Teon Kennedy Fights For USBA
Super Bantamweight Title
But For Him It Is Just Another
By Tim Donaldson
Photos: Edan Davis
On Friday, November 20
at the Blue Horizon, Teon Kennedy will be fighting
Francisco Rodriguez for the vacant USBA super
bantamweight title. To talk to Teon, you would not think
that this fight was anything special. As he said, “This
feels like a regular fight to me. I know it’s for a
belt, but I’ve been doing it for a long time, since I
was six.” Teon is twenty-three now.
Teon is training at Joe Hand’s gym. Last Thursday, I
went to the gym to watch him train for the fight.
Working with his trainers, brothers Wade and Randy
Hinnant, Teon moved between his trainers in the two
rings set up in the gym. Randy worked with the mitts,
testing Teon’s offense, and Wade put on the boxing
gloves, testing his defense. He has been trained by the
brothers for almost seven years although he has known
them longer. “I knew them since I was six, but I finally
started training with them when I was sixteen.” It was
Wade and Randy that trained Teon for the Golden Gloves.
And if you don’t know, Teon was a national Golden Gloves
Teon sees his amateur background as extremely
beneficial. “I know what to look for,” he told me when
speaking of his amateur career. He had a long amateur
career, lasting twelve years. He started fighting when
he was six and turned pro when he was eighteen. His
amateur career extended not only to the Golden Gloves
championship but also to the USA boxing team.
Watching Teon, you will see a fighter who makes very few
mistakes. His trainers have given him the name “The
Technician.” Teon explained, “My coach gave me that name
because he says I do mostly everything right, the right
way.” The other thing you will notice with Teon is that
there is a calmness in his eyes when he fights. Even
under pressure, Teon continues to do what he knows needs
to be done.
Although Teon said that
this is just like any other fight, he might have a
little extra pressure on him. On September 19, he fought
against Lante Addy. The fight ended in a draw. However,
Teon does not seem to be letting that fight bother him.
“I thought I won, just the guy was pressuring me. I
don’t think he was hitting me all that much. I thought I
threw most of the punches, but some judges look for
people going after you, some like boxers. So you never
know what the judge is looking for.” And in response to
the question of whether he should have done anything
differently, he just said, “I probably should have
pressured him more, throw a lot more punches, but that
was about it. I thought I won the fight.” He was not the
only one to think that he won the fight. Although two
judges scored the fight a draw, one judge scored the
fight in favor of Teon.
Teon told me that he is “very ready” for this fight. He
is not worried about Francisco Rodriguez. I asked him if
there is anything that he needs to watch out for from
Rodriguez. “Nothing really,” he told me. “I watched the
tape a couple times. I don’t normally do that.” In
addition, he is working on a few improvements. “I am
trying to get my counter punch up to par, and I am going
to try to throw at least a hundred punches a round.
Right now, I am averaging 93.8 a round.”
Randy appeared happy with what he was seeing that
evening as Teon trained. He said that anyone coming out
to the fight “would not be disappointed.” And I, as one
who has seen Teon fight on several occasions, can say
that I am sure he is right.