"Rated R" Kendall Holt was back on TV for the first time in a long time, and he loudly announced his return to the Friday Night Fights airwaves.
Holt and opponent Julio Diaz split the first two rounds, but in the third, when Diaz thought he had Holt hurt, the highlight reel material came. Holt (27-4, 15 KO) took advantage of an aggressive Diaz, throwing a hard left hook to the body, then connecting with the money shot, a vicious left hook to the jaw of Diaz, flattening the veteran Mexican fighter. Diaz got up, but was all out of sorts, and referee Marcos Rosales made the right call to stop the fight.
It's a fight that puts Holt back into the mix at 140 pounds, and given his vulnerabilities and the fact that he's a familiar name, he could be right back in a big fight before too long. Holt is 29 and a more dangerous puncher than his KO rate suggests, so he's no easy night for anyone, especially when he's on. It'll be interesting to see what's next for him.
Diaz (38-7, 27 KO) was stopped for the fifth time in his career, and this puts at least a temporary halt on his own return to relevance. He's still a battler and a fine fighter, but he's not going to be a factor at 140, it appears. He's a fringe contender who has long since topped out.
In the main co-feature, Puerto Rican junior middleweight prospect Jonathan Gonzalez (13-0, 13 KO) stopped Rudy Cisneros (12-3, 11 KO) in the seventh round. Gonzalez, 21, was a little sloppy overall and probably had to work too hard, but he got some rounds in and when it was time to step on the gas, he closed the show.
As great as the Holt knockout was, though, the fight of the night was a four-round swing bout between Daniel Roman and Alfredo Madrigal. Roman won the fight on 40-35 scores, but that doesn't reflect the great fury of offense, especially in the mind-blowing first round. Track that one down if you can.