On Friday, February 22, 2013, Lamont "Havoc" Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) will defend his IBF junior welterweight title versus Kendall "Rated R" Holt (28-5, 16 KOs). The fight, which will be televised on ESPN2, is Peterson's first bout in over 14 months.
After months of answering questions about his positive test for a banned substance, Peterson will be looking to start a new chapter in his boxing career.
Both fans and boxing pundits are equally anxious to see how Lamont Peterson handles himself in the ring against a tough veteran like Kendall Holt who is known for his devastating knock out power.
Let's take a look at the biggest story lines going into the Lamont Peterson versus Kendall Holt bout.
Richard Schaefer is the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
After Lamont Peterson tested positive for a banned substance a week before his rematch with Amir Khan, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer called him "a disgrace."
This made Golden Boy's signing of Peterson last month all the more surprising and intriguing. In order for the deal to be mutually beneficial, Lamont must have an impressive outing versus Kendall Holt.
While this fight will not involve Golden Boy Promotions because it was made before Peterson signed with them, it will certainly set the tone for Peterson's future with the company.
As Peterson recently said in an interview with Gabriel Montoya of Max Boxing, there will be no Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing prior to his fight with Holt because of the high costs associated with the testing.
It will be tough for Peterson to win more fans over if his future fights do not include VADA testing. In order for there to be VADA testing, the fight has to be a big draw and garner substantial ratings. If not, Golden Boy's signing doesn't make sense or dollars.
After Lamont Peterson won a controversial split decision over Amir Khan in December of 2011, Washington, D.C.'s boxing commission fell under much scrutiny.
The referee (Joe Cooper) who docked two points from Khan, the judge (George Hill) who scribbled out and changed his score, and the Washington Convention Center's poor setup were all criticized for not being ready for the big stage.
To top things off, Peterson was never contacted by the D.C. commission regarding any sort of licensing issue. Peterson stated that because he passed D.C.'s pre- and post-fight drug tests, there is no reason for the commission to contact him. The fact that he passed D.C.'s drug tests with flying colors is a major problem.
With fighters like Seth Mitchell, Lamont and Anthony Peterson and Gary Russell Jr. all making a name for themselves, D.C.'s boxing future is bright. But, if the D.C. Boxing Commission can't be counted on as a legitimate organization, promoters will not be itching to bring big fights to the area.
Kendall Holt vs. Danny Garcia
Kendall Holt is a tough, world class contender who won the WBO title in 2008. He has fought top notch opponents including Danny Garcia and Timothy Bradley, but at 31-year-old Holt might be getting his last legitimate title shot versus Lamont Peterson.
Like Peterson, Holt is coming off a long lay off. His last fight in March of 2012 was a two round dismantling of Tim Coleman.
If his conditioning and stamina are up to par, Holt would be wise to try and keep the pressure on Peterson throughout the fight to see how Lamont handles his pressure and power.
Even if Holt is being outworked, he can always count on his power to keep him in the fight. If Peterson underestimates or overlooks Holt in the slightest way, we could be seeing a new IBF champion.
After more than a year off from boxing, how will Lamont Peterson fare in his return to the ring?
One thing that will be interesting to keep an eye on is Peterson's stamina. Kendall Holt is a smart fighter who possesses top-level knockout power and Peterson likes to stay busy while pressing forward, so something has to give.
I believe Lamont will have a better chance against Holt if he keeps the phone booth exchanges to a minimum and works behind the jab to create space. If he does prefer to go the route of an all out slug fest, Peterson should at least pace himself and see how his body reacts after a few rounds.
Peterson usually benefits from steady work and breaks down his opponents over a number of rounds. If he can't keep his normal work rate up, he may be in trouble.
If things do get tough for Peterson, he can count on the support of the hometown crowd in his native Washington, D.C. to help pick up his moral.
Both Lamont Peterson and Kendall Holt have already lost to Timothy Bradley. Holt was able to knock Bradley down twice before dropping a close decision in 2009 and Peterson fought a tough, but mostly one sided match against Bradley which was the first loss of his career.
If either Peterson or Holt can win convincingly, it may entice Bradley to consider a rematch.
Bradley recently finalized his next fight for March 16, 2013 against Ruslan Provodnikov. It's not the fight that many people wanted Bradley to take, including HBO and Top Rank, his promotional company. Bradley versus Peterson II was all set for December 2012, but Bradley eventually turned the potential $2.3 million payday down.
If Holt defeats Peterson, Bradley still may not see the point in fighting Holt for a second time because the money won't be substantial enough.
If Peterson defeats Holt in a convincing manner, his promotional company will have to fight a different battle outside of the ring against Top Rank because there is bad blood between them. If Golden Boy and Top Rank can put their differences aside it could mean a big payday for both fighters.