When it comes to the heavyweight division in the United States the fans of boxing tend to frown. The sport of boxing is making a slight comeback in the U.S yet it still lacks a American heavyweight do be it’s main driving force. The heavyweights have always been the division that steals the show. Even in a time that has boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather destroying PPV numbers as well as his opponents, Americans still say that the sport needs a great heavyweight. They want it, they crave it, and they will latch onto one that can show them he can be great.
Saturday night one of those heavyweights will hit HBO for the first time in his career as Philadelphia native Bryant Jennings hits Madison Square Garden to take on his toughest opponent yet in Artur Szpilka. The goal for Jennings is simple. Get the people of the United States to like him and want to see him fight more. Jennings is no stranger to national television. He had five fights in 2012 in which four of them were featured on NBS sports network. The year ended with a 5th round knockout over Bowie Tupou. He was ready to take the next step.
In 2013, Jennings had the type of year that a professional boxer does everything he can to avoid. A possible showdown with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitchsko didn’t go his way as Klitchsko decided to take on another opponent. Promotional problems hemmed Jennings up as he was only able to get on television for one fight. After a small dispute with Main Events in trying to set up a fight with Tomas Adamek he turned around to sign with Gary Shaw. However the year only allowed Jennings in the ring one time putting his 2012 fast track start on a major hold.
Now it’s a new year. Despite the problems that he’s faced over the last twelve months Jennings is ready to take the next step. He’ll get his chance as the Co-Main event and television opener to Garcia-Burgos on HBO. For any fighter looking to become a superstar, HBO isn’t a bad place to start.
“I’ve been ready to go for a couple weeks now.” Jennings said in regards to his upcoming fight against Szpilka. No one was more frustrated than Jennings with all the problems that he faced in 2013. But he’s moved passed it and he’s happy where he’s at right now. Instead of making a huge deal about the problems he just stayed focus, let his manager handle it, and kept training.
“I just let my team do my job.” He insisted. They haven’t got him into a bad spot either. After getting the public to recognize his name on NBC sports Jennings is now getting a shot on HBO.
“I’m not taking this dude lightly. I’m sure he’s coming to handle business. But I’m about my business as well don’t sleep on me.” Jennings knows the dangers that Szpilka presents. His goal, as in the goal of every heavyweight contender, is to get a fight against Wladimir Klitchsko. A win against Szpilka is a good start. HBO would love to get an American heavyweight in there against the heavyweight champion but they’ve had nobody to put him in with. HBO has only broadcasted one of Klitchsko’s last four fights and that turned out to be an awful showing from both Klitchsko and Povetkin. Jennings may provide a small light at the end of that tunnel for HBO to try again. First, he needs to prove not only that he can sell the show but that he deserves to be in there with him.
Whether or not Bryant Jennings is the next American heavyweight champion of the world remains to be seen. He’s finally got the team behind him to put in the right spot to do it. This Saturday night he’ll get a huge test, and should he win, that would put him one step closer to the heavyweight championship of the world.