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  Alejandro Lopez Shocks Local Philly Fans, Defeating Teon Kennedy;
And Undercard Results from Bally’s Atlantic City

By Tim Donaldson
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey

 

Walking into the fight, I passed the slot machines, black jack, and roulette tables. Gamblers everywhere watching and waiting, hoping that with the flip of a card or the spin of the wheel that they would hit it big. Years ago I would come down with my friend Al and we would try our hand at the games. We had a system. And we almost always left with less money than we came in with. When it comes to boxing, however, I thought I was getting pretty good at picking the winners. How hard can it be? Just a matter of checking out the fighters’ records, and things like that.

So yeah, I thought I was walking into a sure thing. How could Teon Kennedy lose? And the others on press row thought the same thing. “Looks like it should be a good fight,” I said to one of the other reporters. Now this is about as non-committal as you can get when talking to the other members of the press. Most are making grand predictions that would make Dionne Warwick and the Psychic Friends Network proud. But I was simply trying to get some information on Lopez. Unfortunately, I had never seen him fight, or I might not have thought that it was quite the sure thing. “He’s fast, but he doesn’t have the power that Teon has. Teon should have little trouble.” Exact words, I swear.

Now I don’t know what Teon or Lopez thought about their odds coming into this fight. I’m not even sure that fighters think about things like odds. They have more pressing matters to attend to. But starting out in the first round, Teon looked like the comfortable one, while Lopez seemed the more unsure. Then again, maybe it was my certainty that Teon couldn’t lose that made it seem that way. Teon was using his jab early in the round, and Lopez seemed to be always up against the ropes. As the round came to a close, Teon was going to the head and body, landing a combination with Lopez on the ropes. It all looked good to the fans of Teon Kennedy.

Unfortunately, for those fans, the first round was the best for Teon. Round two brought out a new Lopez. From the beginning of the round, he was showing more speed. Teon was using his jab to press Lopez back. That’s exactly what I expected to see from Teon. I had seen him in tough fights before, and he always made the adjustments that he needed. Then Lopez landed a combination to the head of Teon. As the round came to a close, Lopez had figured out exactly what he needed to do. Being the slightly taller fighter with longer reach, he just needed to keep the distance, which is exactly what he did.

Rounds three, four, and five all kind of blur into each other. Even now as I look over my notes, I don’t see much difference in them. Lopez’s confidence was growing, as he moved side to side staying just out of Teon’s reach. Lopez would come in and land a combination and then return to his fancy footwork. At times, it looked more like he wanted to dance than fight, but how can you really say that about the winner of the fight. Besides, it was his footwork that won the fight. At the end of each of those rounds, Teon would manage to land a two to three punch combination.

By the end of round five, had I changed my mind about who was going to win this fight? No, absolutely not. Like I said, Teon has been in some pretty tough fights and has always managed to win. A few adjustments on Teon’s part, and Lopez was sure to tire. But that never happened. In round six Teon was trying to cut off the ring. When he tried to come in and close the distance, he took of barrage of shots. Lopez was just getting cocky now. He started winding up and throwing fakes. At the same time, he would do his shuffle. As the fight continued into round seven, Lopez kept it up. At one point, Teon was about to throw a punch, then held back as Lopez once again used the fake. At times Lopez didn’t seem like he was doing that much offensively, but he was obviously doing enough.

By now I was starting to think that maybe I was wrong. Maybe.

Lopez started round eight throwing his combinations. Then Teon was able to catch Lopez on the ropes. That seemed to be the answer. Get right up against Lopez and stop him from using his reach advantage. Different people in the ballroom started to yell to Teon to do this, as though maybe this thought hadn’t crossed his mind yet. Whoever thought of it first, it was working. Teon was pressing Lopez back, keeping him against the ropes. But then once again Lopez put some distance between the two and started dancing. Teon froze. Teon was using the same technique in round nine. As long as Teon was in close, he was landing.

But Teon’s eyes were swelling. The last time that I had seen Teon fight at Bally’s he was fighting with one eye practically closed. In round ten Teon took a shot as he moved in on Lopez. Lopez kept up the side to side movement. Teon was having trouble landing. Lopez landed combination after combination until Teon stopped him with a right. Lopez though had a new strategy. Hit Teon’s swollen eyes. Teon seemed to be fighting without sight, landing mostly when leaning on Lopez. Round twelve was much the same.

Lopez raised his arms in victory. Did they even need to read the scores? Well, with the controversy of recent decisions, maybe they did. The scores were 117-111, 117-111, and 115-113. Oh, in case you were wondering, they were all for Lopez.

And I learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes, and I do mean sometimes, it is just as hard to pick a winner in the ring as it is to pick the right number on a spin of the roulette wheel.

Dynamite meets Taco Man


What happens when Dynamite meets Taco Man? The answer should be obvious. The salsa goes flying. Now maybe this sounds like a really corny comic book, but it’s not. Karl “Dynamite” Dargan defeated Juan “Taco Man” Suazo for the UBO Intercontinental Lightweight title. That’s right, UBO—the Universal Boxing Organization. I just googled it and it was actually fifth on the list of sites. Someone over there needs to start working the press.

Suazo came out in round one trying to get off to a quick start. But it was all for nothing. Dargan knocked Suazo down. The punch landed; Suazo started backward; then Suazo went down. It looked like slow motion. Suazo tried to close the gap, but without a knock down, he couldn’t. Suazo started round two chasing Dargan. At one point, he had Dargan on the ropes, but Dargan spun off. It was obvious that Dargan was doing all the damage to Suazo, as blood was streaming from Suazo’s left eye and right nostril.

At the start of round three Dargan kept Suazo back with the jab, followed by three consecutive rights. Even when Dargan had his back on the ropes, he was still able to bob and weave, avoiding the shots. The next three rounds Dargan had little trouble with Suazo. Even when Suazo was chasing Dargan, he was taking the punishment. By the sixth round, Suazo’s corner threw in the towel, even though Suazo was still fighting.

Undercard Results

Cruiserweight Pedro Martinez won by unanimous decision against Elvin Sanchez. Martinez knocked Sanchez down once in the first round and twice in the second. All three judges scored the fight 38-35

Welterweight Yordenis Ugas also won by unanimous decision over Fernando Rodriguez. Although Rodriguez looked good in the first round, Ugas controlled the next five rounds of the six round fight. The scores were 59-55, 59-55, 58-56

Super Bantamweight Camilo Perez won by TKO over James Owens. Half way into the second round, Perez knocked Owens down and practically out of the ring. Although he got up before the count was over, referee Benjy Estevez called a halt to the fight.

Super Middleweight Derrick Webster got the unanimous decision over Romaro Johnson. The scores were 59-55, 59-55, 60-54.



 

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