Promoters making moves in burgeoning welterweight division

Promoter Artie Pelullo, president of DC-based Banner Promotions, said he was rooting for the bouts between former world title contenders Kendall Holt and Phil Davis, though he is rooting for more high-profile fights in the area.

LAS VEGAS — The establishment is making moves in the welterweight division, and promoters could emerge as powerful gatekeepers in the weight class this year.

Former world title contender Kendall Holt and former junior middleweight world champion Phil Davis are having a fight on Wednesday, April 3. Both boast big following among the boxing community. And on that night the promotion will take place at the Doubletree Hotel on L Street. Ticket prices are $250 for ringside and $130 general admission.

The matchup is the latest sign of the crossover potential among promoters and saw a trailblazer like Pelullo step up his production of high-profile fights in the capital region. With those fights, he could prove a valuable partner for any promoter looking to get his fighters into major venues. Holt is promoted by Banner Promotions. Davis is managed by Al Haymon, who also promotes Lamont Peterson, the former WBA welterweight world champion, and Dominic Breazeale, the 2008 U.S. Olympic silver medalist who will challenge IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a world title fight in London on April 28.

There are fights of notable quality between big name fighters that are coming to DC, but in recent years, these bouts have failed to appear on the same bill as Holt-Davis. Welterweight contender Errol Spence, for example, was promoted by Gary Shaw this past August, but he had to fight one of his division’s top punchers in Kell Brook. Since you can’t give away the champion right away, something like that is likely not to be repeated in the future.

Lebanon native Lamont Peterson, whose promoter was previously leading the promotional effort for Davis at Main Events, recently entered into a three-fight deal with Promociones del Pueblo, a promotion company based in Mexico. The partnership is an all-Mexican production that involves three fighters who can raise awareness for the business in their own country.

Promotional movements would likely bring higher profile fighters to the area in the future as well.

Promoter The Honorable Chuck Espinoza and his promotional company Promotecos Pantaleon y Pueblo recently signed former world title contender Emilio Sanchez, a super bantamweight, to a management contract. But Sanchez’s company couldn’t tap into the promotional resources of the management team in Miami because Promociones del Pueblo is based in Mexico. The two promotional entities are now exploring the possibility of an arrangement similar to the one between Promociones del Pueblo and Banner Promotions, though no agreements or updates are available.

And current promoter Pavega Promotions, which has promoted several good fights in the area in recent years, recently signed promoter Nelson Pastrana to a three-fight deal, with one of those bouts taking place at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.

Clayton Goodell is the communications manager for Banner Promotions.

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