PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                       October 28, 2011


Home Boxers Fights Arenas Non-Boxers Gyms Relics More About Contact



According to TEON KENNEDY's attorney, Dan Stevenson, the once-beaten junior featherweight is in the clear regarding that serious legal battle he has been up against since Memorial Day. Stevenson said that all charges have been dropped against Teon. "The judge decided that the lack of legal evidence warranted an end to Teon's involvement in the case", said Stevenson by telephone. So except for the slim possibility that the case will be appealed to a higher court, Kennedy's worries seem to be over. This good news paves the way for Teon (17-1-1 / 17 KOs) to resume the rest of his still-promising career. Recently a potential high-profile opportunity on HBO against up-and-coming Gary Russell, Jr. (18-0 / 10 KOs) fell through when the Russell camp insisted that the bout be fought at 127 pounds - just a bit too high for Kennedy, who was willing to move up to 126. No catch-weight compromise could be made, so now Russell will take on Dat Nguyen (17-2 / 6 KOs) instead. After this less-competitive match was made, HBO decided to remove the fight from their live 11/26 broadcast and only air recorded highlights. So Team Kennedy must find a new "next move" for Teon, who is coming off his first career setback. But compared to the criminal charges that could have halted his career - and life - in its tracks, that should be a piece of cake.

Speaking of big opportunities, North Philly junior middleweight GABRIEL ROSADO recently landed his first shot to perform on the Showtime cable network. Rosado (18-5 / 10 KOs) takes on undefeated riser Jonathan Gonzalez (14-0 / 13 KOs) on November 11 in a nationally televised match-up (11PM on ShoBox). The bout is the main supporter for the WBA Jr. Middleweight title contest between champ Austin Trout (23-0 / 13 KOs) and Frank LoPorto (15-4-2 / 7 KOs) in El Paso, Texas. Early this week, Rosado and guru BILLY BRISCOE took off for training camp in New Mexico to prepare for the fight they hope will put them in position for an even bigger move. Hopefully Rosado will look good enough in the fight to give the Showtime execs the bright idea of matching him with the winner of the main event. We'll talk to Rosado and Briscoe next week from training camp and have a pre-fight report here.  UPDATE: On October 28th, Jonathan Gonzalez pulled out of his fight with Gabriel Rosado. Rosado informed Philly Boxing  History from his Albuquerque training camp that his new opponent would be Euri Gonzalez (20-1-1 / 14 KO) of the Dominican Republic. However when the new match could not be finalized by promoter Gary Shaw and Showtime, the Rosado fight  was pulled off the card completely on October 31st.   

Big chances for Philly fighters in 2011 don't end with Rosado. Philly's on-the-brink welterweight, MIKE JONES, puts it all on the line December 3rd in his Madison Square Garden debut against Sebastian Lujan. The usual nerves of fighting in boxing's most hallowed of halls (MSG) for the first time, will be nothing more than a blip on Jones' radar compared to the career crossroads pressure he'll be feeling against Lujan. In addition to risking his perfect 25-0 (19 KO) record, his gaggle of regional titles (NABA, NABO & WBC-CA), and his #1 ranking in the WBO (aka the Manny Pacquiao lottery), Jones fights for the #1 spot in the IBF against Lujan (38-5-2 / 24 KOs). Lately MJ's name has started to drop as a possible 2012 opponent for WBO champ Manny - the best P4P fighter in the world. Fighting Manny is a fine opportunity to collect some serious cash, but becoming the mandatory contender for IBF champ Andre Berto opens a very viable door for Jones' title dreams. The fight with Lujan is one he has to win - and look good while doing it. It is time for Jones to make his statement to all of boxing (with a big PPV audience tuned in). He struggled in his last chance when everyone was watching (vs. Soto-Karass I last November), but December 3 is an even better opportunity for him to make an impression. Lujan is experienced but is more available than Karass when it comes to taking hard shots. My only worry about Lujan is that he's from Santa Fe, Argentina where they breed all-time greats like Monzon and Galindez. But chances are this will be a good night for Mike Jones.

