If you were at the fights Saturday at Bally’s Atlantic City, you started your summer off right. With six competitive bouts out of seven presented, you were in for a real treat! The best part is that three fighters aligned with Peltz Boxing Promotions put on successful and entertaining performances.
Junior lightweight Anthony Burgin, of Philadelphia, PA, gave Nuwan Jayakody, of Sri Lanka, a boxing lesson for four rounds. Burgin (4-0, 1 K0) has all the skills in the world to toy with his opponents. It was nice to see him against an orthodox fighter since his first three opponents were lefties. I have enjoyed watching Burgin grow up in the amateurs and now in the pros.
Burgin is a crafty boxer who knows how to use angles at a young age (21). Some may be critical because he is not a knockout artist. You never know what the game plan is for a fighter. Perhaps getting in the work over four rounds is what is most important right now and that may play a part of why he is not knocking guys out. Regardless, his skill set is promising.
Burgin’s stablemate, junior lightweight Jason Sosa, of Camden, NJ, also turned pro with just a single knockout in his first four fights, but he made a statement Saturday night when he pulled himself off the canvas to win by knockout (left).
While switching from an orthodox stance to southpaw, Sosa was caught with a right hand from Georgi Kevlishvili, of Georgia in the former Soviet Union. That punch put Sosa in the floor in round two and briefly changed the complexion of the scheduled eight-round semifinal. Sosa got back into the fight in round three and both men fired away. Scores were 28-28 across the board going into the fourth round. Midway through the round Sosa caught Kevlishvili on the ropes and landed a short inside right hand which put Kevlishvili on the floor, face down. The wobbly, out-of-sorts Kevlishvili barely made it to his feet and, when he did, he was in no shape to continue. Referee Steve Smoger halted the bout. Sosa improves to 9-1-3, 5 K0s.
The bout that had everyone concerned was the scheduled 10-rouind main event between Teon Kennedy, of Philadelphia, and Carlos Vinan, of Newark, NJ. A typical Philadelphia vs. New Jersey rivalry was in the making. Both fighters were coming off extended layoffs–Vinan two years, Kennedy one year. Both fighters were rusty in the early rounds. Kennedy, after moving up two weight classes from super bantamweight (122 pounds) to junior lightweight (130), showed he was clearly the more technically sound fighter.
By the fourth and fifth rounds, Kennedy (18-2-2, 7 K0s) had shaken the ring rust and began to school his opponent. He appeared more relaxed at 129.5 pounds. For the first time in awhile, Kennedy’s eyes were not swollen, kudos to cut man Danny Davis for working some magic. Kennedy turned it on in the later rounds and proved to be much stronger then Vinan, who was knocked down in the bout’s final 20 seconds. Kennedy took the unanimous decision and he earned it.
The Peltz stable hopes to continue the winning streak on Friday evening, June 14, at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Heavyweight Bryant Jennings, of Philadelphia, will be facing Andrey Fedosov, of Shuya, Russia, in the 10-round main event. Welterweight Ronald Cruz returns to the ring in his hometown against Ray Narh, of The Bronx, NY. On the undercard, Philly junior welterweight Hasan Young will face Ariel Duran, of Queens, NY. The following night at the Valley Forge Casino, local light-heavyweight Todd Unthank-May will look to keep his 6-0 record perfect.
The author is a Temple University graduate who is now a part of Peltz Boxing. Follow us on twitter @Peltzboxing and @BAMBoxingInc. Photographs by Katie Warburton.