Unbeaten Teon Kennedy Wins NABA Super Bantam Title!
By Ken Hissner (Oct 2, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
USBA Super bantamweight champion Teon “The Technician” Kennedy added the NABA title, last Saturday night at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City. The unbeaten 16-0-1 (7), Kennedy, from Philadelphia all but shut out Alex “El Diablo” Becerra, 20-9 (9), of El Paso, TX, before the bout was stopped at the end of the tenth round in a twelve round bout. Peltz Boxing promoted this outstanding six bout card.

Kennedy had to work hard for the win because Becerra kept coming forward. Kennedy showed his versatility by showing he could punch backing up when he had to. There were times when he had Becerra up against the ropes that it looked like he would finish him off. Becerra had a very swollen right eye that helped bring about the end. Top referee Steve Smoger did his usual excellent job of allowing the fighters to fight. The scores were 10-0 and 9-1 twice. This writer had it a shutout.

After a feeling out first round Kennedy rocked Becerra in the second round. Becerra would always come back and get in some licks of his own on the inside of the taller Kennedy. In Kennedy’s corner the brothers Wade and Randy Hinnant brought their fighter in his usual top shape. Seems he never wears down. Kennedy is always expressionless so you can never tell how things are going until it’s all over.

Becerra came storming out in the third round throwing combinations and backing Kennedy up into his own corner. This former National Amateur champion knows how to spin a fighter around and did it in a way that looks so natural. In the sixth round four straight punches from Kennedy had Becerra backing up toward the ropes. In the seventh round a chopping right hurt Becerra whose eye was swelling and clearly bothering his vision. Becerra showed his heart by coming back time and time again after Kennedy. In the tenth and final round it was obvious that Becerra was fading and it would just be a matter of time before referee Smoger would consider stepping in. At the end of the tenth round Smoger went to the corner of Becerra whose people said their fighter had had enough. Smoger waved it off giving Kennedy the official victory.

Kennedy is ranked fourth in the IBF ratings and being the USBA champion the other three organizations usually ignore you. Per J Russell Peltz with this win it will move Kennedy into the top ten of the WBA ratings. Peltz also informed this writer that Kennedy is the only black American in any of the four organizations in the top ten from 130 on down. Kennedy has a nice following and is a quiet warrior outside the ring managed by Doc Nowicki and Jimmy Williams. Williams, one of the top cut men in the business had a busy night also working the eight round previous bout among others. He is promoted by Peltz.

Speaking about the eight round previous bout, Dennis Hasson, 11-0 (3), of the Kensington section of Philadelphia and Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller, 5-5 (3), also of Philadelphia, put on the fight of the night in this super middleweight battle. It seemed Hasson did not fight his usual boxing and looking for an opening style after being cut outside the left eyebrow which fortunately did not run into his eye. Cut man Jimmy Williams did a great job of maintaining the cut throughout the bout.

Hasson would control the action with his jab. At times a double jab was used in which it continuously kept the aggressive Speller off balance. Speller has that “Philadelphia heart” and was in the fight despite the lopsided scoring at the end. When Hasson was not using the jab or hooking off the jab he would get inside and land punch after punch to Spellers mid-section that took its toll halfway through the fight. Hasson is also trained by the Hinnant brothers and managed by Nowicki and Williams along with being promoted by Peltz.

This good looking grand nephew of the late former Philadelphia light heavyweight legend Tommy Loughran has a nice loyal group of fans. In the fourth round Hasson rocked Speller with a right hand to the head but Speller came back with a short right of his own on the jaw of Hasson. There was no quit in Speller who gave a good account of himself. Speller landed a three punch combination in the fifth but it was not enough as Hasson’s tireless jab never seemed to stop landing.

In the eighth and final round Hasson seemed to be looking for the knockout. His right hand landed throughout the fight but far less than his jab and left hook. Overall he did a good job and the inside body work was a key to victory. Though it might not make a lot of sense to this writer the fans would possibly like to see these two paired again in Philadelphia this time. The referee was Ricardo Vera.

The scores were 80-72 from both Steve Weisfeld and John Stewart while Hilton Whitaker had it 79-73 all for Hasson. Hasson is scheduled next on the December tenth show at the National Guard Armory in Philadelphia if the cut is healed by then.

Having followed Hasson throughout his professional career and while attending Northern Michigan University under Philadelphia’s Al Mitchell, it’s easy to say this was one of Hasson’s best performances. As he left the ring he said to this writer, “never saw me war like that, huh”? He was smiling as he said it and the first to greet him was his good friend and top middleweight contender, and sparring mate, Lajuan Simon. It would be hard finding a nicer pair of fighters than these two.

