English super-bantamweight champion Josh Kennedy moved up to 11-0 in sensational fashion with a six-round thriller with former Commonwealth titlist Bobby Jenkinson (11-5-1) at Mote Park in Maidstone on a packed JE Promotions event.
The scores of 59-57 to Kennedy, in what was his first professional contest in his home county of Kent, did not really do the away corner justice, who threw everything at the Folkestone fighter.
It was always going to be an explosive contest between the aggressive pair, who met at the featherweight limit.
From Lincoln, 26-year-old Bobby ‘Dazzler’ has a track record of upsetting the home favourites and he tried his utmost to cause trouble against Kennedy.
It was in September 2015 when he stunned Frank Warren prospect Lewis Pettit in the 11th round to lift the vacant Commonwealth super-bantamweight title, despite entering the fight as the underdog in the away corner.
Kennedy started the fight working behind a stiff, sharp, strong jab and dominated the opener although he allowed ‘Jenko’ to come back with a bit of his own success towards the end of the round but it was nowhere near enough to swing the scores his way, although it was a glimmer of what was to come.
Round two was much the same with Kennedy controlling things behind a crisp jab, something he had been working on with his new team at the Peacock Gym during training camp for this fight.
In the middle rounds, Bobby ‘Dazzler’ began to get more success with his impressive work rate and dragged ‘Handsome’ into some ugly battles when backing him up on the ropes.
The end rounds were filled with 50-50 exchanges and became an exhilarating contest to watch. The fight finished in fair fashion with each fighter throwing everything they had at each other, despite both looking ragged. The final 30 seconds was admirable as Kennedy, with his back to the ropes, and Jenkinson stood and traded with each other, swapping leather non-stop until the final bell sounded.
Kennedy’s arm was lifted as the scores of 59-57 were read aloud, which angered the away corner who immediately called for a rematch with the English super-bantamweight title on the line next time.
Post-fight, the winner said he wanted a shot at Ashley Lane’s (12-8-2) Commonwealth super-bantamweight title next and hinted at signing with a big promoter.
Maidstone’s Chris Matthews bounced back from February’s defeat to move up to 9-1 with a 40-37 score against a very ambitious opponent in Michael Horabin (0-2).
23-year-old featherweight Jack Budge (2-0) doubled his win tally in his first appearance under the JE Promotions banner against Luke Fash (2-38-2) winning all four rounds.
Margates’s Paul Brown (2-0), 27, kicked off the show with a very comfortable win over Dinnington’s Darren Snow (5-24-1), also signed to JE Promotions.
Welterweight Danny Barrett (1-0), 25 from Stoke in Kent, took all four rounds against 38-year-old Slovakian Rudolf Durica (1-20). Bizarrely, both fighters in the ring started their combat careers as kick-boxers.
Standout boxer of the night was Lenny Fuller (1-0), 23 from Chart Sutton, who had the perfect debut by scoring a knockdown and winning all four rounds against Hyde’s Dale Arrowsmith (1-15-1).
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