By Jake Donovan
Hall of Fame promoter Russell Peltz raises an interesting in defending Teon Kennedy’s chances this weekend as the Philly contender faces Guillermo Rigondeaux.
“It amazes me how a fighter who fell in love with boxing at eight years old, who won a national golden gloves title and has only lost once in 20 professional fights can be given so little of a chance to win Saturday night by the so-called boxing experts of the country,” wonders Peltz.
Not helping matters much is the fact that Kennedy hasn’t won a fight in well over a year as he enters his first title fight. Worse is that it comes a fighter as talented as Rigondeaux, one of the most decorated fighters in amateur boxing history who has already made a name for himself in a short amount of time as a pro.
Kennedy (17-1-2, 7KO) is in the midst of a two-fight winless streak as he prepares for his assignment in a supporting capacity to Manny Pacquiao’s welterweight title defense versus unbeaten Tim Bradley. The event takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, his second straight fight in Sin City after having spent his young career entirely on the East Coast.
Despite failing to secure a win in his last performance, Kennedy received rave reviews for his terrific 10-round battle with Christopher Martin this past January in Las Vegas. Both fighters were coming off losses and fought like they were in need of a turnaround. The majority decision draw verdict seemed fair, although there was a considerable amount of support in suggesting Kennedy deserved the nod.
Regardless of the past, Kennedy remains confident that his time is now. His hometown of Philadelphia is well represented on this weekend’s card, with promotional stablemate Mike Jones vying for a vacant welterweight belt and Jesse Hart – son of former middleweight contender Gene ‘Cyclone’ Hart making his pro debut off television. Kennedy has no intention of disappointing anyone other than his critics.
“Philadelphia is back,” Kennedy proudly stated to the media on hand at the undercard press conference Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas. “Come Saturday you’re going to see a very good fight and most likely I’m going to win.”
The odds suggest a different outcome, but his handlers aren’t too concerned about what is expected to happen.
“When everyone in boxing says go left, you better look right,” Peltz insists. “If there were as many experts in our business as there claims to be, then the business will be a little better off.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments via e-mail.