ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will originate from San Ynez, Calif., May 13 at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 when former WBO junior welterweight world titlist Kendall “Rated R” Holt (26-4, 14 KO’s, WBA #8, WBO #8, IBF #15) will meet former two-time IBF lightweight world titlist Julio “The Kidd” Diaz (38-6, 27 KO’s, IBF #9) in a 10-round main event. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside describing the action.
Friday’s show will also include current WBC welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz in studio with host Brian Kenny. Ortiz defeated Andre Berto for the WBC welterweight title last month.
New Jersey’s Holt, who is managed by friend and New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, will be profiled in a special feature during the telecast.
After being TKO’d in the sixth round during an IBF title eliminator by Kaizer Mabuza, Holt rebounded with a first-round TKO over Lenin Arroyo in his last fight.
“It’s an honor to face another former world champion,” Holt said of Friday’s fight. “Julio Diaz is a gritty veteran, so I don’t see him backing up. I don’t see him trying to take it easy on me in there. I think he’s going to come full-steam ahead. It’s going to be a great fight as long as he lasts.”
California’s Diaz is coming off a January eighth round TKO over Pavel Miranda.
After the fight ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael wrote, “Diaz has won two fights in a row with a strong performance against Miranda. Diaz looked pretty good. He was rolling along in a one-sided, albeit entertaining, fight when he finally broke through to score two knockdowns in the eighth round before the fight was stopped. Diaz threw combinations and looked in excellent condition. Another win or two and Diaz being back in a fight of note would not be surprising.”