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Bam on Boxing: Teon Kennedy and DeCarlo Perez



Teon Kennedy and DeCarlo Perez

Many Peltz Boxing fans know Teon Kennedy. People remember him for his outstanding amateur background and his tough fights as a pro. They recall he won the vacant USBA super bantamweight championship in his historic, but tragic fight with Francisco Rodriguez, of Chicago, IL, at the Blue Horizon. By the way, that was the last Peltz promotion (Nov. 20, 2009) at the legendary venue.

Kennedy won the NABA super bantamweight title when Alex Becerra, of El Paso, TX, failed to answer the bell for clip_image006round 11 nearly one year later at Bally’s Atlantic City. Who can forget when Kennedy put it all on the line, challenging for the WBA world super bantamweight title last summer against well-seasoned Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, who won by knockout in five rounds.

But the Kennedy that fans have followed through these ups and downs is not the same fighter we will see next weekend. Although he made a name for himself at super bantamweight (122 pounds), Kennedy decided to move up to junior lightweight (130) following a one-year layoff. After watching him break down Carlos Vinan, of Newark, NJ, on June 1 at Ballys, it appears Kennedy is looking to make a statement at junior lightweight as well.

Kennedy comes to fight and he showed against Rigondeaux that he has more heart than the average fighter, getting off the canvas five times to keep trying. His Aug. 24 opponent at Bally’s, Joselito Collado, of Queens, NY, is no stranger to Philadelphia fans, having fought four times at the Blue Horizon between 2008 and 2009. This will be Collado’s first 10-round fight; it will be the 10th time Kennedy has been scheduled for 10 or 12 rounds (eight of which went to at least 10).

This fight is crucial for both parties. Collado (13-2, 3 K0s) is looking to build his name at junior lightweight. Kennedy (18-2-2, 7 K0s) wants to make a statement that he can become a contender at the higher weight.

Another fighter who recently signed with Peltz Boxing also has had weight issues. He is DeCarlo Perez, of Atlantic City, NJ, who turned pro as a welterweight (147 pounds) and now fights at junior middleweight (154). Perez is still developing and he has grown so much since turning pro three years ago that he is a completely different fighter.

The biggest win on Perez’ record was his third-round knockout over local rival Shamone Alvarez in 2012. Personally, I was more impressed with him beating Julius Kennedy, of Windsor Mill, MD, in his last fight in April.

Popular Harry Joe Yorgey, of Bridgeport, PA, twice struggled with Kennedy and was awarded a couple of dubious decisions. In between the two Yorgey-Kennedy fights, Perez knocked out Kennedy in five rounds. Anyone who was at Harrah’s Philadelphia that night could feel the electricity. Perez is bigger and stronger at 154 pounds and he feels more comfortable at that weight.

Perez (10-2-1, 4 K0s) takes on lean and lanky Jamar Freeman (9-1-2, 5 K0s), of Wilson, NC, next weekend in an eight-round contest which shapes up as a solid match.

Due to fighters like Kennedy and Perez, the Aug. 24 card at Bally’s is must-see entertainment.

The author is a Temple University graduate who is now a part of Peltz Boxing. Follow us on twitter @Peltzboxing and BAM @BAMboxinginc.