Zab Judah has lost his place in line to face Lamont Peterson for the IBF junior welterweight title, and the sanctioning body has now ordered that titlist Peterson and Kendall Holt begin negotiations for a mandatory title fight.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) hasn't fought since a December 2012 upset of Amir Khan, which has now been discredited by many due to Peterson admitting he used synthetic testosterone prior to the bout, which combined with some questionable officiating all around, has led some to all but disregard the fight. Peterson had a May rematch with Khan scheduled, but failed a VADA test, which led to the testosterone admission.
Most recently, the 28-year-old fighter was linked to Judah, who didn't sign a contract in time according to the IBF, and Timothy Bradley. A Bradley-Peterson rematch was supposedly in the works for December 15, but didn't come together, with Bradley saying he didn't see any value in the fight. Peterson-Judah reportedly drew no interest from the major networks, and when up for purse bid, drew just one $50,000 bid from Peterson's team.
Holt (28-5, 16 KO) is one of the wild cards of the 140-pound division, a former titleholder who never seems to perform consistently, but is highly dangerous on his good nights. He's 3-3 over his last six fights, which dates back to a 2009 loss to Timothy Bradley in an excellent fight, followed by a listless performance against and loss to Kaizer Mabuza. Since then, Holt has scored early TKO wins over Lenin Arroyo, Julio Diaz, and Tim Coleman, and lost last year to Danny Garcia by split decision.