This weekend in boxing featured plenty of excellent bouts as we witnessed upsets and redemption.
On Friday, IBF junior welterweight (140 Ibs.) titleholder Lamont Peterson (31-1-1 16KO) defended his belt with an 8th round TKO over aging Kendall Holt (28-6 16KO). This was Peterson’s first bout since his decision victory over Amir Khan in December 2011 and subsequent failure of a VADA drug test that tested him positive for synthetic testosterone.
The fight started off on even terms in the first three rounds. Peterson seemed unsure what he wanted to do as he circled the ring, came forward and took some good shots from Holt.
As round four started, Peterson began to take control by landing solid right hands and left hooks. An overhand right hurt Holt and put him down. He rose but was clearly hurt and barely survived to the end of the round.
Peterson continued to put immense pressure on Holt by attacking him with vicious hooks to the head and body. Holt just tried to survive by holding on and occasionally fighting back.
In the sixth round, Holt went down for the second time after a left hook to the body from the relentless titleholder. Holt never truly recovered from this knockdown.
Peterson finished the job in the eighth round when he unleashed a volley of punches on Holt while he was against the ropes, forcing the referee to stop the bout.
This win is a good step towards rebuilding Peterson’s reputation following the synthetic testosterone controversy. Although he seemed unsure and rough at first, he managed to pull it together and figured out how to beat Holt.
Holt’s career may be coming to an end. Although he looked good early, he seemed to fall apart as soon as Peterson stepped it up and he couldn’t handle the technique and skills of the titlist. Holt mentioned retirement in a post-fight interview so this may be his last fight.
On Saturday, David Price’s (15-1 13KO) rise to the top of the heavyweight rankings was shot down by a shocking upset at the hands of Tony Thompson (37-3 25KO) in two rounds in front of Price’s fans.
The fight started off tentatively but Price won it with more activity, which wasn’t that much anyway. Suddenly in the second round, Thompson landed what appeared to be a weak right hook on the temple of Price. The Englishman immediately collapsed to the canvas. He rose on noodles for legs and the referee called a halt to the bout.
Thompson has more or less earned another payday with one of the Klitschko brothers. As for Price, some rebuilding obviously needs to be done. He has already vowed that this defeat would not discourage him, so it’ll be interesting to see if Price can come back from this setback and regain the luster and respect he’s lost.
Only time will tell though.