By Kurt Wolfheimer and John Disanto at ringside
Photos: Kathryn Warburton
Junior lightweight contender Teon “The Technician” Kennedy (19-2-2, 7KOs) was put to the test by Joselito Collado (13-3, 3KOs) and suffered a possible broken jaw before escaping with a grueling ten round unanimous decision victory on Saturday night at Bally’s AC in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the co-feature of the eight-bout card promoted Peltz Boxing Promotions, junior middleweight prospect DeCarlo Perez (11-2-1, 4KOs) survived a few rocky moments in the early on in capturing a hard fought eight round unanimous decision victory over Jamar Freeman (9-2-2, 5KOs).
The main event of the evening was billed as a tough crossroads between two boxers looking to risk their records in order to get back into elite status.
Teon Kennedy recently moved up two weight classes and bounced back into the winning column with a ten round unanimous victory gritty veteran Carlos Vinan. His opponent on Saturday night, Joselito Collado also had something to prove. Collado looked to bounce back from an unsuccessful attempt at the USBA title against Raymundo Beltran and a tough draw against undefeated prospect Wanzell Ellison. A win over the well-known Kennedy would put Collado right back into the elite status and more lucrative fights.
Both fighters looked in tip top shaped as they entered the ring, looking to wage war.
Collado, normally a boxer-counter puncher, shocked Kennedy in the early going by loading up and landing a big right on the button. Kennedy rolled with the punch, but was caught again with a strong four punch combination in the final thirty seconds of the round. Collado was moved well throughout the round and had found his punching range and his clean shots regularly found their mark.
Kennedy seemed unfazed by the shots as he continued to stalk Collado, attacking the body while Collado went on the retreat in the second round. Collado chose his moments to make the round close picking spots for his strong right hands while on the move. Some of the shots had made their impact and Kennedy was bleeding from the mouth as the second round came to a close.
It was a battle of wills in rounds three through five as Collado boxed well when circling on the outside, while Kennedy was the stronger puncher, digging harder body shots whenever on the inside in an attempt to slow the down the movement of the Atlantic City resident.
Collado seemed to turn the tide in the fifth stanza, stepping in and out pocket with clean straight combinations. Kennedy looked off balance as Collado pounded away with hard combinations when he was forced to go toe to toe.
Kennedy continued to work hard on the inside throughout the sixth and the seventh. Collado looked a bit tired and had to fight chest to chest. Still Collado was busier throughout, but Kennedy’s heavier hooks underneath allowed him to bang away in the eighth.
Both fighters slugged it out on the in the center of the ring, trying to impose their wills in the ninth. A Kennedy right on the button wobbled Collado. It wouldn’t matter though as Collado would not go away and valiantly tried to hold his own with the heavier handed Philadelphian. Kennedy looked really bothered by his jaw as he pulled away whenever Collado got his head underneath.
Both fighters continued to wage war with big shots in the tenth and final round. Kennedy was the one who was imposing his will though and his right hands up top were finding their mark. Collado dug his head in Kennedy’s chest and the blood from The Technician’s mouth was flowing freely down his opponents back.
The fight went to the scorecards as both fighters looked spent. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Teon Kennedy by scores of 96-94 x 2 and 98-92 for the hard earned unanimous decision victory.
Kennedy spoke afterwards on the fight and his injury. “I think I broke my jaw in the second or third round and I have a loose tooth,” said Kennedy. He also exclaimed that Collado was a tough fighter and his game plan was to work the body early and that is what made the difference.
The win puts Teon Kennedy right in line for a shot at some of the best in the junior lightweight division once he recovers from his injuries.
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In the co-feature of the evening, rising junior middleweight prospect DeCarlo Perez (11-2-1, 4KOs) had to shake off a pretty shaky third round in order to capture a hard fought eight round unanimous decision victory over Jamar Freeman (9-2-2, 5KOs)
The heavy handed Perez had really asserted himself from as an up and coming prospect when he bulled his way through former contender Shamone Alvarez and also in his last bout when he stopped “Vicious” Julius Kennedy.
He looked like the same bull on Saturday night as he pressed the attack in the opening two rounds with hard combinations. Freeman was intent to land single shots whenever possible, but could not match the pressure of Perez.
It all changed in the third however, when Jamar Freeman rocked Perez while he was coming in, with a hard right. Perez went to a corner and covered as Freeman went on the attack with a heavy five punch combination. Perez moved across the ropes to the far corner and covered again. Freeman still moved in with a couple of straight shots up top, but it looked like he didn’t want to punch himself out and Perez quickly recovered.
