Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Wladimir Klitschko To Take On Jennings

Wladimir Klitschko will fight Bryant Jennings (19-0-10) at the Madison Square Garden on April 2015. The multiple belt holding champion, who holds three of the major titles, and is also the Ring Magazine champion, has spent the last six years fighting mostly in Germany. His last fight in the USA was against Sultan Ibragimov in 2008. This change of location, and the fact that one of the titles that Wladimir doesn't hold, the WBC belt, has just been won by Olympic Bronze medallist Deontay Wilder, has really helped to pump some much needed worldwide interest back into heavyweight boxing again.

 Lets go champ! Will Briggs be ringside at the fight? Image Credit: totalsportek.com

This will be Wladimir's 18th title defense, does Jennings pose a real threat to making this Wladimir's last title defence. After all, he is now 38 years old (39 when this fight takes place). How long can he go on for.. Regardless of age, It would be a huge upset if Jennings could dethrone Klitschko and take not one, but three titles in one sitting. Bryant Jennings is a good fighter, he has good boxing skills, a good engine, and a lot of heart. What he doesn't have however is power and experience. He has only had 19 fights so he is still fairly green. For the vastly more experienced Klitschko, this will be his 67th fight.

Jennings, although not a huge puncher, does have enough power to stop Wladimir, he is a heavyweight boxer with a 50% KO ratio, and we know Wladimir's chin is suspect, but landing a full bodied shot on Wladimir when he is constantly in defensive mode, fighting long or tying up is easier said then done. But hey, his style may be boring to some but boxing is about hitting and not getting hit, and Wladimir has pretty much mastered that. Bryant Jennings' last two fights against Artur Szpilka, and Mike Perez were two good wins, but with both fighters being small heavyweights that have limited boxing skills, fresh resumes and a lethargic work rate after a few rounds, it's hardly a good spring board to facing top level opposition. The difference in class, world class, compared to fighting a Klitschko is huge.

Anything can happen in heavyweight boxing, but the phrase "getting him out the way early" springs to mind. This is a little too soon for Jennings to take on such an experienced champion like Wladimir. We all know how good Wladimir is at keeping a smaller fighter at the end of that ram rod jab all night. The smart money will be on a Klitschko win either be knockout or decision. Will it even be worth betting on? Klitschko will definitely be the firm favourite and the odds will most probably be ridiculous. Maybe a long shot on Jennings if you're a risk taker or just fancy a flutter.

However, from a fans perspective all is not lost. We could see some mistakes from Klitschko due to him being out of his comfort zone fighting in the USA. Also, if he tries to impress the crowd and take some chances going for the knockout he could leave some openings for Jennings to take advantage of. Am I just wishful thinking..Is Wladimir just too experienced at this stage for silly mistakes. In saying that, Wladimir has been looking more exciting in his last few fights, boxing less cautious and letting his hands go more. His last two fights were like this, although still safety conscious, Wladimir was more exciting and he won both bouts by knockout. But there is a fine line between exciting and being reckless.

So many of Wladimir Klitscho's previous opponents always seem to neglect one of the most important strategies to adopt when fighting Wladimir, head movement. An opponent that springs to mind is Alex Leapai. Although he was at a disadvantage in every aspect to begin with, he basically done himself no favours and just stood right in front of Wladimir with no head movement until he was knocked out. It makes you think, what were they working on in camp? Was there any game plan at all..

Alexander Povetkin had the right idea when he fought Wladimir, good head movement and try to get on the inside and land hard overhand punches, it's just unfortunate that Wladimir was allowed to get away with leaning all over Povetkin. The leaning was so bad that Wladimir should have been disqualified.

Lets hope that Jennings and his team stress this concern to the referee in order to make sure Jennings gets a fair shot at the titles. Should Wladimir make a successful defense of his titles against Jennings we could see a unification fight between Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko in the near future. One things for certain, Jennings isn't coming into this fight with the mentality of just making up the numbers, he believes this is his time. He won't lie down, he will give it everything. So expect an exciting fight.

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