UPDATE: I spoke to Bryant Jennings, who was ringside for the fights at Barclays on Saturday night, and the Philly-based vegan pugilist who is maybe the best athlete in the heavyweight division is operating under the assumption that he’ll be rumbling with Wladimir Klitschko in NYC. I’m hearing that it’ll go down in April, and it would make sense, being that Jennings was digging the Brooklyn vibe, that it’ll unfold in the most unaffordable place to live in America.
“If you end up fighting Wladimir, you gonna beat him?” I asked, trotting out the most obvious of queries, but one I often employ, because I like to gauge the certainty, or lack thereof, of the answer. “Definitely!” he told me, his eyes gleaming with what I perceived to be a zestful enthusiasm.
Rumors are abounding that Wladimir Klitschko’s next bout will unfold in NYC. I asked Gary Shaw for intel, being that his guy, the Philly fighter Bryant Jennings, seems front in center in the mix to get a crack at Wlad.
Shaw was at Barclays Center in Brooklyn today, watching his kid Thomas Dulorme weigh in and make weight for his Saturday scrap against Hank Lundy.
To be exacting, there was less of Shaw there than I’d been accustomed to. 50 or so pounds less, in fact. The 70-year-old fightmaker told me his doc read him the riot act and so he’s off the carbs, and looks, to be honest, really good.
“You’re almost handsome,” I joshed. “Let’s get a room,” he cracked. But he wouldn’t part with much in the way of info, despite there being love in the air.
I told him I heard that Team Klitschko was wanting to sub in Shannon Briggs to fight Wlad, and I raised an eyebrow. I love Briggs’ pluck, but he’s 43, and the older Klitschko trounced him badly a few years ago. His prospects now? Well, he’s trimmed down, and so he actually maybe could do better…but Jennings (19-0; age 30), when he’s on, has a some more skills that could potentially bother Wlad.
“We’ve contacted Shelly Finkel (a US based rep for Wladimir) and talks are proceeding for a fight in new York,” he said. No specifics from Shaw beyond that, though I’ve heard March and then April on the grapevine.
Asked how Jennings could get the W on big Wlad (63-3; age 38), a pound for pound talent for sure, Shaw told me, “If he starts slow, and allows Klitschko to dictate the pace, he won’t win. He has to push from the opening bell. Jennings has an athletic ability that other guys Klitschko has fought do not have.”