By Rick Scharmberg at ringside
Teon “The Technician” Kennedy (15-0-1, 6 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA successfully defended his USBA super bantamweight title with a thrilling twelve round unanimous decision over Jose Angel Beranza ((32-18-2, 25 KOs), of Santa Ana, CA last night at Bally’s Atlantic City in Atlantic City, NJ. In the co-feature, Patrick “The Machine” Majewski (13-0, 8 KOs), of Somers Point, NJ stopped Loren “Rock” Myers (7-8-1, 2 KOs), of Fresno, CA at 1:06 of the sixth round of a scheduled eight round middleweight war. Peltz Boxing Promotions promoted the seven-bout card.
Team Kennedy knew their fighter was in tough. They had seen the tapes of Jose Angel Beranza beating former world champion Ivan Hernandez, and going the distance with current WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vasquez Jr., among others.
Kennedy was making it look easy in the first two rounds, hitting Beranza at will, while easily avoiding the return fire. As a former national amateur Golden Gloves champion, Kennedy can box with the best of them, but being from Philadelphia, he naturally enjoys the brawl. Kennedy won round three, also, but Beranza was closing the gap and picking up his pace.
Round four was extremely close, as was round five, where Kennedy landed three consecutive right hands at the end of the round, which might have won it for him.
The sixth was a great round for Teon, as he focused his attack to Beranza’s body. About halfway through, he landed a big right uppercut followed by another right, a right to the body, left hook combo, and another uppercut followed by a right hand. He closed the round with another right uppercut, this time followed by a hard left hook.
Beranza bounced back in the seventh. There were some intense exchanges, but Beranza held a slight edge in the round. By round eight, Kennedy’s right eye was starting to swell badly. Beranza swapped freely with him, and held a slight edge in this round too.
Rounds nine and ten were also close, but the edge had to go to Kennedy in them because while they were exchanging almost equally, Kennedy was landing the harder punches. In the ninth, Teon landed a big left hook near the end of round nine, and a big right midway through round ten.
Beranza was not without his moments, and while Kennedy won the eleventh round on guts alone, Teon’s right eye was now closing as well.
The final round was a throwback, reminiscent of the Bobby Chacon wars in the early 1980’s. All that was missing was a last second knockdown. The round was all Beranza, but Kennedy never stopped throwing punches, except to tie Beranza up on two occasions. Kennedy was exhausted, but his fighting heart was on full display.
The final scores were 117-111 (twice) and 115-113, all for Kennedy.
Majewski hammers Myers
Pat Majewski ran into a brick wall in “Rock” Myers in their scheduled eight round middleweight bout, nailing him with everything but the kitchen sink. The closest he came to knocking the burly Californian down was in round three, when he buckled his knees for a split second with a short right.
Myers was landing some left hooks and right hands, but they were far and few between when compared to Majewski, who really is a punching machine.
Majewski is a fighter who trains forever. As a result, he had the energy to turn up the heat even further in the fifth. A clash of heads left a cut on Myers’s forehead early in the round, and his face was soon a mask of blood. Majewski continued to break Myers down with his bombs.
They were trading on even terms early in round six, when referee Eddie Cotton stopped the action to have the ringside physician look at the cut on Myers, which was bleeding profusely. On the doctor’s advice, the bout was stopped at the 1:06 mark.
Vinan – Flores draw
“Flawless” Anthony Flores (8-1-1, 5 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA and Carlos Vinan (9-8-4, 1 KO), of Newark, NJ fought to a split draw in a six round junior lightweight bout. Flores, who was fighting for the first time since suffering his first loss last September 19, appeared to do enough to take every round except the first. He used his jab to keep the shorter Vinan on the outside in rounds two and three, and then had a huge round four where he cut Vinan on his left eye.
Round five saw Flores pound Vinan to the body, and limiting Vinan’s punch output to only a few harmless jabs in the round. Round six was more of the same, with Flores out-landing Vinan at a three-to-one rate.
Still, the judges did not see it that way, scoring 58-56 for Vinan, 58-56 for Flores, and even at 57-57.
Mercado stops Nieves again
Josh Mercado (4-1, 1 KO), of Cape May, NJ bombarded Joel Nieves (0-2), of Allentown, PA with a barrage of unanswered punches that left referee Eddie Cotton little choice but to stop the bout at 1:02 of the second round of a four round welterweight bout.
Nieves came out fast, chasing Mercado around the ring. Mercado calmly avoided Nieves rushes, before responding with his own shots.
Early in round two, Mercado hurt Nieves with a big right, and followed up with a left hook – right hand combination that had Nieves covering up on the ropes. Mercado was on him in a flash, punching non-stop until ref Cotton called a halt.
Mercado improved on a September 2009 performance, where he stopped Nieves in the third round.
Cruz breaks down Cruz
Unbeaten Ronald Cruz (9-0, 6 KOs), of Bethlehem, PA systematically broke down veteran Juan Ramon Cruz (16-9-1, 12 KOs), of Hartford, CT, stopping him after four completed rounds of a scheduled six round junior welterweight bout.
Ronald shook Juan Ramon with a big right in the opening round, but suffered a cut on the corner of his right eye in round two. Ronald came out strong in the third. Fighting through his own blood, he repeatedly landed hard overhand rights and uppercuts that seriously weakened Juan Ramon.
Ronald was landing hard right hands almost will in round four, before dropping Juan Ramon with a left hook/double right hand combination. There was no quit in Juan Ramon, who pulled himself up, only to be caught with a left hook that put him down again with seconds left in the round. Juan got up again, and took two more uppercuts before weaving his way back to his stool, where his corner stopped the bout.
Carson gets by Garcia
In the opening bout of the night, Ryan Carson (3-0, 1 KO), of Norristown, PA won a majority decision over Marcos Garcia (0-2), of Camden, NJ in a four round junior lightweight bout.
Garcia took the opening round handily, cutting Carson under his right eye, and landing to the body. Garcia continued to work the body of Carson in round two, but Carson was able to put together some power shots to the head to give him the round.
Round three went to Garcia, who continued to have success to the body. Round four was close, but Carson pulled it out with a strong finish that may have won the bout for him.
The final scores were 40-36 and 39-37 for Carson, and even at 38-38.
Jastrzebski upsets Maxwell
In the walkout bout, lanky Rafael Jastrzebski (2-7-1, 1 KO), of Atlantic City, NJ defeated Troy Maxwell (2-1, 1 KO), of Galloway, NJ by split decision in a four round super middleweight contest.
Shorter and muscular, Maxwell bulled Jastrzebski around the ring with his shoulders and arms, much like a power running back would do. That tactic is great for football, but all it did in a boxing ring was to give him no room to punch. Jastrzebski took advantage of that, kept his hands moving, and as a result, landed more punches throughout the bout.
The final scores were 40-36 and 39-37 for Jastrzebski and 39-37 for Maxwell.