By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Bryant Jennings Challenges Wladimir
Wladimir Klitschko is looking for an April 6, opponent to challenge him for the unified IBF/WBA/WBO and IBO/Ring Magazine heavyweight championships. Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings is willing to accept the challenge.
“Everyone knows how bad I want that fight,” Jennings said recently. “I don’t want to wait for my career. I don’t have 10 more years. I have a pace that I created and I’m just trying to keep up with that pace. I don’t have time to be slowed down. I came here fast and I’ll leave fast.”
Jennings became an attractive opponent winning all five his nationally televised fights on NBC Fight Night. Jennings’ biggest victory occurred last spring when he dismantled former WBO heavyweight titlist Sergei Liakhovich.
Jennings, 28 years of age, has amassed an undefeated record of 16-0, 8 KOs. Ranked No. 3 by the International Boxing Federation and No. 22 in the World Boxing Council rankings, Jennings has a great combination of speed and power for a rising heavyweight. Jennings believes that he is ready to take the heavyweight titles away from Klitschko.
“I see things in their (Klitschko) arsenal, things that I could apply,” Jennings was recently quoted by Sports Illustrated. “It’s not that (Klitschko) has weaknesses, it’s that I see things in him that I may be able to break through on. Wladimir has a problem being challenged. He is very seldom challenged. I know that if he gets hit on the chin, he is going down. I have confidence in my ability. I know I will try harder than those other guys he has fought. One of his weaknesses is that I think he would underestimate me, just like the rest of the guys I fought. I’m a light guy and he would think he can just push me around.”
Wladimir, or his older brother, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko doesn’t underestimate anybody. In fact, while Vitali ponders his future, Wladimir is extremely careful with his selection.
“I cannot understand why Klitschko’s people are having such a tough time finding someone to fight,” said Jennings’ promoter J Russell Peltz. “I spoke with their American representatives a few weeks ago and offered Jennings but I was told we were not being considered.”
Peltz added: “I am sure there are more than a few European boxing fans who have heard of Jennings, especially after he knocked out (ex-WBO champion) Sergei Liakhovich last year in Brooklyn. Some of the recent names that have been tossed out there couldn’t stand up to Jennings, so I do not see what the problem is with finding someone credible to fight Klitschko.”
Jennings turned professional as recent as the year 2010. He only has 16 professional fights. While Jennings is a good fighter, he simply doesn’t have the experience to challenge Klitschko for the world title. Klitschko has 59 professional victories, 50 career knockouts. Klitschko, a two-time heavyweight champion, is an Olympic gold medalist and has 20 world title victories which rank him behind Joe Louis (25). Klitschko is 6’ 7,” 245-pounds and was ferocious power and speed. Jennings would be giving up 5 inches in height and at least 20 pounds of pure muscle.
Golovkin Monaco bound
Unbeaten WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is determined to fight at least three to four more times in 2013 without the arrival of HBO or SHOWTIME. Golovkin, who just recently opened HBO’s 2013 boxing schedule with a smashing performance against Gabriel Rosado at the Theater of Madison Square Garden in New York City last month, defends his title on March 30, against Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8, 9 KOs) in Monaco.
“I am excited about fighting in Monaco in my next fight,” said Golovkin. “It is a great location and I always want to keep contact with my European fans. Ishida has proven he is a very dangerous opponent with his KO win over James Kirkland and I am up for the challenge.”
Golovkin turned professional in 2006 after having a very stellar amateur boxing career. Golovkin turned professional after his twenty-fourth birthday and won his first world title four years later in August 2010. Golovkin has won all six of his world title defenses by knockout and is a whopping 7-0, 7 KOs in world title fights.
“Gennady wants to stay active this year and this fight will give him the opportunity to defend his world titles in one if the premiere cities in the world,” said Managing Director of K2 Promotions Tom Loeffler, who sold Golovkin’s last two fights to HBO. “GGG had two great KO performances in the US on HBO and now it is time for him to showcase his skills again in Europe. Gennady’s recognition as the most feared middleweight has grown and he is truly the type of fighter that will fight anywhere in the world without hesitation.”
Golovkin has fought in Germany for most of his career, won his world title in Panama, and fought his last two bouts in New York making his U.S. debut on HBO.
Golovkin-Ishida will be part of a four-man elimination series that will culminate into one final showdown on July 13, in Monaco. It will be promoted Africa’s Golden Gloves, in association with Monte-Carlo SBM Group.
The participants include Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) vs. Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13 KOs), and Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs) vs. Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8 KOs).
“This is a huge opportunity for these four fighters,” said DiBella Entertainment President Lou DiBella, who promotes both Rodriguez and Erdei. “The winner of this tournament clearly cements themselves as one of the top fighters in the entire world and I am thrilled to be a part of what promises to be a historic event.”
