It has been a point of pride for Kendall Holt (seen above in a 2011 losing effort to Danny Garcia) that he started out as a junior welter when he turned pro in 2001, and he’s basically stayed in that lane for the last 12 years. Indeed, that shows impressive self discipline, and Holt, a 31-year-old Paterson, NJ boxer, deserves praise for his continuity. But he’s come to the realization that his body is no longer suited to 140. Actually, he sort of came to that conclusion a few years ago, but it took a TKO8 loss to Lamont Peterson on Feb. 22 to cement the flip of the switch.
“Making 140 was difficult,” he told TSS. “I was in a sauna, in a steam room for three hours at a time, off and on, including on the morning of the weigh in for the Peterson fight. The weight was not coming off at all.”
He said that as far back as April 2009, when he fought Tim Bradley, he contemplated the move to welterweight. But he wasn’t armed with the knowledge, about cutting weight the right way, and re-hydrating properly, so he stuck with what he knew. “I wasn’t groomed to be a star, I didn’t have “the” people advising me, telling me what to eat, to take this supplement,” he continued. “I got to where I am on pure talent, because I can fight. I’ve been at 140 since 1998!”
He talked to Roy Jones last year and figured out that he’d never rehydrated properly. “I thought Gatorade was enough,” he said. Holt didn’t want to share Jones’ preferred method of rehydrating, but said that he now knows that by only gaining five or so pounds after weigh in, he wasn’t oftentimes on the same playing field as his foes. On fightnight against Peterson, he told me, he came to the DC Armory feeling weak in the legs. “I thought it was maybe nerves, I thought maybe I needed to stretch my legs,” he said. Looking back, he knows he was weight drained, and that affected his stamina. In fights in which he was allowed to come in over 140, against Julio Diaz and Tim Coleman, in 2011 and 2012, he said he felt better. “In other fights, my early rounds haven’t been a problem. I’m taking the early rounds. If I could sustain it, that would be perfect.”
So, if people are looking at your Boxrec, and see you’re 3-3 in your last six, they shouldn’t think you’re on an irreversible slide? “No, you haven’t seen the last of me," Holt said. "Watch me closely, I will feel stronger and faster and won’t have to kill myself to make 140.”
Holt knows how the game works. He’ll likely get calls for young guns at 147, looking to take out a name guy, looking for a vet on a slide.
“We shouldn't have problems getting fights. I know the phones gonna ring, they gonna be disappointed,” he said. “I’m not on a slide.”
You get a lot of Internet tough guys, perma critics, oftentimes guys who just feed off of real reporters and exist to make that next snide, snarky comment, the blogger brigade, who like to take shots at a guy like Holt. Think they ponder the fact that he’s a single dad, to 9-year-old Keshon and 8-year-old Jaden, and that he’s fighting to put food on their table, and looking to bank some for their educations? I’m hoping for those kids that dad is able to transition to welterweight…
Holt says that one and all can see for themselves how the move to 147 serves him, soon. He expects to fight in April or May, and he’s not looking to take a “get back on the horse” fight. “I’m not damaged, I’m back in the gym, my mind is clear, I’m speaking clearly. I’m still Kendall “Rated R” Holt, I don’t back down, I lay backs down.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV