BAM on Boxing

The Test of a Fighter



On fight night boxing changes from a team sport to an individual sport. There is not much left for the team

to do, it is all up to the fighter at that point.


Saturday night, super bantamweight Teon Kennedy lost his first fight, along with his NABA and USBA

titles. Everyone watching was thinking the same thing--Kennedy (17-1-1, 7K0s) should have cut the ring off

better, he should have been quicker, he should have done a thousand things that he just did not do.


People began to make excuses for him, not noticing he did not make any excuses himself. He gave it his

best shot, and on that particular night it just was not good enough. Sometimes that happens; it is not worth

judging a fighter on one bad night, instead judge him on what he does next.


This was Kennedy’s first shot at a fighter who moved a lot, and the fans could tell. Regardless of how good

Alejandro Lopez (22-2, 7K0s) looked, Kennedy did not seem himself. It was as if he had that off night

that night fighters are not allowed to have. He knew what he needed to do, he just could not execute.

Kennedy could not catch up to Lopez.


Kennedy (pictured above) is no longer undefeated. Does that make him a different fighter? No. He gave it his

all, he has more heart than anyone could expect. His right eye looked swollen shut in about the fourth or

fifth round and by the end of the fight Kennedy appeared blind in both eyes. That did not stop him; he went

out there and fought his heart out.


There are more undefeated fighters now than ever. Is it because they are that good? Or have they been

carefully matched. Kennedy has bounced back time and time again, and there is no doubt this is

something else he will bounce back from.


The loss should only make people more interested in Kennedy, in his next move, his reaction, and where

he goes from here. The test of a fighter is to see what he does after a loss. Does he stick to what he is

comfortable with, or will he adapt.


Everyone cannot be Floyd Mayweather Jr (41-0, 25K0s). Not every fighter goes the distance and stays

undefeated, and there is nothing wrong with that. After Bernard Hopkins (52-5, 32K0s) lost in his pro debut

in 1988 he went on to have 22-fight undefeated streak until Roy Jones Jr. beat him in 1993.


Hopkins lost to Jones Jr. in his first shot for the IBF middleweight title. That one loss obviously did not stop

Hopkins from accomplishing his goals. The next time he fought for the IBF title he faced Segundo Mercado

of Equador. Hopkins was dealt a draw that night, but he did not let that stand in his path. Hopkins won the

IBF middleweight title in 1995 in the rematch with Mercado.


Hopkins defended his IBF middleweight title and added the WBC and WBA titles. Currently, Hopkins holds

the WBC light-heavyweight title.


Kennedy may no longer have his perfect record, but he has learned a lot about himself. One loss should not

keep him from accomplishing his goals, Kennedy is the type of fighter who will adapt and get stronger

because of this experience.


The author is a senior in sport and recreation management at Temple University.

She joined Peltz Boxing as an intern. Follow Peltz Boxing on twitter@PeltzBoxing

and our intern @bamonboxing.



- Press Release from Peltz Boxing

- Photos courtesy of Peltz Boxing


Subject to change