Teon Kennedy Fights For USBA
Super Bantamweight Title
But For Him It Is Just Another Fight

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 champion.

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.


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