John Beninati, the matchmaker for promoter Gary Shaw, has confirmed a report by ESPN.com that the contracts have been signed for their fighter, ex-beltholder Kendall Holt, of Paterson, N.J., to challenge IBF junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson on Feb. 22 at The D.C. Armory in Peterson’s home town of Washington, D.C.
The clash between Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) and Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) will be televised on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
IBF Public Relations Director Jeanette Salazar has also confirmed that “the [signed] contracts were received on Monday” for the fight, which has been officially sanctioned by the organization’s President Daryl Peoples as well as IBF Championships Chairman Lindsay Tucker.
“Done deal. Feb. 22 at the D.C. Armory. The contracts are signed. They had to be in to the IBF by yesterday, and both contracts were in to the IBF by yesterday,” said Beninati. “So both contracts are in to the IBF and everything’s approved. Now there’s going to be a championship fight for the IBF’s 140-pound title.”
Peterson, who will turn 29 on Jan. 24, had been ordered to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Holt, for which Shaw offered up $50,000 to win the purse bid and the right to promote their clash.
Peterson is 3-0-1 with two knockouts since falling by unanimous decision to current WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley as a 140-pounder in December of 2009, and is coming off a split-decision over Amir Khan in December of 2011.
Holt, 31, twice dropped Bradley to the canvas before losing his WBO title by unanimous decision in April of 2009, but has since gone 3-2 with three stoppage victories, including a second-round knockout of Tim Coleman in his last fight in March.
Prior to facing Coleman, Holt lost by split decision in October of 2011 to current RING, WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia.
Neither Peterson nor his manager and trainer, Barry Hunter, could not be reached for an immediate comment.
During an earlier interview with RingTV.com, Arum had said, “We’re going to see if we can arrange for Bradley and Peterson in March,” adding, “We haven’t gotten as far as [determining a location.]”
But Arum said on Thursday that “Bradley didn’t want to fight him,” adding, “he said that he’s fought him and beat him once already, so why fight him again?”
Peterson’s victory over Khan attracted around 10,000 fans to the Washington, D.C. Convention Center.
“I think that D.C. is a great fight town,” said Shaw, who is out of the country, in an earlier interview with RingTV.com. “I think that it’s under-utilized, and I think that the town has great fight fans and a great history. I think that the fight will do well.”
Beninati said he is “working on the co-feature as we speak,” and that Peterson’s younger brother, lightweight standout Anthony Peterson (31-1, 20 KOs), is among those being considered for placement.
“I’m working on the co-feature as we speak and should have it done by tomorrow — Friday,” said Beninati. “Maybe Anthony Peterson, maybe some other guys. Anthony’s one of the names being talked about, but he’s not confirmed. I’ll have it more confirmed tomorrow.”
If he fights, Anthony Peterson will be returning to the ring for the first time since December of 2011, when he unanimously decisioned Daniel Attah over eight rounds on the Peterson-Khan undercard.
The victory over Attah helped Anthony Peterson to rebound from a seventh-round disqualification loss to Brandon Rios in September of 2010.
“The fight is confirmed. Lamont will be fighting on Friday night, Feb. 22, against Kendall Holt on Friday Night Fights at The D.C. Armory,” said Andre Johnson, the Petersons’ publicist.
“Anthony will be fighting, but I guess that they haven’t determined whether or not he is the co-main event. But he will be on that card. Hopefully, later today or tomorrow, we should know. It will be a co-promotion with Head Bangers’ Promotions. We are co-promoting this fight with Gary Shaw.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]