Holt's chance to settle score with Torres comes on Saturday

Updated: July 4, 2008

Tom Casino/Showtime

Will Kendall Holt, right, leave Las Vegas smiling -- and with Ricardo Torres' title -- on Saturday?

Torres-Holt II: "No Excuses"

When Kendall Holt made a trip to Barranquilla, Colombia, to face hometown junior welterweight titlist Ricardo Torres as the mandatory challenger last September, he figured he'd be in for a tough fight.

However, the Paterson, N.J., native didn't expect to be in a situation where the ring would be showered with beer, water and soda during the fight. He didn't expect to be nailed with a beer bottle during the sixth round. And he surely didn't expect to be the victim of a suspect 11th-round stoppage by referee Geno Rodriguez, who appeared intimidated by Torres' rowdy fans at the Jumbo Saloon Country Club, where security was essentially nonexistent.

Holt had knocked Torres down in the sixth -- before he was hit with a bottle thrown from ringside -- and was leading 98-91 and 95-94 on two of the official scorecards while Torres led 95-94 on the third, going into the 11th. That's when Torres knocked Holt down and later stopped him on his feet as he tried to gain his balance on an excessively wet canvas, which Rodriguez never called timeout to have wiped down, amid the mayhem of flying debris.

The Holt camp also contends that, at another point in the 11th, a member of Torres' camp reached through the ropes and pulled Holt's leg, nearly dragging him to the canvas.

After an arduous campaign for a rematch -- in America -- Holt finally has one Saturday night. The fight at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, billed "No Excuses," will air on a special edition of "ShoBox: The New Generation" (Showtime, 11 ET/PT).

In the co-feature, junior welterweight Lamont Peterson (24-0, 11 KOs), in his first bout since signing with Top Rank, faces Rogelio Castaneda (24-13-3, 8 KOs). A Peterson victory could set him up for a shot at the main event winner later in the year.

Torres (32-1, 28 KOs), who will be making his third defense, and Holt (23-2, 12 KOs) sure have different views of their first encounter.

"Holt is a sore loser," Torres said. "He didn't take advantage of the fight when he could have. … There was no controversy in the first fight. It was a clean fight. Holt is just a sore loser."

Ricardo Torres

Tom Casino/Showtime

Torres is adamant there was no controversy in his first fight with Holt.

Torres said that Holt was treated well in Colombia and that he deserved his TKO victory.

"I don't remember the first fight being controversial at all," said Torres, who is best remembered for the epic slugfest he lost to Miguel Cotto in 2005. "I beat Holt fair and square, and I moved on.

"Now, this is the next fight and I believe it should be even better. We know each other better. We should be able to know what each other can do. That's what gives me the confidence that I have. I'm very well prepared for this rematch."

Torres wouldn't even acknowledge that Holt was hit by anything other than his fists during the fight.

"I know that Holt didn't get hit with anything," he said. "The only thing he got hit with was my punches. That's why he went down."

Holt's view of the initial encounter is much different.

"After I dropped Torres in the sixth round, I got hit with a beer can," he said. "From that point on, I was thinking, 'If I knock this guy out, will I make it back in one piece?' As much as I tried to stay focused, it was hard because I was in another country. After that knockdown, I went back to the corner and don't remember a word that my trainer said. I was just thinking that I got hit with a beer can and nothing was done about it.

"I told the referee. He didn't see it and told me to fight. Everybody saw it, but nobody did anything about it. Something was thrown in the ring in one of my previous fights in Atlantic City, and the fight was stopped. In the Torres fight, everything kept going after I got hit by the beer can. I am ready to erase any doubts that anyone had of me winning the first fight. The first fight against Torres was definitely an experience. It was not like anything I have experienced before."

When Holt found out the first fight would be in Colombia, he said he was not very concerned about going to Torres' hometown for the fight.

"I was prepared," he said. "I didn't think anything controversial was going to happen. I was just prepared to face Torres. I didn't prepare to face the hostile crowd. I didn't prepare to face a referee who was making a lot of mistakes. I was just prepared to face Torres. … I am a man, and if he beats me, he beats me. I just don't want to be cheated."

Now, they're prepared to face each other again. Maybe afterward they can share a beer, just not in the ring.

Showtime for Peter-Klitschko

Samuel Peter's mandatory heavyweight title defense against unretiring but oft-injured former belt holder Vitali Klitschko, which was agreed to in principle a couple of months ago, will take place Oct. 4 or Oct. 11, most likely in Europe with Showtime televising the bout in the United States, Peter promoter Dino Duva told ESPN.com.

Samuel Peter

AP Photo/Adam Rountree

Samuel Peter's next fight will come against the oft-injured Vitali Klitschko.

