- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Former junior welterweight titlist Kendall Holt is doing the only thing that makes sense if he wants to continue his career in a meaningful way: He is moving up to the welterweight division.
Holt (28-6, 16 KOs) announced the decision Monday, a little more than two weeks after he was knocked down twice and stopped in the eighth round by Lamont Peterson, who retained his 140-pound junior welterweight belt in his hometown of Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22.
Holt, 31, of Paterson, N.J., has spent most of his 12-year career at junior welterweight. He won a title in 2008 and, after one successful defense, lost it to Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2009.
But Holt's time at 140 is over. He is 3-4 in his past seven fights and has trouble making weight (he had to lose eight pounds in the final two days to make weight for the Peterson fight). He is also unlikely to get another significant opportunity at junior welterweight.
"The time is right for me to make this transition to welterweight," Holt said. "I feel like I've still got a lot of fight in me, and what better way to exercise it than to be in a division with so many interesting matchups. It isn't just what I want; it's also what my body is telling me to do, and my body is telling me that I'm going to be a physically better fighter in the move up."
The 147-pound division is ripe with name fighters. Besides the big guns -- Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao -- the fighters in the welterweight division include Robert Guerrero, Bradley, Andre Berto, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana and Victor Ortiz.
"I'm trying to get as far as I can and I'm looking to make this welterweight run count," Holt said. "I'm not some kid coming into the division. I am a proven fighter with a recognized name and I'm looking to land some of the most interesting fights that can be made. The good thing is, the division is stacked 1 to 10, and I'm looking to knock one of those guys out of their spot."