PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 03, 2015                                                              
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Story & file photo by John DiSanto


When Bryant “BY BY” Jennings, 19-0, 10 KOs, defeated Mike Perez at Madison Square Garden last summer, he earned the right to fight for the WBC heavyweight title.  That is, once Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder fought each other first. Jennings waited patiently for his title shot, only to see the Wilder-Stiverne bout delayed over and over again. 

Of course the fight finally came off a few weeks ago, but by then Bryant Jennings had already moved on.  When Wilder lifted the crown from Stiverne’s head, “BY BY” was already deep in negotiations to fight IBF, WBO, WBA, and IBO champ Wladimir Klitschko, the man universally considered to be THE heavyweight champion. 

On Wednesday, Jennings and Klitschko will be in New York City to officially announce their world championship fight set for April 25th at Madison Square Garden.

Some believe that Jennings would have been better off waiting for his chance to fight Wilder, rather than taking on the far more formidable Klitschko.  But Bryant Jennings doesn’t see it that way.  He just doesn’t think like that. 

Jennings has been following his own drummer since he turned pro, just four years ago.  He’s come this far by believing in himself and showing a willingness to face any opponent, no matter what the odds.  After all, that’s how this hard-working fighter has managed to accomplish so much in such a short period of time. 

So Jennings just used the same philosophy in deciding to fight Klitschko.  And in the end, he says taking this path wasn’t even a difficult choice to mske. 

“Once the opportunity presented itself,” Jennings said, “I immediately went that way.  At the time the Wilder and Stiverne fight wasn’t even in the talks really.  You know how long they dragged that fight out.  By the time their fight was scheduled, mine (with Klitschko) was scheduled.” 

The fact that Klitschko is a tougher opponent than Wilder never fazed Jennings. 

“I’ve always came up on the harder side of the road anyway,” Jennings said.  “I’d rather take the hard way.  Once I take the hard way, all the other stuff will just be easier for me.” 

Jennings also believes that the harder road is where he will find the greater glory. 

“I always knew that if I wanted to be the best, then I had to fight the best,” Jennings said.  “Most people don’t even reflect on history and realize that some of the greatest heavyweights of all time weren’t that big.  I’m a guy that’s at traditional weight for a heavyweight that has great movement and has great athletic ability.  I have it all, but they’re not even looking at the attributes that I bring to this fight.” 

It’s true that most people feel that Jennings is just too small and too inexperienced for Wladimir Klitschko.  To Jennings, disproving this theory to all the doubters is what this fight is all about. 

“I really have to prove this to people,” Jennings said.  “And once I prove it to them, they are really going to be in for a real treat.  Because once I prove it to them, then they get to feel what greatness really is.  I think this is a great matchup.  It’s really the best of the best, and I will definitely bring my A-game.  I’m looking to come out on top.” 

Jennings and Klitschko are set to meet, 1:00 PM on Wednesday, February 4th, at Madison Square Garden – Chase Square, to formally announce their fight. They fight April 25th.




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - February 03, 2015