Teon Kennedy and Lante Addy Battle to Draw in Atlantic City - A tribute to Arturo Gatti!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 21, 2009)    
It was a tribute to Arturo Gatti entitled “Night of Thunder” and Kathy Duva’s Main Events put on a first class event between fights at Bally’s in Atlantic City Saturday night. While too many times the main event is never the fight of the night this was an exception! Philly’s Teon “The Technician” Kennedy, 13-0-1 (5), kept his unbeaten record by earning a hard fought majority draw against Ghana’s Lante “Hiroshima” Addy, 6-4-1 (4) over 10 rounds in a super bantamweight fight.

Kennedy was in a no win situation fighting someone with Addy’s record who on paper you knew was a much better fighter. Kennedy is ranked #7 in the USBA ratings and Addy just may get rated with this fight since 12-15 is not rated. A rematch for the vacant USBA title could be the prize. Addy is fighting out of the Baltimore area and would welcome a rematch. Kennedy’s promoter J. Russell Peltz has been promising a title fight to Kennedy while doing the matchmaking for Main Events in this one. The last 2 fights for Kennedy have been hard fought with non rated fighters like Addy and Lucian Gonzalez in June, also at Bally’s.

The first 4 rounds of this fight seemed dead even after a quick start by Kennedy with Addy taking the last 2 rounds. The 5th round was non-stop punching by both fighters with the crowd screaming in approval. Addy was pressing forward the entire fight while Kennedy countered him well. In the 8th round a straight right hand had Addy rocked backwards and holding on. In the 10th and final round both fighters let it all hang out as Addy who had fought 3 bouts previouisly going 12 rounds showed no let up. This was Kennedy’s first 10 rounder. I believe the fans and possibly two of the judges felt when a 6-4 fighter can hold his own with a 13-0 fighter he should get credit for it. Judge’s Emil Conforti had it 98-92 Kennedy while John McKay and Shafeeq Rashada saw it even 95-95. This writer felt Conforti scored the fight correctly. Kennedy landed more punches but was in the toughest fight of his professional career. “I thought I won though he is the best fighter I have fought in the US,” said Laddy. This was the third straight unbeaten fighter he has fought in the US. “He was strong and awkward. Better than I thought from seeing his films,” said Kennedy. Steve Smoger served as the referee.

In a 6 round bout between two unbeaten super featherweights you could not have asked for a better fight. Philly’s Anthony Flores, 8-1 (5), took the fight to Passaic’s Victor Valenzuela, 7-0 (1) throughout. His jab had his opponent’s face reddened from the 1st round. It was when he looped his right hand he got countered well by a Valenzuela left hook that couldn’t miss all night. This may have accounted for the scoring in his favor. In the 2nd round on 3 occasions that left hook found its mark. In the 4th round Flores was cut on the left eye brow when the fighters clashed heads. Jimmy Williams, co-manager and cut-man did an excellent job of stopping the bleeding the rest of the way. Flores seemed to come back in the 5th and outworking Valenzuela. In the 6th and final round Flores moved a lot but was not effective as his opponent outscored him. “I knew I should have done more being he was from Jersey,” said Flores. He was quite dejected by this first loss which was understandable. Especially when Rashada had it 60-54 from somewhere in left field. McKay and Conforti had it 58-56. This writer saw it 57-57 and felt it warranted a rematch.

Jeremy Bryan, 12-0 (5), of Paterson, had an easy night stopping Gary Bergeron, 10-5 (6), of New Orleans, at 2:31 of the 4th in a scheduled 6 light welterweight match. Referee Sparkle Lee had seen enough as Bergeron was on the receiving end from the opening bell. “I want the Golden Boy fighters like Danny Garcia,” said Bryan. That would certainly be a step up in the type of competition he has faced so far in his young career.

Atlantic City’s Alfred Kinsey, 6-4-1 (3), found out his punches do not have the same effect on light heavyweights as they did on light middleweights earlier in his career. Philly’s Garrett Wilson, 5-2 (2), never stopped throwing punches. In the 3rd round Wilson landed 8 unanswered punches as he had Kinsey pinned to the ropes. Wilson showed respect for Kinsey, but easily won this 6 rounder. Lee was the referee.

Cape May’s Josh “No Limits” Mercado, 2-0 (1), dropped debuting Joel Nieves, 0-1 (0), of Allentown, PA, in the corner in the 1st round. Nieves was never in the fight as referee Smoger did the right thing stopping this one when Mercado was landing at will with Nieves back to the ropes at 2:13 of the 3rd round. Mercado has a nice following.

In the opening bout Steven Martinez, 2-0 (2), of the Bronx, seemed to have a slight edge on debuting Stanley Harvey, of Norfolk, VA, as Harvey had a small cut high on the left side of his head examined by the ring physician between rounds. Martinez opened up in the 2nd round landing 11 straight punches as Harvey finally fell to the canvas. Referee Smoger immediately waved it off at 2:04 of the round. Pablo Nieves is the trainer of this 3 time NY GG champ who won his debut August 27th.

As mentioned earlier this was a tribute to the late Arturo Gatti who had contributed to many charities such as Cancer fund raisers. In Gatti’s 15 appearances in Atlantic City rings, there were 8 complete sell out crowds. The mayor has named a street after Gatti in Atlantic City. Many well wishers were on hand to celebrate Gatti’s ring accomplishments.

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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