Boxing


Holt Takes WBO Belt, Peterson Triumphs

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (July 5, 2008) – photos by Tom Casino / Showtime - Hagler-Hearns gave way to Holt-Torres Saturday as fireworks arrived a day late on SHOWTIME. In one of the most dramatic and explosive opening rounds and rematches in recent memory, Kendall Holt and Ricardo Torres combined to knock each other down three times in 61 seconds on a truly special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation..

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After Holt hit the canvas twice in 34 seconds, the WBO No. 2 contender rallied spectacularly to knock Torres out cold and win the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc., presented the exciting event, which aired on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast.

After Torres floored Holt 13 seconds in with a right to the head, the champion knocked the challenger down a second time 21 seconds later. With fans in attendance and those watching on television believing the fight was over, Holt connected with an overhand right to Torres’ head, sent him crashing to the ropes and ended matters at 1:01 of the opening round when referee Jay Nady stopped the exceptionally thrilling contest.

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“I may go down, but I get back up,” Holt, who was cut over the right eye, said. “This is better than a dream come true. Let the blood flow.”

Since the turnabout was so sudden and unexpected, everyone in the theater, including Mike Tyson, Paris Hilton and Julio Cesar Chavez, watched a replay on a video screen to see what had really transpired during the 61 scintillating seconds.

Holt (24-2, 13 KOs), of Paterson, N.J., became the 28th ShoBox fighter – and fourth in 2008 -- to capture a world title since the series premiered in July 2001.

“I never saw the first knockdown coming,” said Holt, who joined fellow ShoBox alums, Andre Berto, Juan Manuel Lopez and Timothy Bradley, to claim world championship belts in ‘08. “I looked away and was distracted. I saw the second knockdown coming, but I couldn’t do anything about it.”

A disappointed Torres (32-2, 28 KOs), of Barranquilla, Colombia, seemingly had his third title defense wrapped up before Holt’s incredible comeback.

“I had him (Holt),” Torres said. “He was in my hands. I got careless. He got me.”

ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood was amazed at what he witnessed.

“This is as wild a fight as we’ve had in the seven years of ShoBox,” he said. “It re-confirmed one of the main reasons why we love boxing. Regardless of what had happened earlier, a fighter can do what Kendall Holt did. Five seconds before Holt landed the knockout punch, I would not have given 10 cents for his chances.”

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In the co-feature, talented Lamont Peterson (25-0, 12 KOs) kept his perfect record in tact by scoring a late knockdown en route to a ninth-round TKO over hard-trying Rogelio Castaneda (24-14-3, eight KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico.

Peterson, of Washington, D.C., connected with a punishing right hook to the temple late in the ninth round and sent Mexico’s Castaneda crashing violently to the canvas. Moments later, referee Russell Mora stopped the contest at 2:50 at the request of Castaneda’s corner.

“I thought Lamont did pretty well considering this was his first fight in six months,” said Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter. “I give him a ‘B.’ ”

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A world-ranked contender at 140 pounds, Peterson explained that he changed stances to score the knockdown.

“I turned southpaw and landed a clean shot to the temple,” Peterson said.

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Castaneda’s corner said they waved the white towel to end the contest due to their concern of further punishment.

“The kid (Castaneda) is like a brother to me,” said Castaneda’s trainer, Israel Piceno. “There was only one round to go and he had taken too many punches. It was an easy decision. He wasn’t going to win a decision anyway.”

Nick Charles called the action from ringside with Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing.

For more information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go to the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.

Article posted on 06.07.2008



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