow him down. I wanted to bait him in, make him come forward, then turn him around and put pressure on him.”
Peterson landed his first big shots on Holt in the fourth, then never let up, putting him down twice and ultimately scoring the stoppage.
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 [email protected]