Lamont stops Holt in eighth
Lamont Peterson stopped Kendall Holt in the eighth round to retain the IBF light-welterweight title in Washington on Friday night.
Showing no rust after a 14-month layoff, Peterson improved his record to 31-1-1, including 16 knockouts when referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight after 1 minute 42 seconds of the eighth.
Holt’s record fell to 28-6 with his fourth loss in seven fights.
The bout brought only $37 500 (R333 000) for Peterson and $12 500 (R111 000) for Holt, but could offer Peterson a possible big-money unification showdown.
Holt went on the attack at the start of the fourth round, keeping Peterson on the defensive, but the champion deflected most of Holt's blows and answered with a hard right hand punch that sent Holt to the canvas.
The challenger crumpled and fell on his knees, but rose and answered the count moments before the end of the fourth.
In the sixth round, Peterson kept Holt on the ropes and landed more than a dozen rapid-fire punches to only one in response. Holy took a knee, rising to finish the round but clearly in trouble.
Holt clinched, evaded and jabbed to keep Peterson at bay in the seventh but in the eighth Peterson stunned him with a solid right to the head and launched a series of punches until Weeks stepped in.
On the undercard, Roman Morales knocked out Jesus Hernandez in the fifth round of a featherweight bout to improve to 15-0, including 8 knockouts. Hernandez dropped to (10-1-3; 2.
Peterson, 29, ended his long layoff after a positive test for synthetic testosterone that scrapped a planned fight with England's Amir Khan last May.
Holt, 31, ended an 11-month layoff after shoulder surgery.
Peterson, who blamed his positive test on treatments for low testosterone, was stripped of the WBA title, one of two he took from Khan in a controversial victory in Washington in December 2011.
But the IBF, after hiring its own medical expert and conducting more tests that found no enhancement advantage, kept Peterson as champion, giving him the chance to defend his title and reputation.
Unbeaten American Danny Garcia, who is undefeated after 25 fights, winning 16 by knockout, will defend the WBA and WBC titles in April against US southpaw Zab Judah (42-7 with 29 knockouts), who rejected a fight against Peterson for the bigger Garcia payday.
Peterson will probably set his sights on the winner.