After the fight Hasson and Speller hugged and showed respect for each other that both deserve. Speller is much better than his record would show and coming back after a two year absence from 2007 to 2009 from a possible life threatening illness you have to give Speller all the credit in the world. Though this writer doesn’t like seeing Philadelphia match-ups when its two well liked people like Hasson and Speller, you have to give it to Peltz who continues to put on the best boxing shows up and down the east coast.

Unfortunately a six round bout between unbeaten Ronald Cruz, 9-0 (6), of Bethlehem and Dillet Frederick, 7-3-3, out of Fort Myers, FL, was scratched when Frederick came up with a last minute injury. Peltz Boxing announced they would give a 50% reduction in price to anyone that purchased a ticket from Cruz in his next bout.

In a sudden if not shocking stoppage in 2:02 of the first round southpaw Treysean Wiggins, 2-0 (2), of Newburgh, NY, put Camden’s Jason Sosa, 3-1-1 (1), on his back with his head under the bottom strand early. Sosa had maneuvered in his usual style in landing some nice body work when the roof fell in. Somehow Sosa got to his feet and no one in the crowd would have blamed referee Vera for stopping it at that point. Unfortunately for Sosa the bout was allowed to continue and he was visibly hurt and had no other option but to hold on. Once again Sosa was dropped, this time by a combination. Upon getting up it was certainly figured the bout would be stopped but neither Sosa’s corner or the referee saw it that way. Sosa was up and again staggered before the referee put a stop to it. To be fair to Sosa he came in as a replacement and was fighting at a higher weight in the light welterweight division and was still outweighed by four pounds to his much taller welterweight opponent.

Chris Green, 4-2 (1), of Asbury Park, NJ, seemed determined to get back into the win column as he was throwing bombs at Deroy Beaton, 1-2 ()), of Guyana, out of Toms River, NJ, in a lightweight four. The much taller Beaton got back on target in the second round and was giving Green trouble in a complete turn around from the first round. The third round slowed down and in the fourth Green was content to go on the defense occasionally landing a good shot to Beaton who just never could get it back after the second round. Both boxers are southpaws. All three judges had it 39-37 for Green as did this writer.

In a really good fight Julio DeJesus, 4-2-1 (3), of Franklinville, NJ, landed quite a few left hooks that shook Linwood Hurd, 2-2-4 (0), of Atlantic City from the very start in this light welterweight four. In the second round a welt started showing under the right eye of DeJesus. Whether it was from a head butt or not this writer could not tell.

DeJesus continued his assault on Hurd whose jabs were not keeping DeJesus off of him. In the third round with the swelling under the eye getting worse as DeJesus was trying for the knockout against the local boxer. The ringside physician checked DeJesus before the start of the fourth round. The muscular DeJesus was met with good opposition from Hurd who must have felt he was behind.

When the first score was announced 40-36 for DeJesus by Stewart this writer said to the one next to him “oh boy, Hurd has three draws already in seven fights. Don’t tell me we’re going to see another one.” The two other judges Weisfeld and Whitaker saw it 38-38 making it a majority draw. The good natured DeJesus seemed to take it in stride but the fans and this writer didn’t let alone the promoter. Like most in press row I had it for DeJesus and by the same as Stewart at 40-36. A rematch is certainly in store for this one. DeJesus who has Psalms 23 on the back of his trunks was probably thinking “As I walk thru the valley of death…” when the two draws were announced.

In the opening bout local amateur standout Rashad Brown, 1-0 (0), of Philadelphia but fighting out of the Upper Darby Gym, made his debut against the much shorter Greg Hackett, 0-3 (0), of Philadelphia in a super middleweight four. Brown used his jab throughout keeping Hackett at bay. Hackett would clinch most of the way when getting inside but landing an occasional overhand right. Brown took all four rounds on the official’s scorecards and once again Doc Nowicki showed up in the winner’s corner.

All in all it was a fine show and unfortunately may be the last show of the year for Peltz Boxing. Peltz serves as matchmaker for Main Events who have Zab Judah in November and Tomasz Adamek in December in Newark. Besides that Philly’s No. 1 contender and promoted by Peltz unbeaten Mike “MJ” Jones will appear on the undercard of Pacquiao and Margarito in Dallas on November thirteenth against Jesus Soto Karass which could be his toughest test to date.

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