By James Slater: Former WBO light-welterweight champion Kendall Holt, still only 29-years-old, made an exciting return to winning ways on last night’s Bradley-Alexander under-card. “Rated R” landed a peach of a left hook to the jaw of journeyman Lenin Arroyo, sending the over-matched fighter down on his back hard in the very first round. The fight was over without the need of a full count.
Now 26-4(14), the Paterson, New Jersey fighter hopes to get back in the thick of things at 140-pounds – currently one of the hottest weight divisions in all of boxing. Still fast, still fresh and seemingly still full of desire, there could be some good fights out there for Holt. He sure looked better last night compared to when we saw him get out-muscled and out-fought by the physically strong Kaizer Mabuza almost a full year ago ( Mabuza is next, of course, for Zab Judah, with the vacant IBF belt at stake).
One name that springs to mind as a potential target for Holt, is reigning WBA 140-pound champ Amir Khan. Khan is still searching for an opponent for his April 16th defence in Manchester, U.K and last night, as a studio guest on Sky Sports, Khan said he’d be interested in a fight with Holt. Would Kendall be willing to fight as big a fight as this as soon as April, or will he want to get some more rust off first?
Holt did acknowledge post-fight yesterday that “it’s still a long road back to getting that world championship belt back.”
The belt Holt held (from July of 2008 to April 2009, when he lost it via decision to Bradley), is the WBO belt; maybe the long term goal for him is to get a return with Bradley. Both that rematch and a Holt challenge of Khan would be interesting fights, as would a Holt clash with Zab Judah; if Zab can win the IBF belt in March. Or how about a Holt-Mabuza II if the South African can best Judah when they meet in New Jersey?
The one fight many fans really wanted to see won’t ever be happening now unfortunately. Holt twice went to war with Colombia’s Ricardo Torres and they each won one fight, in controversial circumstances. A deciding rubber-match would have been great, but Torres decided to retire and that’s that.
There are still plenty of potentially exciting fights out there for Holt, however, and it was good to see him back with a bang last night.