Friday Night Fights: Kendall Holt turns the pageWritten by Joseph Herron
Most fighters who enter their second decade of service to the sweet science are contemplating retirement and find themselves looking back on fights past to what might have been; missed opportunities, untimely injuries, or unfortunate incidents.
One fighter from Paterson, New Jersey, continues to look forward to the possibility of what can still be.
Thirty year old ring veteran Kendall "Rated R" Holt doesn't think he can still be a relevant force in boxing once again...he knows he can.
As the former WBO Junior Welterweight Champion gears up for a very important bout against the always formidable Tim Coleman on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights", Kendall Holt remains confident that his best years in boxing have yet to come.
"Although I've been in the sport for a long time and have been a relevant fighter in the Junior Welterweight division for a while, most people don't realize that I'm only thirty years old. I feel like I'm so much wiser than I was when I first received the big opportunities in boxing."
"Most people are calling this fight with Tim Coleman a crossroads fight and they're right. But, what they don't realize is every fight is a crossroads fight in boxing. Without my knock-out win over David Diaz in 2005, there could be no victory over Mike Arnaoutis. Without a win over Arnaoutis, there would not have been a championship fight with Ricardo Torres."
"With every fight you're either up against the wall or ready to leap over it, so this is nothing new for me. I'm a fighter, and I embrace every challenge put in front of me."
Tonight, Kendall Holt will face a very capable opponent who has campaigned primarily at a much heavier weight and who poses a serious threat to any fighter. Tim Coleman, who is coming off of a knock-out loss against undefeated 140 pound prospect Vernon Paris, is considered to be a very dangerous fighter who desperately needs a victory.
Holt claims he is entering the ring tonight with his eyes wide open.
"At this juncture of my career, every fighter is a serious adversary. I know I can't afford to look past anyone in this game. I take these thoughts into the gym with me every day while I'm preparing for the fight, and on March16th, it's going to show. I have been preparing for this fight like it is the most important fight of my career, because it is."
"I'm not taking anyone lightly and I'm not looking past my opponent. My eyes are focused solely on Tim Coleman."
Pictured: Kendall Holt, left, faces off with Tim Bradley
Courtesy of Tom Casino, Showtime
On October 15th, 2011, Kendall faced undefeated prospect Danny Garcia on the undercard of the infamous Hopkins/Dawson PPV and came up short against a very hungry and much younger fighter. Garcia, who is currently scheduled to face 140 pound WBC Champion Eric Morales next weekend, won a very competitive split decision victory over the eleven year professional.
After facing defeat in his last fight, Kendall brings some additional incentive into his big fight with Tim Coleman.
"My father was supposed to be in my corner for this fight, but he couldn't make the trip due to an injury he suffered. So on March 16th, I am so fortunate to have living legend and all time great Roy Jones Jr. in my corner as chief second."
"Roy is one of my heroes and my childhood idol. So to meet him and befriend him the way I have, it's been a very special experience for me. No one wants to let their hero and idol down, especially when they're giving you instruction in the corner. So, I'm going to do whatever it takes to get the victory."
"With Roy in my corner, I know everyone will get to see one of those spectacular ESPN2/ Kendall Holt performances."
The last time Holt was on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, he indeed put on spectacular show.
On May 13th of last year, "Rated R" viciously knocked-out former IBF Lightweight Champion Julio Diaz in the third round of the network series main event. Kendall hopes for a repeat performance.
"If ESPN paid as well as Showtime or HBO, I would never leave the network. I always seem to have my best performances on Friday Night Fights and I always look forward to fighting on their program."
If the experienced fighter does indeed perform as well as expected, most boxing pundits will continue to rank him among the very best of the Junior Welterweight division and view Kendall as a possible opponent for the winner of the upcoming Garcia/Morales or Judah/Paris bouts, which are both set to take place on March 24th.
Kendall Holt truly believes that he is beginning a new chapter in his lifelong fight saga tonight.
The fighter from Jersey feels completely rejuvenated and confident at this stage in his career and further warns his fans not to blink when watching the main event on "Friday Night Fights".
"I'm in great shape and I'm coming to fight. So if you have to go to the bathroom, if you have to get your beer, your popcorn, or your chicken wings, please go do it before the official introductions are complete."