The two winners will compete in a final contest for a 60/40 share of $1 million on July 13th in Monaco to compliment Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday celebration. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is a special project in need of public funding to provide research and care of African children affected by diseases such as the AIDS virus.
Ndaba Mandela, one of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons, said: “On behalf of my foundation, Africa Rising, it is a great honor to be a part this event. My grandfather was an avid boxing enthusiast and we felt it would only be fit to honor him with a world-class boxing event as part of the Celebration of his 95th birthday. We are very excited to be a part of the Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super Four final to take place in Monaco in July and honored to have his Serene Highness Prince Albert II and the people of Monaco be a part of what will be an extraordinary celebration.”
“It is a dream come true for me to participate in this tournament,” said Edwin Rodriguez. “I have worked my entire life for this opportunity and don’t plan on wasting it. While I am happy and honored to be in the tournament, I won’t be satisfied until I win it. Having not had the opportunity to participate in the 2008 Olympics, it’s an added bonus to be placed against an undefeated former Olympian in Maderna for my first fight. I want to thank to my manager Larry Army and my promoter Lou DiBella for putting me in this position and also a special thanks to Rodney Berman and Golden Gloves for giving me this opportunity.”
The winner of this tournament could cement themselves as one of the best fighters in the world.
Edwin Rodriguez, ranked the WBC #2, IBF #3, and WBA #7, has emerged as one of the top 168-pound prospects on the rise. Showcased on ESPN and HBO, Rodriguez belted wins over Don George and Jason Escalera in his previous bouts.
His opponent, 2008 Argentinean Olympian Maderna, is certain to spoil Rodriguez’ rise.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity of proving myself at the international level against the best,” said Maderna. “This is my chance to show that I belong amongst the elite fighters in the world, and I promise that I will deliver.”
Erdei, the most accomplished fighter in the tournament, is a former won the WBO light heavyweight champion (2004). He defended that 175-pound title 11 times before capturing the WBC cruiserweight title in 2009. Erdei also posted 212 amateur victories and won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
DiBella Entertainment has promoted Erdei since 2010, but inactivity and not getting the right fights has kept him out of action.
“I feel healthy, energized and focused,” said Erdei. “I have the opportunity with this tournament to prove that I am still the one of the best in the world. Winning the tournament puts me right in line for a shot at reclaiming my world championship, and there is no way I will let that opportunity pass me by.”
Grachev, a former two-time world kick-boxing champion before becoming a professional boxer in 2007, earned the biggest win of his career to-date in April 2012 when he knocked out 17-0, top 10-ranked light-heavyweight Ismayl Sillakh. Grachev’s only loss was a unanimous decision loss to former IBF 168-pound champion Lucian Bute.
“I believe that I am fighting the best out of the four of us, but once I beat Erdei, I will then be the top guy left in the tournament,” said Grachev. “I can’t rely on the judges in these bouts. That is why I am going to take matters into my own hands and I am going into this tournament with the full intention of knocking both of my opponents out. This is a huge opportunity for me and a way for me to reach my ultimate goal as being recognized as one of the best fighters in the entire world.”
DiBella signs Patrick Day
Promoter Lou DiBella has signed Patrick Day, a successful former amateur star, to a long-term contract. In January, Day scored a 31-second knockout on a DiBella-promoted Broadway Boxing show at BB King Blues Club in New York City.
“DiBella Entertainment is super excited to sign a young man who we believe to be one of the best prospects in the greater New York area,” said DiBella. “Patrick’s amateur credentials rival anyone’s as does the quality of the fighters he fought before turning pro. His potential is limitless and it is going to be exciting to watch him develop.”
Day is excited to be returning on the next installment of Broadway Boxing on Thursday, February 21, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York.
“It’s a pleasure to be a part of the DiBella team,” said Day. “I am going to make this journey as pleasant and fun as possible as I dominate the opposition across from me and climb higher in to the professional ranks.”
As amateur, Day amassed an impressive 75-5 record and a No 1-ranking at 152 lbs. He was also an alternate on the 2012 US Olympic Boxing Team. Day is a PAL National Champion, Golden Gloves Champion, USA Boxing Metro Champion, and a USA Boxing National Champion.
“I’m very happy that Lou has given Patrick this opportunity to shine under the DBE banner,” said manager and trainer Joe Higgins. “In my estimation Patrick is the total package in and out of the ring. This kid is absolutely the real deal. I’m confident that DBE will provide Patrick with the opportunities to build his legacy. He, without a question, is a very special boxer with the skills, conditioning and the guts it will take to be a World Champion. I think DBE realizes this and that is why they were so aggressive in signing him.”
Broadway Boxing will be broadcast live on broadband through GFL.TV and broadcast on SNY via tape-delay. Tickets, priced at $125, $85, $65, and $45, can be purchased by calling (800) 745-3000 or Ticketmaster. The first bout scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.