Lamont Peterson will return to active duty on February 22, defending his IBF junior welterweight title against Kendall Holt on ESPN Friday Night Fights, Dan Rafael reports today. The fight will take place in Washington, D.C., at the DC Armory.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) has been inactive since scoring the best win of his career in December 2011, when he upset Amir Khan in a controversial fight that only grew in infamy well after the final bell had sounded and the scores were read. The two were set to rematch in May 2012, but Peterson failed a VADA drug test, and admitted to using synthetic testosterone before his fight with Khan, causing many to write off his win.
Peterson, who turns 29 later this month, was stripped of the WBA title after that (not because the WBA is upstanding, but so they could get it back on Khan in time for a sanctioning fee for Khan's bout with Danny Garcia), but kept the IBF belt he won that night.
Peterson has served no suspension for his drug test, but it also wasn't administered by a state commission, so it's a question of what can really be done by anybody. Promoters who have discussed Peterson fighting again -- including Top Rank, when he was considered to face Timothy Bradley recently -- have expressed no concern that he won't be licensed.
Zab Judah was the original mandatory challenger for Peterson, but has opted instead to face Danny Garcia. Peterson and Holt had their fight go to purse bid, which Holt's promoter Gary Shaw won for a paltry $50,000, the same minimum bid that Peterson-Judah had gone for previously.
Holt (28-5, 16 KO) last fought in March, destroying Tim Coleman in two rounds. The 31-year-old native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a former world titlist, having held the WBO belt at 140 pounds in 2008.