ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Teon Kennedy won a unanimous decision over Jose Angel Beranza on Saturday night in his first match since an opponent collapsed in the ring and later died.
The super bantamweight contender from Philadelphia matched Beranza punch for punch most of the way, and the crowd at Bally's Atlantic City was on its feet by the end. Judges Robert Grasso and John Stewart scored it 117-111, while Walesta Roldan had it 115-113.
The 23-year-old Kennedy (15-0-1) stopped Francisco Rodriguez in the 10th round last November in Philadelphia, and Rodriguez collapsed in the ring after the fight. He died two days later from brain injuries, and Kennedy took six months off to deal with the emotional strain.
Kennedy relied on his boxing skills against Beranza (32-18-2), but the fight turned into a slugfest after the first couple rounds that conjured images of Arturo Gatti's old fights in Atlantic City. Both of Kennedy's eyes were swollen shut by the end and he was bleeding from the mouth, while Beranza had a welt under his right eye.