Teon Kennedy Retains USBA Super Bantam Title over Jose Angel Beranza!
By Ken Hissner at ringside (May 26, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Teon “The Technician” Kennedy probably can’t read today’s newspaper about his successful title defense of his USBA Super Bantamweight over Jose Angel Beranza in Atlantic City Saturday night at Bally’s but he overcame another obstacle in his career. This was a Peltz Boxing Promotion.

Kennedy, 15-0-1 (6), of Philadelphia, pretty much had his way through most of the first 6 rounds before some noticeable swelling of his right eye started to show. Veteran cut man Jimmy Williams, also co-manger, had his work cut out for him trying to keep the swelling down. At the start of the fight one had to ask how Beranza, 32-18-2 (25), of Santa Ana, CA, ever got into the USBA ratings at #10. Of the 15 slots only 8 are rated, but still with that many losses and showing not much more than a good chin it seemed like the right comeback fight for Kennedy. In his last showing at Bally’s in September he was held to a majority draw by Lante Addy, 7-4, of Ghana.

In Kennedy’s last bout in November in a war with Francisco Rodriguez, 14-2, the latter died of brain injuries suffered in the fight 48 hours later. Though living up to his nickname “Technician” Kennedy likes to go to war. Kennedy rocked his opponent early in the 1st round and started going to the body in the 3rd round. In the 4th round Beranza buckled Kennedy’s knees with a left hook causing Kennedy’s nose to bleed. AT the end of the 5th round Kennedy rocked Beranza. Kennedy must have been wondering how Beranza was still coming forward and looking unmarked although Kennedy was hitting him with shot after shot. Beranza started to flurry in the 9th round having Kennedy against the ropes trying to protect a now closed right eye. Both fighters exchanged right hands in the 10th round with Beranza finally starting to get an edge in a round although several were close up until then. In the 11th round Kennedy’s left eye had a red mark under it and starting to close in a round full of exchanges. In the 12th and final round fighting “half blind” Kennedy found himself at times swinging at air just trying to keep his opponent at bay. Beranza never stopped coming forward the entire fight. It was an all out brawl at the bell with Beranza certainly the fresher of the two.

As Kennedy walked toward Beranza’s corner to acknowledge a good fight, Beranza’s people were lifting their fighter on their shoulders while wearing a large Mexican Sombrero to the cheering of the crowd. It seemed like a no brainer decision to make in favor of Kennedy. The first score read by newly inducted to the PA HOF announcer Ed Darian was 115-113. Judges John Stewart and Robert Grasso agreed as did this writer at 117-111 all in favor of Kennedy. The fan’s let their disapproval be known. It seems they were voting on the emotion that took place in the final 3 rounds, forgetting about the first 9 rounds that Kennedy dominated. Sparkle Lee was the referee. Kennedy who is a former National Golden Glove champion is going to have to learn not to square up on his opponents as he moves up in the ratings against the heavy hitters or he will pay the price down the line.

In an 8 round middleweight bout Atlantic City’s Patrick “Machine” Majewski, 13-0 (8), though a pound lighter was noticeably the larger of the two in easily stopping game Loren “Rock” Myers, 7-8-1 (2), of Fresno, CA, at 1:05 of the 6th round on the advice of the ring physician. Myers had a cut between the eyes on his forehead and might have won one round up until then. Majewski’s reach advantage was too much for Myers to overcome. Referee in charge was Eddie Cotton.
In the most competitive fight of the night super featherweight Carlos Vinan, 9-8-4, (1), of Newark, originally from Ecuador seemed to take advantage of Philadelphia’s Anthony Flores, 8-1-1 (5), coming off 8 months of inactivity since suffering his lone loss and a severely damaged cheek bone. It seemed rather strange for Flores to be fighting his toughest opponent to date in his first fight back. Vinan seemed to take the first 3 round’s, all close, rocking Flores several times in the 3rd round.

