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Peterson defense

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Lamont Peterson, finally set to defend the title he took from Britain’s Amir Khan in controversial fashion 14 months ago, says his long layoff will not be a problem against Kendall Holt next week.

Peterson won a controversial split decision in Washington over Khan after the Englishman was twice penalized a point for pushing. A planned rematch last May was called off after Peterson tested positive for a synthetic testosterone.

The World Boxing Association restored its light-welterweight crown to Khan but the International Boxing Federation accepted an appeal by Peterson.

When Zab Judah bowed out as mandatory challenger for another bout, Holt had his title chance and Peterson finally had an opponent. The two will meet on February 22 in Peterson’s hometown of Washington.

“To me it feels great to get back into the ring,’’ Peterson said.