Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
Klitschko Still The Best Heavyweight
Wladimir Klitschko mades his United States return after a seven year absence. Wladimir and his brother Vitali were the two most dominant heavyweights over the past eleven year and now that his brother is retired and a politician in what is left of Ukraine not taken by Putin’s Russia, it is incumbent upon Wladimir to keep the heavyweight titles in the family.
At 39, Wladimir has entered that advance age for boxers, but Wladimir, like his brother, treated boxing as 24/7 and always kept himself in shape. Wladimir is still the best heavyweight in the world and unless he finally acted his age; there was very little hope for Bryant Jennings who was attempting to become the second American heavyweight this year to take a heavyweight title. (Deontay Wilder defeated Bernard Stiveme for his version of the heavyweight title.) If Jennings did manage to win, he would be recognize as the guy in the division since Klitschko is the guy among heavyweight and everyone were just living in Klitschko’s world with other champions were merely holding trinkets and not true belts.
The first round saw a tactical round as both fighters played a game of chess to see what the other guy had. For Wladimir, he pursued Jennings but Jennings did not stay still as he moved side to side but he didn’t hit Wladimir with anything.
Through the second and third round, Klitschko simply kept his distance and connecting with his jab that disrupted whatever strategy that Jennings had. Klitschko controlling the fight with his jab and at the beginning the fourth round, Klitschko landed one jab after another as he unleashed his piston jabs while Jennings tried to get to Klitschko’s body since that is what Klitschko allowed him to land. Klitschko landed more punches through the first four rounds but Jennings is landing left hooks to the body.
Throughout the sixth round, Jennings actually nailed Klitschko with some head shots after a few body shots while Klitschko continued to jab and throw the right behind it. Klitschko was way ahead after the six rounds and while the HBO were wondering if Klitschko would wear down butwhat about Jennings who was being pursued by a bigger fighter. HBO Harold Lederman had it 59-55 at the halfway point.
In seventh round, Klitschko jabbed and jabbed but he did not let his hand go and while Jennings landed a couple of good punches, he did not land enough to take the round. Going into the ninth round, Jennings continued to fight defensively but landing occasionally but the question when would Jennings go for broke? After nine round, there was very little evidence that he won more than two rounds. In the tenth round, Klitschko lost a point for holding after repeated warnings and Jennings worked the body over the final minute of the round.
Klitschko showed his experience in the eleventh round as he landed some big rights against Jennings and Jennings simply couldn’t land any major big punch. At the halfway point of the last round, Klitschko landed a big right in the midst of a four round punch. Jennings started the twelfth round with a four punch combination but Klitschko jab and movement followed by his right controlled the rest of the round but Jennings would not fold like Klitschko’s opponent.
Klitschko won a unanimous decision but Jennings showed toughness and wiliness to mix it up but he was up against the best heavyweight in the world. Jennings showed development as he has only fought for six years but Klitschko three decades of experience proved decisive.
Many boxing pundits and fans don’t give Klitschko credit for being a great heavyweight for he has won 18 straight championship fights in a row. He has won 23 heavyweight championship fights, only Joe Louis has won more. While many of Klitschko’s fights were in Europe, but the reality is that most of the better cruiserweight and heavyweight fighters are Europeans, not Americans. Jennings may be the best American heavyweight despite the loss and it would be interesting to see Jennings fight Wilder for the Wilder’s title and I am not sure if Jennings couldn’t beat Wilder.