Lamont Peterson will return to the ring on February 22, to defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior welterweight title against Kendall Holt on ESPN Friday Night Fights. The fight will take place in the District, at the D.C. Armory.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) has not fought since scoring the biggest win of his career in December 2011, when he upset Amir Khan in a controversial fight that became even more infamous after the final bell had rang and the scores were read. The two were scheduled to fight in a rematch in May 2012, but Peterson failed a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug test, and admitted to using synthetic testosterone prior to his bout with Khan, causing many to discredit his win.
The IBF champion, who will turn 29 later this month, was stripped of the World Boxing Association (WBA) title after that (not because the WBA is upstanding , but so they could get the title back on Khan in time for a sanctioning fee for Khan's fight with Danny Garcia), but kept the IBF belt he won that night.
Peterson has not served a suspension for his positive drug test, but it also wasn't administered by a state commission, so it's a question of what can be done by anybody. Promoters who have talked about Peterson fighting again – including Top Rank, when he was considered to square off against Timothy Bradley recently – have not expressed any concern that he won't be licensed.
Originally, Zab Judah was the mandatory challenger for Peterson, but he has opted instead to fight Danny Garcia. Peterson and Holt had their bout go to purse bid, which Holt's promoter Gary Shaw won for a mere $50,000, the same minimum bid that Peterson-Judah had gone for previously.
Holt (28-5, 16 KO) last fought in March 2012, crushing Tim Coleman in two rounds. The 31-year-old native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a former world champion, having held the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title at 140 pounds in 2008.