News: Teon Kennedy; Sean Cogavin; Said Mbelwa
Philadelphia, PA-Former world-title challenger Teon Kennedy, of Philadelphia, and undefeated Jerry Belmontes, of Corpus Christi, meet in a 10-round junior lightweight contest on Saturday evening, Dec. 8, at Pearson/McGonigle Halls on the campus of Temple University. The fight will be part of the NBC Sports Network Fight Night show.
Topping the show will be another Philadelphian, Bryant “By By” Jennings, who defends his USBA heavyweight championship against Bowie Tupou, of Tongo, in a scheduled 12-round contest.
The eight-fight live card begins at 7pm and the NBCSN broadcast will begin at 9PM ET.
“Teon no longer can fight as a super bantamweight,” said promoter J Russell Peltz. “He has had trouble making 122 pounds for more than a year and he feels more comfortable at 130. He wants to make a run at junior lightweight and he picked a formidable foe in Belmontes, who has not lost in 17 pro fights.”
Main Events CEO, Kathy Duva, said “This is a classic “crossroads” situation for both fighters. Belmontes is the new guy, trying to make a name for himself while Kennedy is at an entirely different kind of crossroads in his career as he reinvents himself in a higher weight class.”
Kennedy. 26, has not boxed since June 9 when he was stopped in five rounds in Las Vegas, NV, by Guillermo Rigondeuax, of Cuba, in their scheduled 12-round bout for Rigondeaux’ WBA super bantamweight title.
A pro since 2007, Kennedy has a 17-2-2 record with seven knockouts. He is a former USBA super bantamweight champion and has wins over Jorge Diaz, of New Brunswick, NJ, and over Jose Angel Berranza and Alex Becerra.
Kennedy is happy to be back in Philly, “It’s a great opportunity to fight on this card in Philly, cause I can showcase my skill again on TV…and when I win, it will put me me back where I need to be.”
Belmontes, 23, is 17-0, 5 K0s. Known as the “Corpus Christi Kid”, Belmontes was an amateur superstar in Texas, and has dispatched seventeen straight opponents since turning professional in 2008.
In his last fight on Sept. 8 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, Belmontes earned an eight-round unanimous decision over Joselito Collado, of Jamaica, Queens, NY. In May of this year he easily outpointed Ramesis Gil in 8 rounds in Pharr,TX.
This will be Belmontes’ second fight on the East Coast. Belmontes immediately jumped at the opportunity to take this fight with no concern about being in Kennedy’s backyard, “Hell yeah, I’ll take the fight! Fans are really going to like this one. I have watched all of Kennedy’s fights on TV. I have a lot of confidence I’ll get the ‘W’.”
You play football…you play baseball…you play basketball. You don’t play boxing…you fight.
Many people think that boxing is no more than two people throwing punches at each other within a squared ring; few understand the components that lead up to even stepping foot between the ropes…the blood, sweat and tears exuded by a fighter inside and out of the gym, the discipline to make weight, and the sacrifices required to put 100 percent into all aspects of training.
For 22-year-old Sean Cogavin, boxing isn’t simply a hobby or a ‘recreational sport’; it has become a way of life. Since lacing up the gloves for the first time only a few months ago, Cogavin immediately felt his connection to the sport.
Training out of Aces Boxing Club in Boonton, New Jersey, Cogavin has always been the first one in and the last one out of the gym, motivating veterans of the game while inspiring newcomers.
After only months of training, Cogavin got his taste at amateur boxing, and despite suffering defeats against more experienced boxers in his first four trips to the squared circle, he refused to get down on himself and become complacent with his training.
All of his hard work paid off this past Friday night when he earned his first ‘W’ as an amateur boxer, stopping his opponent 40 seconds into the 2nd round of their bout.
“I needed a win, and needed it big,” said Cogavin about the win. “Each loss, I didn’t really feel like I was getting discouraged, I was just wondering what I was doing wrong. I am in the gym six days a week. Going in I was confident, but a little skeptical and nervous. My opponent was given a standing eight count in the first round and
I could see that my punches were hurting him. In the second round I stepped on him, knocked him down, and when he got back up, I jumped back on him and the ref stopped it.”
