Kendall Holt Primed to make Ring Return 2/27 at Bally's Atlantic City
By Brandon Estrict, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 10, 2010) Photo © Doghouse Boxing  
After a disappointing ending his last time out, Kendal “Rated R” Holt may finally be in position to force a championship sequel. Holt, former WBO light-welterweight champion, came up short in his bid for unification against then WBC titlist, Timothy Bradley, in a close but clear decision loss. The bout was not without its NC-17 moments however, as Rated R nearly put a spectacular end to things in round one, stretching Bradley with a perfect counter left-hook. He would again drop the unbeaten Bradley in round twelve with a short counter right-uppercut. The durable Bradley was able to make it to the final bell, and did enough quality work in between knockdowns to pound out a unanimous decision.

That was nearly one calendar year ago, yet Paterson native Holt, 25-3 (13), still hasn’t been given the opportunity to atone for that defeat. Until now that is.

Holt will meet South African Kaizer Mabuza, 22-6-3 (13), on Saturday, February 27, at Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ to determine the number one contender to IBF champion Juan Urango. The bout will be Kendall’s first since the April 2009 loss to Bradley.

Team Holt knows what this bout means to the future of their charge. Holt, ranked the # 7 light-welterweight in the world according to The Ring, can get his career back on the fast track in a talent-laden 140 lb. division. Possible future opponents could include a Timothy Bradley rematch, Amir Khan, Paulie Malignaggi or fast-rising Devon Alexander.

Holt’s long-time trainer, Aroz “Terrific” Gist of Paterson, understands that Kendall can’t overlook anyone and must take things one bout at a time.

“The South African guy (Mabuza) is tough. We’ve got to take care of business, first.”

Gist is confident Kendall will do just that, and see’s big things ahead for the 28 year-old Holt.

“Sky’s the limit in 2010,” he states emphatically.

“This is our time. I can see that fire in his eye again. The speed, the power, everything’s coming together and it makes me want to step my game up as a trainer. He’s getting that swagger back!”

Gist, who’s been with Holt through the good times and bad, adds, “We’ve been together for seven years and this sport is hard, man. But my man is hungry and wants to be a champion again. He wants to prove the doubters wrong, and it’s a blessing to be on his side.”

The fight will be aired on Fox Sports Net, and tickets can be purchased at, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922. The card is being promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing.

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