Flores seemed to finally get his timing down in the 4th round opening a cut along side the left eye of Vinan with a straight right hand. The taller of the two Flores at 5:11, to the 5:06 Vinan, finally got in the flow landing the jab and some solid uppercuts while retreating from the aggressive and awkward Vinan over the last 3 rounds. “I thought I won the fight easily,” said a disappointed Flores. Two judges split their scores 58-56 while this writer agreed with a 57-57 declaring the fight a draw. Flores has talent and a nice moving style but needs to be brought along carefully. Earl Morton served as referee.

Ronald Cruz, 9-0 (6), of Bethlehem, PA, fought his usual workmanlike fight rocking Juan Ramon Cruz, 16-9-1 (12), of Hartford, CT, on at least four occasions in the 1st round. Suddenly in the 2nd round R Cruz suffered what seemed like a small cut by the right eye brow and it noticeably was bothering him the rest of the way. R Cruz would take “breathers” along the ropes allowing the more experienced JR Cruz to land punches in flurries with little if any power behind them. In the 4th round R Cruz landed what seemed like a dozen unanswered punches knocking JR Cruz through the ropes for a knockdown. Upon rising R Cruz went after his opponent and seemed to drop him immediately with a left hook that referee Earl Morton called a slip for some reason. It wasn’t long before R Cruz was all over JR Cruz at the bell. The JR Cruz corner wisely stopped the bout at the end of the 4th round in this junior welterweight 6 rounder.

In the only mismatch on the card Josh Mercado, 4-1 (2), of near by Cape May easily stopped the overmatched Joel Nieves, 0-2, of Allentown, PA, at 1:02 of the 2nd round. Referee Cotton had seen enough after over a dozen punches landed without return. The fight could have been stopped earlier.

The opening bout had Ryan Carson, 3-0 (1), of Norristown, PA, winning a majority decision over Marcos Garcia, 0-2 (0), of Camden. An unintentional head butt opened a cut under the right eye of Carson in the 1st round. Carson rocked Garcia with a countless number of right hands throughout the 4 rounds of this junior lightweight match-up. Garcia suffered a bloody nose in the 2nd round and was out on his feet at the bell ending the 4th round. Somehow one judge, Tony Perez, called the fight even at 38-38. The other scores favoring Carson were 40-36 and 39-37.Cotton was the referee. Seemed like a shutout from this writers point of view. “I thought I fought well considering I haven’t fought in seven months,” said Carson. Like Mercado would do after his bout, Carson greeted his fans before going to the dressing room. Both Cruz and Carson were heading to the hospital for stitches. Those cuts were nothing compared to what Kennedy must look like the day after.

July 9th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Peltz will return with unbeaten Mike “MJ” Jones, 21-0 (17), defending his NABA and WBO NABO welterweight titles against yet another Latino, 9th in a row, Irving Garcia, 17-4-3 (8), of Puerto Rico, who last fought in May of 2009 being stopped in 5 rounds. Attending the fight was Atlantic City’s Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez, 21-2 (12), who want’s to fight Jones. “I was told if I won my fight in March and he won his in February we would meet in July,” said Alvarez. “Instead they offered me Antwone “The Truth” Smith, 18-1 (10), of Miami. I doubt if he will even fight me,” Alvarez added. Seems Smith was offered a bout with Jones and his management turned it down. So for some reason he gets rewarded by being put on the card July 9th. Both fighters are called “The Truth”, but the truth of the matter is Peltz told this writer last year he wasn’t interested in putting Jones in with Alvarez. Since Peltz “invaded” Atlantic City which is the home of Alvarez with Jones whose last 4 fights have been in Atlantic City it seems like a natural match-up. In the IBF ratings Jones is #7 and Alvarez #15. Jones is #5 in the WBA and #8 in the WBO. Alvarez lost a disputed IBF eliminator bout in March of 2009 to Delvin Rodriguez. The only common opponent is Germain Sanders which both won decisions over.

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