Cogavin proved to himself and all of his teammates at Aces that hard work and diligence inside and out of the ring pay off. Never did he become down on himself or think he didn’t belong in the sport. Instead he continued to work hard and knew that he would be victorious if he stayed perseverant.
About the win, Cogavin commented, “I can’t even tell you how good it felt. I thought, ‘thank God!’ The kid I fought had a lot of fans, and to go in and be an underdog on his turf and come out with the kind of win I did, it was great. I can’t even put the feeling into words.”
Through his first four fights Cogavin went to battle with fighters who had been training the majority of their lives, and the young pugilist knew that each time out was a learning experience.
“It’s a brand new sport for me, so I knew I was going to take some losses in the beginning,” said Cogavin. “Each of my four fights were tough, against guys who had more fight, more experience and more gym time. I’m playing catch up. Taking some beatings is part of the game. I was expecting it. It didn’t beat me down though. Each fight my eyes opened up more and more. Now each fight I am calmer, and I know what to expect.”
There’s a reason why boxers a rare breed. Boxing isn’t a seasonal recreation sport like basketball or baseball. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. To be successful with the gloves on, boxers must be able to commit 100 percent to everything they do, from their roadwork, to maintaining their diets, to showing up at the gym and working hard day in and day out.
Sean Cogavin is a testament of what can be accomplished through hard work and an unrelenting desire to improve and work towards achieving greatness.
Going forward Cogavin is looking to remain active and try to fight every weekend leading up to the Golden Gloves tournament in 2013.
“In boxing you have to keep your head up,” said Cogavin. “Each loss is nothing but a learning experience. Keep on chugging along. Each time you fight you gain more and more experience. It takes balls to do what we do.”
22-year-old Sean Cogavin has the work ethic of a seasoned veteran, and continues to get better every fight. There isn’t much that can stand in the way of the hard hitting, slick southpaw, and there is no doubt that he has not only the heart and the drive to go far in this sport but also the skills, tools and resources.
“I’d like to thank Aces Boxing Club and everybody along the way,” Cogavin closed with. “My mom and dad always give me a great deal of support, and even boxing writers Chris Cella and Steve Janoski. What you guys do, it makes it great.”
Said Mbelwa arrives in Kabul, vows to knock out Rahimi in four
Only two days to go until middleweight contender Hamid Rahimi makes history by stepping into the ring for the first professional boxing event ever in his homecountry Afghanistan. “The whole country is so excited and looking forward to the “Fight 4 Peace”. It’s simply overwhelming”, says Rahimi who is followed by hundreds of fans to each interview and public appearance he had in the last couple of days.
But one man wants to crash the party and plans to do so in style. Rahimi’s opponent Said Mbelwa arrived in Kabul this weekend and made it very clear that he hasn’t come all the way from Tanzania to lose the “Fight 4 Peace”. “I give Hamid Rahimi and his team my respect for organizing this event and for doing what they’re doing”, said Mbelwa. “I understand that this is a very spezial event for Afghanistan and a very important message for the whole world. But once this bell rings it will be a boxing fight like any other. And I can promise you that I will be victorious. I am very well prepared and I am sure that I will knock out Rahimi in the fourth round.”
When Rahimi and his coach Balu Sauer heard about Mbelwa’s “promise” they had a very simple answer. “It’s good to know that he wants to knock Hamid out in the fourth round”, said Sauer on a press conference. “This means that we have to adjust our game plan, be faster than him and knock him out in three. It’s as simple as that!”
The “Fight 4 Peace” between Rahimi and Mbelwa takes place in Kabul on Tuesday, Ocober 30th, The 12 round middleweight bout will be for the vacant WBO international championship which will be labeled as “peace championship” for this spezial occasion. The main purpose of the event is to set a sign for peace and freedom in a country which has suffered from war and terrorism for almost fourty years.
“We want to show the people that sports can be more powerful and more influential than politics”, says Rahimi. “We want to give the people hope and something else to think about than war, terror and death. It’s very important to send a message to the world that we will not give in and keep on fighting for what’s right. Together we can achieve great things if we have faith and if we all “Fight 4 Peace”.”