Talking things over with his crew—managers Doc Nowicki and Jim Williams and trainers Randy and Wade Hinnant—Kennedy decided to move up two weight classes to 130 pounds, junior lightweight.
Feeling more comfortable at the new weight, Kennedy took on Carlos Vinan, of Newark, NJ, on June 1 at Ballys. After a slow start, Kennedy found his groove, taking command in the third round and dropping the iron-chinned Vinan in the 10th en route to a unanimous decision.
Since the June 1 fight, the Hinnant brothers have had a tough time keeping Kennedy out of the gym.
“I’ve never seen Teon so dedicated,” Wade Hinnant said. “It’s like he’s starting all over again. He knows a win on over Collado could lead to bigger things.”
Collado (right), also is taking this fight seriously.
When it was first signed in mid-July, he and trainer Gary Stark immediately made the trip to Mullica, NJ, to get the pre-fight medicals out of the way so they could concentrate on training.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, where he turned pro in 2006, Collado moved his base of operations to New York in 2008 and has won 13 out of 15 fights, three by knockout.
The only men to beat Collado, both by decision, were Casey Ramos, of Austin, TX, who was 14-0 at the time, and Jerry Belmontes, of Corpus Christi, TX, who was 16-0 when he beat Collado in Collado’s last fight on Sept. 8, 2012, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
Collado has beaten Rafael Lora, of Irvington, NJ, and Andres Ledesma, of Miami, FL.
“Training has been going well and Collado is in top shape,” said Stark. “We been getting good (sparring) work in the gym and we’ll be ready.
“It hasn’t been easy for Collado to get the right fights for the right money ever since he lost to Belmontes. Now we feel we have the right fight and the right situation and it’s time for us to make a move in the (junior lightweight) division. I know Kennedy is a good, tough fighter but so is Collado.”
Seven additional fights complete the card.
August 20, 2013