Don't Let April 25 Klitschko-Jennings Get Lost in #MayPac Shuffle!

klitschko-jennings

I must counsel you, don't let everything else get lost in the shuffle, the May 2 superfight shuffle. Because May 3 will come, and there will be other fights, and there will other shooting stars to watch, and more ludicrous and wondrous chapters to follow in the book of life and this sweetest of savage sciences we call boxing.

Such as…

A heavyweight title fight, and the immensity of electricity attendant to that, will unfold on Saturday night, April 25, in that memory motel of an arena, Madison Square Garden.

Ghosts of prizefights past will be stilled, and watching as the skilled behemoth Wladimir Klitschko seeks to continue his spell of momentum, against Philly-effin-delphia's Bryant Jennings, an athlete who took up the sport just six years ago, and now will find out if he can handle the massive stage and bright lights in NYC, and on HBO.

The hitters took part in a conference call the other day, and talked about the forthcoming tangle.

Note, please: that you never know until you know. So…respect must be given for the possibility that we could have a new heavyweight to bow to come Saturday evening, a vegan boxer from Philly. Stranger things have happened, ya know!

Klitschko is a bit under the radar, more so than he should be, because the division stinks, and he's not American, and his style is not Tyson-esque. But he is an impressive specimen as a human being: athletically, and his persona, his principles, his ethos. Check out his big-picture take on what this opp means to Jennings…

“He’s fighting for his pride, but also he’s fighting for a lot of financial assets,” Wlad said. “I remember 2006 I was fighting for free, pretty much..Sometimes I really kind of have a smile on my face when I hear challengers complaining about certain things, that they’re not getting paid enough or the rules are not good enough or the gloves are not good enough or whatever. There’s a lot of complaints. I remember I was fighting; I was ready to fight in any gloves for any price. I mean, basically, for free.”

Wlad helps us see this clash rightly, helps us get out of the Manny-Money zone, when he says, “I am really excited to be back in the States. I’ve been fighting – champion of the world means to fight in different countries, in different cities, which I have accomplished in the past years. I’ve been fighting in Berlin, Switzerland. I’ve been fighting in Moscow, Russia. I’ve been fighting in many German cities. It’s always exciting to be back in the States and to be back at The Garden.”

The cerebral hitter knows his foe, and not just what he brings to the table physically, but how his upbringing and homeland might be affecting him. “Boxers from Philadelphia, they have certainly some style. ..Obviously, there is certain reflection of the region where the fighter is coming from, of the trainers that he was working with and the idols that he was looking up to. I think that I’m going to expect a Philly fighter. You know, a fighter from Philadelphia that is similar to Frazier and Witherspoon and many other fighters from this region, from Philadelphia, and I think that it’s going to be challenging.”

I can pretty much guarantee that he won't look past BY..

“He’s going to have a lot of support in the arena and he’s highly motivated, he’s very energetic, he’s a little hyper type of fighter, and he’s moves a lot, he’s very athletic, but hopefully he’s not going to move around too much, he’s going to come to fight the same way as Pulev did,” the 63-3 Wlad told us. “He didn’t move around much. He just came in and was throwing punches and being aggressive. So I’m hoping and expecting that Bryant Jennings is going to give me a fight where he’s going to be aggressive.”

Then Jennings, promoted by Gary Shaw of New Jersey, had his turn; 19-0-1-0 with 10 knockouts, Bryant “By-By” Jennings. He's wisely smelling the roses and seeing the beauty of the view in the Garden, it sounds like, wise in that he best enjoy the experience, as there is no guarantee that he'll win, if indeed he's waiting for fruition to adulate in.

“I first put on the gloves six years ago and here I am playing for the heavyweight championship of the world,” the American said. “So I’m doing it and I’ll be what I think is the fourth Philly-born heavyweight to ever fight for a title and the second Philly-born heavyweight to ever win it once I become champion April 25.”

Ah, but he isn't into BSing, and promising the world what he doesn't KNOW fully he can do, which is beat a supremely talented heavyweight. “The underdog is something that I’m used to being,” Jennings told us. “I understand that I’m a great underdog in this fight. That’s because people only look at the size and they look at the inexperience, but they don’t look at the possibility. All you have to do is respect the possibility that this fight could go either way.”

