Philadephia junior featherweight Teon Kennedy received an undetermined number of stitches to close a gaping gash over his left eye following Saturday night’s 12-round unanimous decision loss to Alejandro Lopez of Tijuana, Mex., at Bally’s in Atlantic City, N.J., according to his trainer, Wade Hinnant.
The 25-year-old Kennedy (17-1, 7 KOs) suffered the first loss of his career to the 24-year-old Lopez (22-2, 7 KOs), who won by scores of 117-111, twice, and, 115-113.
“He kept a pretty good pace in there as opposed to what we had seen on tape. But obviously Teon wasn’t himself tonight. He couldn’t pull the trigger for whatever reason.”
Hinnant revealed that Kennedy had suffered an injury to his right shoulder which he said “hampered him throughout most of the camp.”
“We got him some injections a couple of weeks ago, but we certainly can’t take anything away from what Alejandro did tonight,” said Hinnant. “Lopez fought an excellent fight, but it is what it is.”
Hinnant confirmed that before losing to Lopez, Kennedy had been offered a shot at WBC and WBO bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire if he could drop to 118 pounds.
“I got that from Teon’s promoter [Russell Peltz,] but I don’t know where he got it from,” said Hinnant. “There was some discussion about that, but it wasn’t a serious consideration at the time.”
GARCIA’S BACK ON OCT. 22
The 23-year-old Garcia will pursue his 27th victory without a loss, his 23rd knockout and his fifth consecutive stoppage on the under card of a main event featuring managerial stablemate Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs).
Garcia is coming off of June’s fourth-round knockout of Rafael Guzman (28-3, 20 KOs) and appears to be ready for a title shot, said Dunkin.
“We hope that Mikey will be in the opening fight. He’s ready [for a title shot] now, but he’s still young,” said Dunkin. “But there’s guys that he can definitely beat and win a title right now.”
The 28-year-old Donaire is the WBO and WBC bantamweight titleholder and will be after his fifth straight knockout against one of at least seven opponents whose names are being reviewed by officials from HBO, Top Rank Inc. and Dunkin.
They are Juan Mercedes (26-3 17 KOs), Sebastian Gauthier (21-2, 13 KOs) and Christian Esquivel (23-2, 17 KOs), Tshifhiwa Munyai (21-2, 10 KOs), Omar Narvaez (35-0, 23 KOs), Silence Mabuza (23-3, 19 KOs) and Alexander Munoz (35-4, 27 KOs).
A Filipino-born resident of San Leandro, Calif., who is ranked No. 3 on THE RING’s pound-for-pound list, Donaire last fought on Feb. 19, scoring a second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel for his 25th consecutive win and 10th stoppage in his past 12 fights.
CHAMBERS: ‘THE BEST SHOULD FIGHT THE BEST’
Philadephia contender Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs) believes that today’s rising, younger heavyweights have it easier than he has.
“Not that I’ve fought every monster in the world, but I have faced some pretty decent competition,” said Chambers, who has vanquished former contenders Dominick Guinn, Calvin Brock and Alexander Dimitrenko and ex-titleholder Samuel Peter. “I just wish that all of these younger guys had to prove themselves the same way that I did.”
Chambers could earn a rematch with Klitscho if he wins an October IBF eliminator bout with Tony Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) of Washington, D.C., who has scored five consecutive knockouts in as many wins since being stopped in the 11th round by Klitschko.
Chambers agrees that Thompson’s sometime sparring partner Seth Mitchell (22-0-1, 16 KOs) is among the division’s top prospects, as is Deontay Wilder (17-0, 17 KOs), who is Mitchell’s promotional stable mate with Golden Boy Promotions.
“I like the idea of a new crop of heavyweights coming up, and maybe there will be a shift in power if they can bring the title back here to the states,” said Chambers. “But I just don’t like the idea of so much ducking going on and too much positioning where a guy doesn’t want to fight this guy or that guy because he might lose his position.”
“In that Ultimate Fighting, they have to fight people to the point where even the best people have losses. Some of their best guys are undefeated,” said Chambers.
“But some of the other guys have losses because they’re forced to fight the best guys out there, and that’s how they make their pay per views and that’s why people are interested.”
Asked if he would like a shot at Mitchell or another young heavyweight, Chambers said: “I wouldn’t mind it. I wouldn’t say no if it came up, but I do think that the kids deserve a shot to go wherever they need to go.”
“I just don’t think that they are being put in positions where they are forced to fight — you know, ‘This guy is in that position, and I’ve got to beat him to get higher or to get to the next level,’” said Chambers.
“But there’s too much positioning being done for people who can talk well or that know people instead of just fighting.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com