Freeman had gained confidence from the fourth and was snapping good left jabs in the fifth, but as the round wore on, Perez was began to find his mark with damaging hooks to the body. As the round came to a close, both fighters traded away, but it was Freeman who was landing cleaner up top.
Rounds six and seven were hard to call, as each of the pugilists had their moments taking control. Perez was the busier fighter though while Freeman backed up and picked his shots.
Freeman seemed to go into a sparring partner mentality in the opening two minutes of the eighth and final round, as he waited for Perez to land two or three shots before he would attempt a counter. Perez did get caught with a four punch combination late, but he easily dismissed it and kept coming forward with methodical and safe volleys while in tight guard.
The fight went to the scorecards, with the first two judges seeing it close at 77-75 x 2 in favor of DeCarlo Perez. The third official saw it just a little wider at 78-74, giving DeCarlo Perez the unanimous decision victory.
Montalvo upends Calderon
In the upset of the evening, Rafael Montalvo (3-4, 2KOs) shocked hard hitting welterweight Jose Javier Calderon (4-3, 4KOs) with a fifth round technical knockout of their scheduled six round contest. Montalvo stunned Calderon in the fourth and then floored him in the fifth round with a four punch combination. Calderon rose to his feet, but Referee Lindsey Page saw he was in no shape to continue and waived the bout off at fifty three seconds of the fifth round.
Valykeo out-wills Donahue
Cruiserweight Dave Valykeo (3-0) out willed a game Brian Donahue (2-5-1) over four rounds to capture a hard fought majority decision victory by scores of 38-38, and 39-37 x 2. It was a back and forth battle with each fighter finding his spots. Donahue, nicknamed “the Wildman” for his no fear style in the ring, seemed to have the edge in the opening round as he caught Dave Valykeo with heavier right hands whenever he was in punching range. Donahue wasn’t in the greatest of shape and he tired as the rounds progressed, which allowed Valykeo to slowly out will him with single shots up top. By the fourth round, Valykeo was consistently trapping him in the corners and against the ropes where he landed straight rights through the guard. Donahue wouldn’t quit as he winged hard single shots trying to change the tide, but just couldn’t land the decisive blow in the closing moments of the fight. One judge scored it even at 38-38, but was overruled by the other two officials who saw it 39-37 in favor of Dave Valykeo, giving him the razor thin majority decision victory.
Rivas impresses in debut
Junior welterweight Nathaniel Rivas was successful in his professional debut as he battered Carlos Nieves (0-5) throughout, dropping him once on his way to a solid four round unanimous decision victory by scores of 40-35 x 2 and 40-33 respectively.
Rideout makes quick work of Leonard
In the opening bout of the evening, undefeated heavyweight prospect, Mark Rideout (4-0) dropped winless Aaron Leonard (0-1-1) once en-route to a second round stoppage. Rideout found his mark early in the second, as he stood up Leonard with a straight left and put him on his back with a picture perfect right cross on the button. Leonard rose to his feet and covered up against the ropes in an effort to let Rideout punch himself out. Rideout was looking to end it though and immediately followed with a sharp one-two combination that snapped back the head of Leonard. Referee Brian Omelia had seen enough and called a halt to the contest at the 1:27 mark. The fight seemed to be called prematurely as Aaron Leonard looked in good condition, but it probably saved him from even more punishment.
Burgin dominates Del Valle
Philly junior lightweight sensation Anthony “Bad Boy” Burgin (5-0, 1 KO) battered Puerto Rico’s Jose Del Valle 1-3-2) over four rounds to win a one sided unanimous decision victory by scores of 40-36 x 2 and 39-37 respectively.
Garcia sinks Sunkett
Undefeated middleweight Ismael “Tito” Garcia (6-0, 3KOs) bounced off the canvas in the opening round to score a come from behind second round stoppage of Michael Sunkett (1-3,1 KO). The fight began with both fighters swinging away in the opening round. it was Michael Sunkett who was the first to find to find his mark with a big right hand. It caught Garcia flush and his gloves touched the canvas. It all changed though in the second round as “Tito” Garcia trapped Michael Sunkett in the corner and battered him with six unanswered shots. Sunkett was stepping in potholes as Referee Brian Omelia correctly called a halt to the contest at the 2:02 mark.