That's what I'm doing, respecting what is possible, not probable, but possible..

Jennings showed a Philly side, some fire, a little dissy-ness that I liked..

“He doesn’t fight back pretty well and he does a lot of things great, though,” he said, noting that Wlad likes to hold excessively. “That’s pretty much what it is. His weakness will be getting to his chin, but he does that great job, protecting that, but I understand that it’s going to be a tough task and it’s going to be that’s something that I – that’s what I signed up for. I’m with that. I’m all for it.”

You heard a mix of Philly tough but also a reality-based mindset, as well…Sounds to me like he knows, as best he can without being in there, what it will take to have some success. He has to get inside that long jab..

“Lateral movement, head movement and relentless effort will definitely penetrate and make a change,” Jennings said.

Readers, talk to me. Anyone sensing an upset special? Getting near enough to Wlad, now a defensive wizard, proves exceedingly difficult. Who remembers the last time anyone so much as BUZZED him? Does Jennings have the pop to touch him with a shot he sees coming? Play trainer; how can Jennings carry the night, and bring the belt back to PA?

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COMMENTS

-Bernie Campbell :

Jennings makes rookie mistakes on the canvas that can be anticipated and capatalized on! Has absolutely no power at all! Relys on combonations to consume his opponent! Has good footwork and will present a moving target to Mr Klitschko! Does not throw an overhand punch! Relys on punches from the side due to excessive body building which has atrophyd his punching ability! Saw him in a fight at the Prudential one year where is opponent went the distance with repetetive body punches! There could be an achilles heel there!Was knocked down by Bowie Tupoo in their match...The referee swept it under the rug and didnt acknowledge the score! (Maybe to preserve the title fight that was projected 2 years into the future)? Have never seen him totally dominate a fight! Spylka? Perez? even Liakhovich! Philly Fighter? Whats that mean? Anything to do with WC Fields?


-Froggy :

Jennings makes rookie mistakes on the canvas that can be anticipated and capatalized on! Has absolutely no power at all! Relys on combonations to consume his opponent! Has good footwork and will present a moving target to Mr Klitschko! Does not throw an overhand punch! Relys on punches from the side due to excessive body building which has atrophyd his punching ability! Saw him in a fight at the Prudential one year where is opponent went the distance with repetetive body punches! There could be an achilles heel there!Was knocked down by Bowie Tupoo in their match...The referee swept it under the rug and didnt acknowledge the score! (Maybe to preserve the title fight that was projected 2 years into the future)? Have never seen him totally dominate a fight! Spylka? Perez? even Liakhovich! Philly Fighter? Whats that mean? Anything to do with WC Fields?
Nice post !


-The Good Doctor :

That pic alone scares me. It looks like a pic of a heavyweight and a blown up super middle. This one will probably end up like Wlad's fight against Fast Eddie Chambers. Eddie had some skill, probably more than Jennings but was just too small. Wlad pumped the jab and then crushed him with a straight right that cut the lights out. Jennings is probably a victim of the same fate in 6.


-oubobcat :

