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Holt vs. Tackie On February 7th

Ben Tackie Kendall HoltIn his first bout since losing a controversial 11th round TKO to World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Ricardo Torres (32-1, 28 KOs) last September 1st, title contender Kendall Holt (22-2, 12 KOs) is going to try to remove some of the disappointment from that loss by taking on veteran Ben Tackie (29-8-1, 17 KOs) on February 7th, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Holt, 26, one of the fastest and highly skilled fighters in the junior welterweight division, is coming off a bitter defeat to WBO champion Ricardo Torres, a fight which took place in front of Torres’ home crowd at the Salon Jumbo del Country Club, in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The fight was stopped what seem to be prematurely in the 11th round shortly after Torres had dropped Holt with a big left hand. However, at the time of the stoppage, Holt was still fighting back and seemed to be in no danger of getting hurt by Torres. The referee at the time, Genaro Rodriguez, thought differently, and stopped the fight and gave Torres the victory, even though Holt was ahead on two of the three scorecards.

Afterwards, Holt protested the loss to the WBO, asking for an immediate rematch, based on the clams made by Holt that he was hit in the head by a full beer can in the sixth round, after knocking down Torres with a big right hand. Holt also protested that he was grabbed in the leg in the 11th round of the fight. The WBO, however, denied Holt’s request for a rematch. To be sure, the fight erupted into almost total chaos in the 11th round, after Holt was knocked down.

The canvas was littered with debris and very slick from both water and probably beer all over it. However, it’s unclear whether any of that had an effect on the outcome, as Holt seemed to be moving well around the ring despite all the garbage littered about. Without the stoppage, though, it seemed as if Holt would have easily have won the fight, for he was well ahead at the time and easily out-boxing the slower Torres.

Nevertheless, Holt is trying to put it all past him, and get back into another title shot in the near future against Torres. In choosing Tackie as an opponent, Holt is going up against a fighter that is especially hard to knock out. Tackie, 34, originally from Ghana, has never been knocked out, which as this point in his career is his only claim to fame. Tackie has lost three of his last five fights with two of them coming in his last two bouts, 10 round unanimous decisions losses to Freddy Hernandez and Alfonso Gomez. Though he’s still relatively young at 34, Tackie has a lot of ring mileage on him it would seem.

In 2002, Tackie was one of the top junior lightweights in the division. However, he lost a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision to then junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu in May 2002, and things seemed to go down hill from there. Instead of being matched up against a softer opponent in his next bout, someone to get his confidence back up, Tackie was put in against Sharmba Mitchell, another top fighter in the junior welterweight division at the time, and subsequently lost by another 12-round decision. Then, to top it off, Tackie was matched in his next bout against young contender Ricky Hatton on December 13th, 2004, who also beat Tackie by a 12-round unanimous decision.

As you can tell, Tackie has had it tough for him in terms of being matched. Those three loses seemed to take all the steam out of Tackie’s once promising career, and he’s been little more than an opponent ever since. That’s not to say that he would eve have been a champion, but who knows?

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