Peter (30-1, 23 KOs), who won the title in March by knocking out Oleg Maskaev in the sixth round of a long-overdue mandatory fight, was going to fight an optional defense this month but time ran short to put it together. All along, Duva has been working on the fight with Klitschko and found support from Showtime.

"We're pretty much done with the deal with Showtime," Duva said. "[Showtime boxing chief] Ken Hershman has been great to work with throughout this process. We're committed to Showtime. It's 99 percent done."

Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) hasn't fought since making his only title defense against Danny Williams in December 2004. Numerous injuries led to his retirement and various comebacks fell through because of more injuries. One of the remaining hurdles in finalizing the deal is contract language about what will happen if Klitschko is again unable to fight on the planned date.

Salita hooks up with Jones

Welterweight Dmitriy Salita (28-0-1, 16 KOs), the Orthodox Jewish fighter from Ukraine living in New York, has agreed to a promotional contract with Roy Jones' Square Ring, which has been dormant for years.

However, Jones recently hired former Don King attorney John Wirt as CEO and intends to run a functioning promotional company. It has already signed former heavyweight title challenger Owen Beck and is about to add Salita.

Dmitriy Salita

Al Bello/Getty Images

Dmitriy Salita is hoping Roy Jones' promotional company can breathe new life into his sagging career.

"I haven't signed yet but we are very close to making it a deal," Salita told ESPN.com in an e-mail. "Roy Jones is one of the legends of my time and I always looked up to him as a fighter. He is becoming a promoter now and I look forward to being one of the fighters in his stable."

Salita's first bout with Jones will come on the probable Sept. 20 HBO PPV card headlined by Jones' challenge of light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe, a fight that is nearly set.

"I want the big fights and I want to stay active," Salita said. "Square Ring promised me those opportunities. One of the goals is to get the WBA champ, [Andreas] Kotelnik, in the near future. I look forward to that."

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.


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• Although HBO PPV and Golden Boy have announced the Joel Casamayor-Juan Manuel Marquez lightweight championship fight for Sept. 13, HBO PPV is prepared to do the Joe Calzaghe-Roy Jones fight on pay-per-view one week later. It would be the first time in history that HBO PPV backed pay-per-view cards on consecutive Saturdays. HBO isn't thrilled with the schedule, but is willing because it feels the cards target different audiences. Calzaghe-Jones organizers, headed by Jones' Square Ring, insist on going Sept. 20 instead of in November in order to stay as far away as they can from the Ricky Hatton-Paulie Malignaggi fight, which will take place Nov. 15 or Nov. 22. Both are major PPV events in the United Kingdom and aren't going to be scheduled in the same month (Hatton-Malignaggi will be on regular HBO in America).


• MMA star Andrei Arlovski, the former UFC heavyweight champion from Belarus, has been training for a boxing career under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. Arlovski, who has an MMA bout July 19, likely will make his professional boxing debut Sept. 13 (HBO PPV) in the opening fight on the Casamayor-Marquez card in Las Vegas, according to Golden Boy.


• Junior welterweight Demetrius Hopkins (28-0-1, 11 KOs), the nephew of Bernard Hopkins, signed a promotional contract with Top Rank this week, manager Cameron Dunkin told ESPN.com. Hopkins had a falling out with Golden Boy Promotions earlier in the year and pulled out of a title shot against then-beltholder Junior Witter, which was supposed to be on HBO. Hopkins contended that his deal with Golden Boy, of which Bernard Hopkins is a part owner, was over but the company retained the right to match any offer. Dunkin said it passed and gave Demetrius a release. "He's signed with Top Rank. Everything is done," Dunkin said, adding that Hopkins' first fight under the deal probably would come in August.


• Dimitri Kirilov's junior bantamweight title defense against Vic Darchinyan on Aug. 2 (Showtime) finally has a home. It will take place at the Buffalo Run casino in Miami, Okla. The televised opener will feature super middleweight Andre Dirrell (15-0, 10 KOs), a bronze medal-receiving 2004 U.S. Olympian, who is coming off an impressive fifth-round knockout of Anthony Hanshaw on May 2. Organizers attempted to match him with top-10 contender Allan Green, but both fighters rejected the bout.


• Super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute (22-0, 18 KOs) will face mandatory challenger Librado Andrade (27-1, 21 KOs) in his second defense Oct. 24 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Golden Boy's David Itskowich told ESPN.com. He said he was going there for a Monday news conference to announce the fight. Andrade, who is promoted by Golden Boy, failed in a previous title shot, losing a lopsided decision for a version of the 168-pound belt to Mikkel Kessler in Denmark in March 2007.