Jennings makes rookie mistakes on the canvas that can be anticipated and capatalized on! Has absolutely no power at all! Relys on combonations to consume his opponent! Has good footwork and will present a moving target to Mr Klitschko! Does not throw an overhand punch! Relys on punches from the side due to excessive body building which has atrophyd his punching ability! Saw him in a fight at the Prudential one year where is opponent went the distance with repetetive body punches! There could be an achilles heel there!Was knocked down by Bowie Tupoo in their match...The referee swept it under the rug and didnt acknowledge the score! (Maybe to preserve the title fight that was projected 2 years into the future)? Have never seen him totally dominate a fight! Spylka? Perez? even Liakhovich! Philly Fighter? Whats that mean? Anything to do with WC Fields?
I remember the fight with Bowie Tupou. Jennings was not only down but was hurt bad. Jennings also had some dicey moments in his next fight against Fedosov. One thing to keep in mind about Jennings. He is an athlete who turned to boxing very late. He had very few amateur fights and has basically been learning the craft on the job. Jennings has 19 pro fights and somewhere between 10 and 15 amateur fights. Now compare that to the vast experience Klitschko has both as a pro (66 fights) and amateur (140 fights). Another thing about athletes turned fighters, particularly heavyweights. Their athletic abilities can only carry them so far historically in this sport and when they find their way into the ring with someone who can match their own athletic abilities and are well schooled in this sport they tend to come up short. Jennings was showing gradual improvement along the way until his fight with Mike Perez. Jennings seemed for whatever reason to take a step back in that fight. He was hesitant and unable to let his hands go in a lot of spots. It would have been the southpaw style that threw him off. Again, this goes back to the lack of ring experience. He was fortunate that there seemed to be something missing from Perez too that night and able to eek out a decision in a dull boring match. I hope Jennings makes a fight of it and in this sport you never know. I do think Klitschko is coming to the Garden to make a statement. He knows the bad taste left in people's mouths from his last fight in the US seven years ago. He wants to market himself here and to do so he knows he has to be more aggressive and go for a KO. By being more aggressive, he could expose that chin more than he has in the past. It could give Jennings a chance to catch lightening in a bottle. And that may be Jennings only hope in this fight.


-stormcentre :


That pic alone scares me. It looks like a pic of a heavyweight and a blown up super middle. This one will probably end up like Wlad's fight against Fast Eddie Chambers. Eddie had some skill, probably more than Jennings but was just too small. Wlad pumped the jab and then crushed him with a straight right that cut the lights out. Jennings is probably a victim of the same fate in 6.
My thoughts exactly. Also, Jennings' T-Shirt's transferred-image is a bit worrying. Does he need to convince himself and others of that, at this late stage of proceedings? Wlad takes it before 8 in another relatively boring fight where the opponent can't overcome Wlad's size, reach, and other attributes. Once Jennings realizes he can't past Wlad's jab and has ate a few seriously heavy shots over the course of a few rounds, by bet is he will psychologically let his confidence to win go; if it hasn't already shot out the back door by then. Still, I wouldn't like to get loaded up on by big bad Wlad.


-oubobcat :

By the way, there is almost no talk of the undercard fight between Sadam Ali and Francisco Santana. Ali looked terrific in his last fight destroying the tough hard punching Luis Abregu. Ali showed vast improvement over recent fights and some real promise. He has a good jab and is a good combination puncher. His hand speed is definitely above average. He is also well schooled in this sport with an excellent amateur background. If he keeps getting better, he could really be a player at Welterweight. Santana is one of those veteran fighters with some early losses on the record but those losses made him a better fighter. He has not lost in four years and has a recent upset of Eddie Gomez on his resume. Earlier in his career, Santana handed promising Jr. Middleweight Julian Williams his only blemish with a draw. Santana can fight and is a high volume puncher once his engine gets charged. He can pose problems to a lot of fighters and could make for a very interesting fight with Ali. Ali does has some defensive decencies though he looked better last time out against Abregu in that regard. Santana is going to bring high activity and I expect we will see some really good exchanges and sustained action in this one. I wouldn't just tune in for the main event. The Ali-Santana fight is a sleeper fight and I think is going to be a high action competitive fight.


-stormcentre :

You're right. I had forgotten about Ali and his fight with Abregu; whom sounds like a guy Bradley fought. I don't know much about Santana? Is he any good? Champion material? Who has he fought lately?


-oubobcat :

Santana is good. He is a volume puncher with some pop. In his last fight, he actually had a one punch highlight reel ko that will be in the running for knockout of the year. He is one of those guys who was thrown in tough early and absorbed some losses. But he got better from those losses and has really improved. He fought Eddie Gomez last last, a Golden Boy prospect, and was brought in as the opponent to showcase Gomez on Showtime. However, Santana sprung the upset in what was a very impressive performance. Santana also has a draw on his resume against Julian Williams who is really one of the top prospects in the sport today and has dominated everyone he fought with the exception of Santana. I am telling you this is going to be a good fight. A lot of people are sleeping on it but the way Santana fights he is going to push Ali and there will be action. I consider this to be an even money kind of fight. I will say if I were moving Ali, I would not be putting him in with Santana.