The date for LAJUAN SIMON's crack at the middleweight title against Gennady Golovkin (21-0 / 18 KOs) has been moved twice now. However instead of having to fight in the wilds of Kazakhstan, this third date for the fight (December 10) has landed Simon in the more boxing-civilized world of Dusseldorf, Germany. Even better, the fight will be the main  preliminary for heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's defense against Jean Marc Mormeck at the ESPRIT Arena. Simon (23-3-2 / 18 KOs) could have never escaped Kazakhstan with the belt, and although Germany is the current homefield for Kazakhstani Golovkin, Simon should get a better shake in Deutschland. Although Steve Cunningham may disagree.

Speaking of STEVE CUNNINGHAM, the IBF did the right thing and ordered an immediate rematch between Cunningham and Yoan Pablo Hernandez, given the outrageous nature of the result of their first meeting on October 1. The rematch is scheduled to occur by February, with the winner required to face the patiently-waiting Troy Ross by May. Cunningham is psyched and more determined than ever to get back in there and get his title back. My question is - "Is it possible for Cunningham to get in better shape than usual?" I think he's already maxed out that meter, so I doubt it. But just imagine USS Steve with a chip on his shoulder and the desire to seek revenge. Look out Hernandez. Look out Sauerland. Look out Germany.

BERNARD HOPKINS was given back his recognition as middleweight king by the  usually-corrupt WBC, despite the California commission's as-yet final ruling of his "should be No Contest" bout against Chad Dawson. The WBC did the right thing - sort of - when they ruled the fight a Technical Draw and kept Bernard as their champion. However, to me, it looks like a dangerous precedent is being set by the WBC. By jumping out and making their own ruling before the commission weighs in, it certainly opens the door for the WBC to start getting into the "results" business. With this populist call making most of us happy, the evil WBC has set the stage for an brand new way of meddling in boxing's big picture. In the future, watch for the WBC to start overthrowing close decisions that go against their chosen ones. This gives them a way to manipulate their title without having to create new variations of their already-compromised belt (Silver Belt, Champion Emeritus, etc). I like the fact that they won't have to go to a "Bronze" or "Platinum" version of their strap to accommodate Jose Suliman's whims, but I think this is a disaster waiting to happen - even in WBC terms - not so much with the recent stinking Hopkins result, but for certain with the many close calls coming down the pike. It's too bad that their reputation is so awful that I get suspicious even when the WBC tries to do the right thing.

Congratulations to ROBERT "BAM BAM" HINES who enters the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame on November 10th. Hines, a former IBF junior middleweight champion in the 1980s, will be honored at the NJHOF's annual banquet at the Venetian in Garfield, NJ. Hines, now a trainer at West Philly's Shuler Gym, is quite deserving of the honor. He was inducted into the PA Hall in  2010. Last-minute tickets for the NJ banquet can be purchased until November 3rd. Call NJ Hall president Henry Hascup ASAP (973-471-2458) for details.

Finally, JOEY EYE and DAVID FELDMAN stage their fifth boxing show at Harrah's Chester tonight (Friday, October 28). The once-promising card featuring a PA State light heavyweight title bout between Tony Ferrante and Tom Karpency as well as crowd-pleaser-king Victor Vasquez, will go on as a mere shadow of its former self. With Karpency and then eventually Ferrante bowing out, plus with Vasquez off the card, main event duties have been hung on a pair of heavyweight bouts (oh GOD!). Come-backing GERALD NOBLES (26-1 / 21 KOs), inactive since 2007, will return in a 6-rounder against Joseph Rabotte (11-18-1 / 3 KOs), while FRANKLIN LAWRENCE (16-2-2 / 11 KOs) and Raymond Ochieng (23-14-3 / 18 KOs) will (hopefully) clash in an 8-round heavyweight bout. The best match on the card is a 6-round super middleweight fight between 10-0 DERRICK WEBSTER and TANEAL GOYCO, 4-2. It doesn't look too good on paper, but chances are it will be the best thing going tonight in Chester. A full report on the Chester card will be posted this weekend.




John DiSanto - News & Notes - October 28, 2011