By: William Holmes
ESPN Friday Night Fights featured a quality main event that you would usually see on one of the premium cable channels, as Lamont Peterson and Kendall Holt fought for the IBF junior welterweight title. This bout took place in Lamont Peterson’s backyard in the DC armory.
The first fight of the night was between Roman Morales (14-0) and Jesus Hernandez (10-0-3), two undefeated prospects in the junior featherweight division. Hernandez, however, has not been very active in the past two years, and it may have affected him inside the ring.
Both fighters took their time in feeling each other out in the opening round, but it was Morales who appeared to have slightly quicker hands and who landed the harder punches. Hernandez never seemed to get his feet set and was bouncing up and down throughout the bout. Morales was constantly switching from orthodox stance to southpaw stance, and the switching paid off in the fourth round when Morales knocked Hernandez down with a straight right hand at the end of the round.
Hernandez appeared to have recovered well from the knockdown in the beginning of round five and Morales was warned for a low blow. The warning, however, did not stop Morales from attacking the body of Hernandez and a hard left hook to the body by Morales ended the fight. Hernandez winced in pain and stayed down for the ten count. Roman Morales remained undefeated with a knockout at 2:59 of round five.
The main event of the night was between Lamont Peterson (30-1-1) and Kendall Holt (28-5) for the IBF Junior Welterweight belt. Not surprisingly, Kendall Holt was booed as he walked into the ring and Lamont Peterson was cheered.
It’s been over a year since Lamont Peterson has stepped inside the ring and it showed in the first few rounds of the fight as he appeared to be a little hesitant to exchange. Holt began to let loose with his hands in the third round and landed some crisp combinations, but those punches appeared to have awakened Peterson.
Peterson began to go his bread and butter in the fourth round, vicious hooks to the body. The hooks to the body opened up Holt’s defense and Peterson landed a looping right hand to the temple of his opponent and scored a knockdown. Holt was slow to get up and Peterson landed a two-punch combination at the end of the round that left his opponent wobbly.
Lamont continued to press the pace in round five and loaded up on his punches and continued to land brutal body shots. Holt was visibly wearing down and was holding on for dear life. The referee Tony Weeks had to forcefully remove Holt from the ropes and from holding on.
Peterson’s body attack continued in round six and it resulted in another knockdown for the champion. Peterson never relented and the end of the fight came in round eight as a battered Kendall Holt was unable to defend himself from a brutal combination by Peterson near the ropes.
Tony Weeks waved off the fight at 1:42 of the eighth round.
After his impressive victory, Lamont Peterson stated that he wanted his WBA belt back and would like a shot at Danny Garcia. Now that Peterson and Garcia are both promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, that fight seems like a reality.