-stormcentre :

Yep - think I remember the Santana V Gomez upset last year. Watched Toney V Jirov the other night (again). Probably the squillionth time I have seen and loved that fight. Steward's commentary is top notch. Roaches' read of the game and adjustment of battle plan is pretty good too. Toney's corner comments are worth it too. Jirov's corner was absolutely woeful with their instructions. Jirov made so many mistakes and (aside from telling him to move his head) for 12 rounds they said very little other than "beat on him". Jirov was - stamina/determination aside (or perhaps not) - was tailor made for Toney. As is most guys without a defence and that refuse to adjust. Toney's ability to fight and punch smartly on instinct and whilst exhausted is about as good as it and (lazy) Old Skool fighting gets. Toney's ability to still let his footwork, clever punch placement, and craft shine; despite being out of shape and seriously pushed is a testament to learning all the tricks of the trade, and himself of course; legend in my books. That last Toney V Jirov round must be up there with the top 50 of all time best last rounds.


-oubobcat :

Yep - think I remember the Santana V Gomez upset last year. Watched Toney V Jirov the other night (again). Probably the squillionth time I have seen and loved that fight. Steward's commentary is top notch. Roaches' read of the game and adjustment of battle plan is pretty good too. Toney's corner comments are worth it too. Jirov's corner was absolutely woeful with their instructions. Jirov made so many mistakes and (aside from telling him to move his head) for 12 rounds they said very little other than "beat on him". Jirov was - stamina/determination aside (or perhaps not) - was tailor made for Toney. As is most guys without a defence and that refuse to adjust. Toney's ability to fight and punch smartly on instinct and whilst exhausted is about as good as it and (lazy) Old Skool fighting gets. Toney's ability to still let his footwork, clever punch placement, and craft shine; despite being out of shape and seriously pushed is a testament to learning all the tricks of the trade, and himself of course; legend in my books. That last Toney V Jirov round must be up there with the top 50 of all time best last rounds.
Toney-Jirov is one the best most and also most under appreciated fights in the last 20 years. Jirov came in with the strategy, as he did a lot, to try to out work and break his opponent down. I think too he was a little more emboldened in this fight believing that Toney at this weight was not in tip top shape (I know, shocking) and that his activity and power shots particularly to the body would break Toney down. Toney countered Jirov's aggressiveness beautifully that night. He countered to perfection, landing hard shots as Jirov constantly opened up. Jirov would duck down to work Toney's midsection and Toney would nail him with flush combinations to the head with Jirov's hands down. It was a terrific action fight. I might watch it again myself this afternoon.


-stormcentre :

Toney-Jirov is one the best most and also most under appreciated fights in the last 20 years. Jirov came in with the strategy, as he did a lot, to try to out work and break his opponent down. I think too he was a little more emboldened in this fight believing that Toney at this weight was not in tip top shape (I know, shocking) and that his activity and power shots particularly to the body would break Toney down. Toney countered Jirov's aggressiveness beautifully that night. He countered to perfection, landing hard shots as Jirov constantly opened up. Jirov would duck down to work Toney's midsection and Toney would nail him with flush combinations to the head with Jirov's hands down. It was a terrific action fight. I might watch it again myself this afternoon.
There is something about the master at work; Toney. The way he - under the kind of pressure that put a lot of other opponents down, as Jirov was riding high back then - just stuck to the game plan, got inside Jirov's head, and distributed an awful hiding all over Jirov's head, ribs, and flanks. And all with cleverly crafted punches and well thought combinations; as he was exhausted. That's basically saying I can make a come back and still beat the world champ whilst out of shape and not really serious; then doing it. For those 12 rounds; Toney paid absolutely no respect to Jirov. To fight at that level, remaining relaxed, and pull all those moves, is (in boxing) special. What really touches you as a fighter/fan is that you can see, that Toney, really loves to fight. Don't matter what all the other considerations are, fitness, weight, physique, . . . none of that matters. He just likes to fight and physically and psychologically dominate and embarrass opponents. How's his ability to throw shots from a southpaw stance? Both when he thinks ahead to do it and also when he is wrong-footed (by exhaustion or the opponent; or both); as a means of getting out of a tricky situation by doing something unexpected and brilliant. How do you stay confident for 12 rounds against a guy that does that to you whilst not even taking you seriously enough to both do road work and get in shape? I also loved the way Toney would deliberately put some (what we used to call) "after-slap" on his shots and then elevate his hand on the return stroke; just to highlight that his opponent was getting a smack-down as well as a beat-down. Total belief in himself. Also, Manny Steward's commentary was sublime and sensational. Spot on with all comments. Succinct. Just really insightful. I just don't know who else could have commented so well on a fight like that, and also guy with as many skills and as much personal and boxing depth as James; as Steward did. Brilliant stuff.


