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Step Up or Step Off: Analyzing Kendall Holt’s decision to move up in weight

holt1by James Harrison: Kendall Holt announced his plans to move up to 147 pounds via twitter stating, “Already planning an April/May return to the ring at 47, no more helping my opponents out by killing myself to make weight.

The decision comes after taking a beating in his 8th round TKO loss at the hands of Lamont Peterson. The fight was stopped after referee Tony Weeks felt Holt was unable to intelligently defend himself. Holt was repeatedly floored by Peterson in what many consider a last effort to redeem himself as a top contender. Some expected retirement talks for Holt after the loss.

At the post-fight press conference Holt struggled to find answers for his performance as he considered his future in boxing. He stated “I had a great training camp…My mind was clear…My body just wasn’t responding.” He also offered “Retirement is creeping in my mind.” Full of mixed thoughts, Holt also explained how he struggled to make weight. He said that he hadn’t eaten in three days.

He believes the move to 147 will should make it easier to make weight, but one has to wonder if his chin can stand up to the power of punchers at the next level. One may also question if Holt’s power will have the same effect on his opponents when he moves up.

WBA welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi supported Holt’s decision to move up and talked about how moving up benefited him as well. He told The Ring magazine, “I know that when I lost to Amir Khan, nobody believed in me…And here I am five fights later, I’m the welterweight world champion.”

Malignaggi’s advice sounds encouraging, but we’ll have to see what the future holds for Holt.

Follow the author on twitter @Rob_van_ham