• Promoter Gary Shaw and HBO are planning another "Night of the Rising Stars" card for "Boxing After Dark" Oct. 4, but minus junior middleweight James Kirkland, who severed ties with Shaw last month. Shaw presented a May card that included impressive victories by Kirkland, junior middleweight Alfredo Angulo and junior lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa, the flashy 2004 Cuban Olympic gold medalist. Angulo and Gamboa are slated to fight on the next edition with a possible third fight being added.

A. Peterson

• HBO has changed its plans for Aug. 2. Joshua Clottey and Zab Judah will still meet for a vacant welterweight belt in Las Vegas in the "Boxing After Dark" main event, but there won't be a second live fight. HBO hoped it would be lightweight prospect Anthony Peterson stepping up against "Kid Diamond" Almazbek Raiymkulov. But after Peterson's lackluster performance last week against Fernando Trejo, Top Rank decided Peterson wasn't ready for that level fight and wanted to match him with Jose Reyes, a bout HBO rejected. Peterson might still face Reyes on the card and if he does, HBO would air highlights. Plan B for the Aug. 2 card was junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan, a 2004 U.S. Olympian, facing Andrey Tsurkan. However, Martirosyan injured his left hand battering Angel Hernandez on the Peterson-Trejo undercard and won't be available, Top Rank vice president Todd duBoef told ESPN.com.


• Junior bantamweight titlist Fernando Montiel's defense against Jose "Carita" Lopez, planned for the July 26 Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito HBO PPV card, has been called off. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that Montiel was having problems with his weight and would be unable to get down to 115 pounds in time for the fight. Arum did say, however, that Montiel intended to fight at 115 again. A card Arum would like to put together for late in the year would have Montiel in a unification fight with two-belt titleholder Cristian Mijares with a co-feature of junior bantamweight Jorge Arce facing Nonito Donaire, a flyweight titlist who would move up. Arum would like to then have the winners of the two bouts fight.


• The long overdue fight between bantamweight titlist Joseph Agbeko and mandatory challenger William Gonzalez (21-2, 19 KOs) has been scheduled. They're due to meet on a Don King card Aug. 2 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Also scheduled: Juan Palacios versus Omar Soto for an interim strawweight title. Agbeko (25-1, 22 KOs) hasn't fought since impressively stopping Luis Perez in the seventh round to win a belt last September.


• Bell Gardens, Calif., junior flyweight Giovanni Segura (19-0-1, 15 KOs), who has waited a year for a mandatory shot against French titlist Brahim Asloum (23-2, 9 KOs), will have to wait more. His title shot, scheduled for July 26 in Cannes, France, was postponed this week because of a dispute between Asloum's team and French TV network Canal+ over how much the network would pay for the fight.


• Once again, heavyweight Odlanier Solis' step-up fight with former contender Francois Botha has been postponed. Solis, the 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist who defected from Cuba to Germany, was supposed to face Botha on Saturday on Arena Box-Promotions' card in Turkey. However, according to Arena, Solis has an inflammation in his right arm and has withdrawn from the fight. It is the fourth time the fight has been postponed. Arena hopes to reschedule it again for August or September. But Saturday's card will still go on with Sinan Samil Sam facing Paolo Vidoz for the vacant European heavyweight title in the main event and recent Cuban defector and 2005 world amateur champion Erislandy Lara turning pro in a middleweight bout.


• Heavyweight Monte Barrett (34-6, 20 KOs), coming off an explosive first-round knockout of Tye Fields on last Saturday's Manny Pacquiao-David Diaz undercard, hopes the performance was good enough to land him an Oct. 18 fight with England's David Haye, the cruiserweight champion who is moving up in weight. Barrett, 37, was supposed to provide Fields with his first test but blew him out. Now, Barrett hopes to give Haye a test in his jump to heavyweight. "This win will serve notice that Monte Barrett still has some gas left in his tank and will do anything to get to that top level of the division," Barrett said. "I want David Haye next. I just slayed one giant in Tye Fields and now I'm ready to go across the pond and beat that big Brit. I know I am better than him and will knock him flat on his back."



"It is going to be a war between two legends but one of us will be finished after this, and I know I'm going to retire Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 13." -- lightweight champion Joel Casamayor, on his fall showdown with former featherweight and junior lightweight titlist Marquez



"This is the most important fight of my life because I'm putting my career on the line to go up in weight to fight Joel. He is the best at 135 and a very dangerous fighter. It's a huge fight for me and I'm very excited to fight in front of all of my loyal fans in Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day weekend." -- Mexico's Marquez, on the upcoming battle with Casamayor