-stormcentre :

Toney-Jirov is one the best most and also most under appreciated fights in the last 20 years. Jirov came in with the strategy, as he did a lot, to try to out work and break his opponent down. I think too he was a little more emboldened in this fight believing that Toney at this weight was not in tip top shape (I know, shocking) and that his activity and power shots particularly to the body would break Toney down. Toney countered Jirov's aggressiveness beautifully that night. He countered to perfection, landing hard shots as Jirov constantly opened up. Jirov would duck down to work Toney's midsection and Toney would nail him with flush combinations to the head with Jirov's hands down. It was a terrific action fight. I might watch it again myself this afternoon.
There is something about the master at work; Toney. The way he - under the kind of pressure that put a lot of other opponents down, as Jirov was riding high back then - just stuck to the game plan, got inside Jirov's head, and distributed an awful hiding all over Jirov's head, ribs, and flanks. And all with, not just spitefully delivered shots that smacked the energy clean out of Jirov, as Toney repetitively called him in close "for more" and then proceeded to rock from side to side as he delivered a lesson in Old Skool precision punching - but also how cleverly crafted punches and well thought out James' combinations were; all whilst Toney was visibly was exhausted. That's basically like saying I can make a come back and still beat the world champ whilst out of shape and not really serious; then doing it. For those 12 rounds; Toney paid absolutely no respect to Jirov. To fight at that level, remaining relaxed, and pull all those moves, is (in boxing) special. What really touches you as a fighter/fan is that you can see, that Toney, really loves to fight. Don't matter what all the other considerations are, fitness, weight, physique, . . . none of that matters. He just likes to fight and physically and psychologically dominate and embarrass opponents. How's his ability to throw shots from a southpaw stance? Both when he thinks ahead to do it and also when he is wrong-footed (by exhaustion or the opponent; or both); as a means of getting out of a tricky situation by doing something unexpected and brilliant. How do you stay confident for 12 rounds against a guy that does that to you whilst not even taking you seriously enough to both do road work and get in shape? I also loved the way Toney would deliberately put some (what we used to call) "after-slap" on his shots and then elevate his hand on the return stroke; just to highlight that his opponent was getting a smack-down as well as a beat-down. Total belief in himself. Also, Manny Steward's commentary was sublime and sensational. Spot on with all comments. Succinct. Just really insightful. I just don't know who else could have commented so well on a fight like that, and also guy with as many skills and as much personal and boxing depth as James; as Steward did. Brilliant stuff. No wonder Jirov was never the same after that. The final uppercut on Jirov that saved the day for James - as James was offline and back from Jirov whilst he was already stumbling from the previous punches in the same well-paced combination; was genius. And, all of it was on the back of Roach having to seriously implore James to go out in round 12, do more, and take the fight. What was also excellent entertainment was James' responses in between rounds when Roach would try and motivate him. On one occasion - between either rounds 3 and 4 or 4 and 5 - Roach tells James (words to the effect) that Jirov is hustling him by outworking him, and that the remedy is to get out there and start handing out a beating. James responds with something (incredibly short) like "MothaTrucker"; that you could just tell meant . . "Freddie, you ask, and Jirov shall receive". And receive Jirov did. Throughout the entire fight, save for a couple of body shots, I don't think I ever saw Toney hurt by any of the hundreds of punches Jirov threw.