Taking place at Madison Square Garden, New York, Klitschko vs Jennings won’t go down as a classic of the glamour division. But it had its moments. More so from the Ukrainian powerhouse, but enough from Jennings whose stock will no doubt go up in spite of the lopsided loss.
Scorecards came in at 118-109, 116-111, 116-111, with BoxingBase.com having it 117-110. Following the win, division-leader Klitschko extends his unbeaten streak – beginning October 2004 – and leaves with 64 wins, 53 knockouts, 3 losses. Jennings returns to Philadelphia, US, with 19 wins, 10 knockouts, 1 loss.
Klitschko vs Jennings was hardly scintillating stuff, but contained a few surprises to keep the Garden crowd engaged. For a start, Jennings went the distance, something most spectators hadn’t expected. He also fought spiritedly despite being largely out-boxed.
It was one of the rare occasions Wladimir’s face has aired on HBO, at least in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. His safety-first style contains holds allure for mainstream fight fans. Especially those who expect heavy blows and knockouts from the sport’s biggest bangers.
Against Jennings, the 6′ 6″ boxer was mostly happy to control distance, jab, and yeah, grab a little too often when Jennings closed the gap. In fact, the holding became a little too much for referee Michael Griffin who deducted a point in the 10th round. Good on him for being the one of the only referees in recent times to do so.
Many observers had predicted a mid to late round knockout, but it was no doubt Jenning’s mobility and lateral movement that somewhat took away the champion’s right-hand. By no means a shadow, he was certainly more elusive than many of Klitschko’s opponents (such as Kubrat Pulev) – at least since David Haye.
And Jennings deserves credit for his work. Despite being outworked and jabbed by his taller foe for the first 6 rounds, the Philadelphia-born boxer began to assert himself more so in the second half. This was the time he arguably began to score his best shots and come close to bagging a few rounds.
On a couple of occasions, Jennings clipped Klitschko and caught his attention. But the punches just weren’t finding the target enough to score big with the judges. Once again, this was the story of a Klitschko opponent failing to get inside and throw off the reigning champion’s rhythm and game plan. (see Klitschko vs Jennings Fight Highlights)
Klitschko vs Jennings Points to Deontay Wilder Victory
But if there’s one fighter out there who can topple the Ukrainian giant, it’s America’s very own giant Deontay Wilder. And one need only look at the weekend’s fight to see why. Klitschko had evident weaknesses, and looked beatable to an opponent with the right tool set.
Wilder and his team will have noticed how unstuck Klitschko became when pressured and tagged with a shot. Klitschko does not like to get hit, which may be the reason he immediately ties up opponents who get under his jab. It’s written all over his panicked face.
The key to beating Klitschko would seem to be constant pressure and the ability to shake him out of those ugly clinches. Of course, Jennings was not strong enough to do that.
Wilder is not only athletic and strong enough to do this, he is 10 years his junior. And when Wilder gets an opponent hurt, they rarely get off the hook to survive the round. Bermane Stiverne is of course that rare occasion.
It is rumored Klitschko vs Wilder could be taking place in January 2016. What do you think of Wilder’s chances? And is this the riskiest test the Ukrainian will have faced in recent memory? Let us know in the comments!
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