BoxingScene.com's Rick Reeno reports that former junior welterweight titleholder Kendall Holt is being strongly considered as the December 5 opponent of welterweight contender Joshua Clottey. Clottey recently turned down a challenge from junior middleweight with titlist Sergio Martinez, and also has in recent weeks seen a proposed December 26 fight with Shane Mosley go up in smoke.
Holt (25-3, 13 KO) last fought in April, a unanimous decision loss to Timothy Bradley in a competitive, entertaining bout. Clottey (35-3, 20 KO) lost to Miguel Cotto in June, a really tight fight many though Clottey won. The instinct is to say that Holt would be the smaller man, but he's actually taller than Clottey by an inch and would have four inches of reach on him, too. Holt has been decked several times in his career, and stopped twice, but one of those stoppages came in a highly controversial bout with Ricardo Torres, and another was a fluke first round TKO to Thomas Davis back in 2004.
And for as strong as Clottey appears to be, he's really not much of a puncher at all. His last stoppage win was over Jose Luis Cruz in 2008, but that was thought to be an early stoppage by many. His last KO/TKO win before that came in 2004. He has never really stopped a quality opponent, the best being Cruz, a fringe contender.
Clottey-Holt is actually a pretty damn good fight for both guys. They could use a good win, Holt has the frame to move up to welterweight and isn't past his prime or anything, and he's an explosive fighter, which could definitely give Clottey some problems. Clottey is an excellent defensive boxer, but doesn't finish guys and has a tendency to lay back too much on the offensive end of the fight. It has "controversial decision" written all over it, frankly.