Teon Kennedy Edges Lucian Gonzalez in Brawl at Bally’s!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (June 21, 2009)   
Even with the economy on the downturn Peltz Boxing seems to be bringing in the revenue with another sold out crowd, this time at Bally’s in Atlantic City earlier this month on the 6th. Many fans were expecting to see Philly’s best kept secret in Mike “MJ” Jones finally fighting Larry Mosley. Jones was injured in training causing a second postponement of the proposed fight.

Thanks to North Philly’s Teon “The Technician” Kennedy, 13-0 (5), and Lucian Gonzalez, 9-6-1 (1) of
Reading, Pennsylvania, they filled the void as best they could before fans on both sides screaming for their fighters.

Gonzalez went toe to toe with Kennedy through the first two rounds with Gonzalez getting rocked in the 1st round once. Gonzalez was the first to give ground before the round was over. It reminded me of how Leonard thought he could beat Duran at his own game. Gonzalez with only one knockout in his career does more slapping than punching at times. In the 3rd round he started moving and boxing, which is more to his normal style though Kennedy still seemed to have an edge until about 15 seconds left in the round when a chopping right backed Kennedy up and a good combination landed just before the bell. A toss up round that Gonzalez may have stolen by finishing so strong.

The 4th had Gonzalez landing a straight right turning Kennedy’s head. The 5th was almost too close to call. The 6th seemed to be a good round for Gonzalez outsmarting Kennedy by moving more. Gonzalez being more of a 6 round fighter stepping up to 8 seemed to tire in the last two rounds. He had
turned down moving this fight to a 10 round bout for obvious reasons. In the 7th Kennedy rocked Gonzalez with a combination. In the final round Gonzalez seemed to run out of gas but got some licks in as the stronger Kennedy continued stalking his opponent. Gonzalez had a ½ pound edge at 123.

“I thought I won the fight and would like a rematch in Reading,” said Gonzalez. His fans were surrounding him as this good natured fighter was smiling as usual. Gonzalez has always been a pleasure to watch. His versatility did not reflect on the judges scoring. Ron McNair had it 77-75 (as this writer did), Barbara Perez 78-74 and some how Joe Pasquale gave Kennedy every round 80-72. Samuel Viruet was the referee.

The semi-windup fight had Somers Point, New Jersey’s Patrick Majewski, 11-0 (7), putting his 5” height advantage to good use but getting outworked in the 1st round by North Philly’s Latif Mundy, 8-1-1 (3). Mundy was much quicker while Majewski was much stronger, seems Mundy was taking the 2nd round. In the 3rd round the tables would start to turn as Mundy took a hard overhand right to the left ear and went down. Mundy was able to come back in the 4th round. In the 5th Majewski put Mundy on the defense. In the 6th Mundy rocked Majewski who suffered a cut on the left eye lid and high on the side of the head. “I hit him with a good right hand for the cut on the eye. The other could have been from bumping heads,” said Mundy. The last two rounds Majewski finished the stronger of the two in going the 8 round distance for the first time in his young career. For Mundy, it was his first fight since August when he lost an 8 round decision that was reversed to a no contest. Asked if the lay-off hurt him, “it could have but I don’t want to make excuses,” he said. Considering it was probably his strongest opponent it may have been wise for his promoter to have had an easier fight first. The judges seemed off with scores 78-73, 77-74 and Perez with an incredible 80-71. This writer felt the knockdown round may have given Majewski the 2 point edge. Earl Brown was the referee.

“Big” John Poore, 21-3 (18), of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, returned to action having fought only 1 round (loss to Brian Minto) in the last 19 months. His opponent was the usually durable defensive minded Jermell Barnes, 18-21-2 (4), of Rochester, New York. Barnes had an 8 pound advantage at 223 ½, and seemed to be outworked most of the way in a fight that referee Brown had little work to do. The fight itself never seemed to get going until the 6th and final round. The usually offensive minded Poore was back with his old trainer and maybe it was an adjustment. “I sparred 8-10 rounds with Chazz Witherspoon without getting winded and came in here tonight pressed to go 6,” said Poore. “I wasn’t mentally in control like I usually am when I fight,” he added. The decision with all judges favoring Poore by 58-56 brought about mixed reactions from the fans. Barnes seemed very unhappy with the call but did little to change it inside the ring. Again, the promoter could have brought back someone not so defensive minded as Barnes for Poore after such a long lay-off between fights.

In a lightweight 4 rounder, the taller Jose Guzman, 5-4-1 (0), of the Bronx, was getting outworked by Eliud Torres, 2-1-1 (1), Allentown, Pennsylvania, until he rocked his fellow southpaw. Though Torres seemed to land more punches in rounds 2 and 3, he was very tired in the 4th and final round and it cost him the fight by split decision. Though Perez gave it to Torres 39-37, McNair gave the same score to Guzman with Pasquale coming up with a 40-36, seeming out of line. A draw would have been fair. The referee was Viruet. Guzman had a 1 ½ pound advantage at 135.

In the fight that provided the punch of the night, after splitting the first two rounds in a 4 rounder, Garrett Wilson, 4-2 (2), dropped Louis Robinson, 2-3-1 (2-3-1 (1), with an overhand right as referee Viruet counted him out at 2:06 of the 3rd round. It was West Philly over North Philly in this light heavyweight match. Wilson, who dropped from a debuting 193 to 168 in his last match in the span of a year, seemed comfortable at 178 to Robinson’s 179. Robinson was coming off a two year lay-off.

Atlantic City’s Osnel Charles, 1-0 (0), made his debut at 136, having his way, but showing his inexperience by backing off when hurting his opponent, Luquan Lewis, 0-2-1 (0), of Wyandanch, New York, who at 134, only fought in spurts. Charles rocked Lewis twice in the 1st round, with only the 4th being close. The judges gave it to Charles by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice. I agreed with the shut out. Referee was Brown.

The opening bout was a complete turn around after Rashad Bogar, 2-2 (1), of Newark, dominated the first two rounds, he was dropped by a left hook in the 3rd, by Ardrick Butler, 3-1 (0), of West Philly. Bogar did all he could just to finish. Scores of 39-36 and 38-37 twice were read giving Bogar the fight and the fans showed their displeasure. It seemed the wrong fighter got credit and a correction brought on the cheers as Butler received the verdict on the basis of the knockdown round. Butler at 194 had a 1½ pound advantage. Viruet had his hands full in a very sloppy fight.

Peltz once again proved to be one of the best small club promoters in the business, and after 40 years at doing his trade, seems content not to step up with the Arum’s and the King’s while even the “Gold Boy” Oscar De la Hoya has made the grade while still an active boxer. It has been awhile since Peltz has promoted in Atlantic City and in all fairness without the man event of Jones-Mosley it was a good small club show in a big town that likes to see one take a bigger gamble at times. Believe me Jones will be worth the wait for many of those who have not seen him perform.

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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