Klitschko Still King of the Heavyweights
There were few clearly won rounds between Vladimir Klitschko and challenger Bryant Jennings.
The fight was finally over and the decision was rendered at Madison Square Saturday night. It was unanimous of which there were no doubts. There were few clearly won rounds between World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Vladimir Klitschko and challenger Bryant Jennings. But what was not in dispute is that Klitschko, at 39, used experience as the deciding factor. It was a average fight with moments of interest.
Bryant Jennings appeared to have a number of ideas but not a general plan. This can happen when your opponent is taller, quick on his feet, and possesses a long jab and thundering right that stops you in your tracks. “He was trying in his own way, and I have to give him respect for that.” Vladimir mentioned at the post fight press conference.
What we did learn about Jennings is that he came far in only five years. He was listed as too small, inexperienced, and with poor footwork. But Jennings showed that his chin is rock solid as he took all of Klitschko ‘s right crosses well. “You absorb the power and that’s something a veteran only knows how to do.” Jennings needled press row. He also had a tight defense and was defensively every elusive as Klitschko pointed out. “Jennings was really mobile. I couldn’t find the key or distance for the punches I wanted to land.” Vladimir explained, “His forearms when held tight was like a shield.”
The area where Bryant lack of experience showed was his offensive attack. He rarely jabbed and his body shots were rarely thrown on balance and he was not able to find a reliable punch that worked consistently. As Klitschko started off well running away with the early rounds with his jab. Vladimir never abondoned it and he committed to it even piercing through the tight defense of Jennings winning five of the first six rounds on this reporters card. But the fight never found a real rhythum. “To tangle it takes two, I believe styles make fights.” Klitschko commented.
Klitschko, however was fluid and was able to strike and depart in good form throughout often leaving Jennings unbalanced. Bryant rarely was able to put anything together to win any of the close rounds. Klitschko would find the target and get combos off here and there to carry most rounds. Even the loss of a point in the tenth failed to make a dent as he still won the round to break even. Jennings had his moments if not many but was satisfied with his effort. “I fought all twelve rounds. I expected to do well and I did.” Jennings proclaimed afterwards.
Jennings gets points for the effort and did show that any heavyweight not called Klitschko will have to deal with Jennings, who has not given up on the prize. “My rise to the top is still on.” Jennings warned, “I’m a very positional fighter. We fight to get into position and not wasting time. We go after the best.”
For Klitschko, who is very picky about his performances and is sensitive to imperfect efforts, he has come to realize, after 18 defenses he has come to accept things not in his control. “A win is a win and the Klitschko story continues.” Vladimir shared, “I need to impress but I won and stuck to my gameplan.”
The immediate future will see Klitschko fulfilling a double mandatory defense against Tyson Fury with the site to be either England or Germany. “The World Champion has to travel and fight in different places.” Vladimir said. He also looked very interested in a unification fight with Deontay Wilder, the WBC titleholder. “The WBC title is missing from the Klitschko family. I never held that belt and a unification with Wilder would be fantastic.” Klitschko said.
On the undercard Kenneth Sims, Jr. won a six round decision over Luis Rodriquez by the scores of 59-55, 60-54, and 60-54. Ukrainian crusierweight Iago Kiladze stopped Rayford Johnson in the fourth and Heavyweight Charles Martin stopped Tom Dallas on cuts in the opening stanza. Promising Sadam Ali won a very impressive ten round decision over willing Francisco Santana.
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