NBC Boxing Preview: Jennings vs. Fedosov, Kovalev vs. White


By: William Holmes

At times the media makes it sound like that the only promotions with fighters worth talking about are Golden Boy and Top Rank.

Granted, they hold the rights to most of the best boxers who regularly compete in the United States, but they aren’t the only game in town. In fact, the two networks that Top Rank and Golden Boy do business with do not have the reach of a network on basic cable.

Main Events Promotions has two fighters that can compete, if not beat, the best in their respective divisions and are on a network that reaches more potential viewers than their subscription based rivals. It’s only a matter of time before Bryant Jennings and Sergey Kovalev gets their title shot.

The following is a preview of the NBC Sports Network televised card on Friday night at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Bryant Jennings (16-0) vs. Andrey Fedosov (24-2); Heavyweights

Bryant Jennings gets better every time he steps inside the ring and unlike some American heavyweights with an undefeated record and a bronze past, Jennings has faced legitimate competition and he is a fighter that the other top heavyweights are avoiding

His knockout ratio is only at 50% but he is coming off of two straight stoppages. He is in the middle of his athletic prime and he will have a slight height advantage on his opponent.

Jennings doesn’t have the deep amateur background as other prized prospects, but does have grit, speed, and the ability to put together crisp and accurate combinations. His size may hurt him in the future since the top of the heavyweight division is loaded with giants.

He fought at an incredible rate in 2012. He stopped Bowie Tupou in the fifth round after recovering from a knockdown. He made quick work of Chris Koval. He swept the scorecards on Steve Collins and he surprised many by stopping former champion Siarhei Liakovich.

Jennings only had seventeen amateur fights but he has made the best of his three years as a professional by consistently and progressively challenging himself and gaining valuable experience.

Fedosov is a Russian fighter with a very good knockout ration. He’s stopped nineteen of his opponents and including four of his last five victories.

He’s short for the heavyweight division and will be giving up some height and reach to Jennings. His only losses were a split decision to Lance Whitaker in 2010 and a loss to Oleksandr Mileiko in his seventh fight in the Ukraine in 2004.

In his loss to Whitaker he looked slow and at times lackadaisical. Whitaker also towered over him so if Fedosov had problems with Whitaker he’d have no chance against a Klitschko.

Fedosov has a decent record but like so many prospects it’s devoid of real competition. The only recognizable fighter on his record is a ten loss Byron Polley in 2011.

Does Fedosov have a chance at pulling off the upset? Highly unlikely.

Sergey Kovalev (20-0) vs. Cornelius White (21-1); IBF Light Heavyweight Eliminator

After Chad Dawson’s shocking knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson last Saturday the light heavyweight division is wide open. And in this writer’s opinion, after the dust settles, Sergey Kovalev will be the man on top.

Kovalev has an incredible knockout ration. He’s stopped eighteen of his twenty opponents and has eight straight stoppages. He’s aggressive, powerful, technically sound, and he has a crowd pleasing style.

Quite simply, Sergey Kovalev is the real deal.

Kovalev is thirty years old so he needs a title shot sooner than Bryant Jennings, but luckily for him a win on Saturday will guarantee him a shot at the IBF Light Heavyweight belt that is currently held by the ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins.

He’ll be the slightly smaller man in the ring but Corelius White is just a stepping stone for Kovalev.

Kovalev had 215 amateur fights with 193 wins and has faced decent, but not top level, competition. He really opened up the eyes of the boxing community with his three round destruction over Gabriel Campillo in January of this year. He’s also made quick work of Lionell Thompson, Darnell Boone, and Roman Simakov. He has mainly fought in the United States with the exception of one fight in Russia in 2010.

Cornelius White also has power as he has stopped sixteen of his opponents, but he has went to the scorecards in four of his last five victories. He is also susceptible to the knockout. Don George stopped him in the first round after knocking him down three times in 2011.

White’s most notable victories were over Otis Griffin, Dmitr Sukhotsky, and Yordanis Despaigne. But none of those names are the type of opponent to really get your attention.

White, like Fedosov, has a very slim chance of winning on Saturday. It will be a shocker if White even makes it past the eighth round.

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