I had the chance to catch up with undefeated heavyweight prospect Brian 'By-By' Jennings (16-0, 8KO's) earlier last week and ask him a few questions about his career and future plans.
Why Boxing? I understand you played football and basketball in high school. What was it about boxing that was so intriguing and made you want to engage in the sport?
I’m a competitive person. I wanted to try boxing so I did it. The trainers wouldn’t let me stop after that. They said that I was special and I really had something going with this sport so I stuck with it.
Yes, but I’m trying to leave though.
I manage it well. The hardest part now is going to work. I work with so many people and every time I walk somewhere someone pulls me aside to ask me a bunch of questions. I work in a place where there are thousands of people so I don’t see the same people every day. So I have different people all the time coming up to me and asking me the same questions over and over again. It’s definitely different than it was a few years ago.
I had confidence in my ability. It came to the point where I had to make a decision. Is this something I want to do? My answer was absolutely. My trainers believed in me. They thought that I could make an impact in this division immediately so there was no reason to hold it off any longer.
Last year you had five fights, which is rare these days, and a sensational KO in December on National Television. One fight was taken on five days’ notice. How did you handle all that?
Well you know, you just have to do it. I had to do it to be in the position that I’m in right now. Like I said everyone around me believed in me. I have the ambition to fight. I love it.
I heard a fight with Wladimir Klitchsko could be possible in April. Any truth to that?
Yes, I’m under consideration and that’s all I know right now. I believe I am just as ready as any of the guys that he fought recently. I’m better than them so why not?
Everyone goes into the ring with a plan to be Wladimir, and everyone fails. Do you see something that might work against his style? How do you beat him?
Styles make fights. I haven’t really showed my true style and what I am capable of. Nobody has really seen my style. Sometimes you have to fight a certain way because of what your opponent is doing. I feel like I haven’t really fought the way I wanted too up until my last fight. I mean everyone says that it looks good, and it does, but nobody has seen all my weapons yet. I have a lot to show people still. Last fight I was able to fight the way I wanted to a little but not the way I am capable off. I feel like I can match well against Wladimir and beat him.
Who is better in your opinion, Vitali or Wladimir.
Vitali is better because he’s older but Wladimir is the most dangerous. I’d rather fight Wladimir first.
The United States has lost interest in the heavyweights. Mainly because they feel there are no exciting fighters coming up. After watching guys like you and Deontay Wilder coming up the rankings, I see hope, but what do you think it's going to take for the American people to embrace an American born heavyweight?
Right now I think that we need to go over there and beat them. Like you said there is only a few of us that stand out here right now so it’s easy to be noticed. We need to go over there and beat their top guys. I don’t believe that right now American heavyweights that are prospects should even be fighting each other. We should be representing America. Run with your best man and go represent for your country. Then bring the title back here, and people will start to take notice.
Evander Holyfield is my favorite fighter of all time. Right now I’d have to say it’s Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward.
You fought five times last year, and worked a job. That’s very impressive. Any advice to young fighters coming up trying to make it big?
Stay dedicated, stay ambitious. Don’t drink, do drugs, smoke cigarettes or any of that stuff. Put one hundred percent into your craft and don’t let the outside distractions stop you from doing what you want. Know what you want out of life and go after it.
Thank you Bryant, I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing you in some big fights in the future.