McKinney Takes a Step on the Comeback Trail


When you see 12-21-1 listed next to a boxer’s name, you know he’s either a very bad boxer or someone inadvertently listed the guy’s gym locker combination in the program.

In the case of Jorge Rodriguez of Bell, however, neither was true. He did lug that incredibly bad record into the ring on Tuesday night at the Country Club in Reseda. But shockingly, he was not a bad fighter.

He merely was not as good as Kennedy McKinney.

McKinney, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist as a bantamweight before his pro career was shelved for a year because of a drug addiction, pounded out a unanimous eight-round decision over Rodriguez in the main event.


The fight had no stirring moments. It had no memorable moments. What it did have was McKinney, 126 1/2 pounds, consistently beating Rodriguez, 129, to the punch and scoring a shutout, winning every round.

McKinney is 10-0-1.

In the most exciting bout of the night, Joey De Grandis of Boston, now living in Los Angeles and being trained and managed by the Ten Goose Boxing Club of Van Nuys, scored a unanimous four-round decision over Jason Burrel of Corona in a super middleweight bout.

De Grandis, making his pro debut after winning the New England Golden Gloves championship twice, pounded Burrel with heavy punches in every round, but Burrel responded with his own heavy punches and the two often stood toe-to-toe, tagging each other with thudding blows.

In another wild bout, David Kamau of Kenya, now living in Los Angeles, improved his record to 6-0 by stopping Alan McMasters of Los Angeles 49 seconds into the fourth round.

In other bouts, Larry Loy, 128, of Van Nuys, scored a four-round unanimous decision over Mark Jenkins, 125, of San Diego. Loy is 2-0. Also, Derrick Ryles, 222, of Huntington Beach scored a four-round split decision over 255-pound William Morris of Ontario and Eddie Cook, 118, of Las Vegas ran his record to 6-0 by stopping Francisco Peralta of Bell in the third round.