By: William Holmes
On Saturday night, the reigning heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, will be defending his heavyweight titles for the first time in years at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Klitschko has not been seriously threatened inside the ring in years, but a new crop of American heavyweights has risen and hopes to dethrone Klitschko.
Bryant Jennings will be the first American to face Klitschko since Tony Thompson in 2012, and Saturday will be the first time that Klitschko has defended his title in the United States since 2008. Boxing Insider had the opportunity to get Jennings to speak about his first world title fight and his career in general.
Boxing Insider: How excited are you for this fight against Klitschko? Does his experience and power worry you at all?
Jennings: I’m very excited about this fight because it doesn’t get any bigger then fighting Klitschko. He’s at the top of the mountain of the heavyweight division. If I was to worry about his experience and power then I shouldn’t be in this sport. Worrying is not what I’m about.
Boxing Insider: How has your sparring been going and who have you been sparring against?
Jennings: Sparring has been great. We’ve brought in some big guys who have similar dimensions as Klitschko. I don’t think you can find anyone who can really simulate him though. But the guys we brought in are big and tall, but I’m not going to reveal their names. That’s confidential information.
Boxing Insider: Can you tell us what a typical day of training looks like?
Jennings: I get up in the morning and get my road work in. Followed by a strength and conditioning workout. A lot of stretching before each session. Some days we will end the day with some swimming at night. Each day will differ depending on how my body feels.
Boxing Insider: In your opinion, what was the biggest win of your career, and the toughest test of your career?
Jennings: Every fight is the biggest fight for me. Each fight gets bigger and bigger until now. So it would have to be my last fight. Perez was tough but it was my will to win that got me the victory. I wanted it more and here we are.
Boxing Insider: In your opinion, what was the most impressive win of Klitschko’s career?
Jennings: His win against Povetkin was pretty impressive. He basically shout him out over 12 rounds. But he’s never been in the ring with a fighters like me. Every fighter is different.
Boxing Insider: Do you watch tapes of Wladimir Klitschko? What about him impresses you the most? What about him do you think you can exploit?
Jennings: I watch tape on all the guys I’m fighting but don’t like to give up any info on what we see. All that stuff is confidential information.
Boxing Insider: How do you plan on counteracting his size advantage?
Jennings: There are many ways to counter his size advantage. I can box. I can counter. I have a longer reach than him so we’ll see how he’s going to counter my attributes.
Boxing Insider: Is there drug testing for the fight? What kind? Why or why not? Did you ask for it?
Jennings: No, there is no drug testing for this fight. Just the standard NY drug testing that they do for every state.
Boxing Insider: Do you think your lack of international amateur boxing experience hurts you when you’re in the ring?
Jennings: No because I’m still undefeated and fighting for the world title. Of course it would have benefited me if I started boxing at an earlier age, but I’ve learned fast on how to be a pro.
Boxing Insider: Who has been the biggest influence on your boxing career?
Jennings: I would have to say my trainer Fred Jenkins who’s been with me since I started boxing. He’s the one who’s guided me to where I’m at today.
Boxing Insider: What does it mean to you to be considered a “Philly” fighter? Do you feel you have the support of Philadelphia and do you expect a lot of fans in attendance at MSG?
Jennings: To be a Philly fighter means you come from rough surroundings. Me being from North Philly, you see a lot of things that aren’t so pleasant. But there is a lot of love in Philly and I expect to see my fans make their way to MSG. Philly will definitely be in the house on fight night.
Boxing Insider: Bryant, I first saw you fight in June of 2011 against Mike Miller at the Hamilton Manor in Hamilton Township, NJ and you’ve clearly improved greatly since then. Can you tell our readers why you’ve improved so much and your long term goals are?
Jennings: It’s with a lot of hard work that I’ve been able to get this position. I listen to my coaches and follow the game plans. I don’t drink or smoke so my body is always in great condition. My goal is to win this fight and keep winning fights as I defend my titles.
Boxing Insider: What’s your prediction for the fight?
Jennings: I’m predicting a Jennings victory any how, any way.
Boxing Insider: What were your thoughts when the relationship between Roc Nation and Gary Shaw Productions was announced and what did you think about its short-lived run?
Jennings: It is what it is. As a fighter you’re just grateful for the opportunities that come your way. I’m a Gary Shaw fighter and I’m moving on. No time to dwell in the past. I’m very happy where I’m at now.