Wladimir Klitschko logged yet another successful title defense Saturday night, April 25, from Madison Square Garden against previously unbeaten challenger Bryant Jennings. Despite the W, however, the fight failed to showcase the dominance that Klitschko has exhibited over his last 22 title defenses.
That was primarily because Jennings kept the heavyweight champion off-guard the entire night with jerky movements and an unpredictable style that kept Wladimir’s devastating right hand at bay.
Along the way, Bryan tagged Klitschko with some good shots, but not nearly enough.
The Ukrainian landed more punches (though Jennings had the edge on power shots), but was never able to get his combinations going until the 12th round when he almost floored the challenger with a straight right hand.
To Jennings’ credit, he ate some good shots throughout the fight and was able to move forward showing little effect.
The three judges scored 116-111, 116-111, and 118-109, all for Wladimir Klitschko.
Punch stat numbers showed Klitschko throwing 545 punches and landing 144 to Jennings’ 376 thrown, 110 landed. On power shots, Klitschko threw 162 and landed 52, while Jennings threw 285 and landed 94.
In the 10th round, Klitschko had a point deducted for holding after repeated warnings which began in the first round. When HBO’s Max Kellerman asked him about the deduction, Wladimir had this to say.
“It is what it is. I don’t want any complaints. Sometimes when a fighter is shorter than you, that sort of thing happens.”
Both fighters were complimentary of one another with Klitschko admitting that Jennings didn’t give him a chance to throw the right — quite a feat for a 30-year-old, who had only began training as a full-time fighter six years ago. Klitschko by comparison has been in a ring with a pair of gloves on since the age of 12.
As far as a rematch is concerned, it’s not likely to happen any time soon with Klitschko stating that he would be focusing on his mandatory title defenses next.
Bryant Jennings would probably be well-served to get a bit more experience before tying up with the 39-year-old Ukrainian again.
While he had more success against Klitschko than most of the champ’s recent opponents, it was still a fairly lopsided decision. The next fight that makes the most sense for Wladimir Klitschko would be a unification bout with Deontay Wilder.
Wilder is 33-0 with 28 knockouts — a record indicative of a harder power shot than what Jennings was able to throw. (His record by comparison is 19-1 with 10 knockouts.)
Wilder is the WBC Heavyweight Champion. Wladimir holds all the rest, with the WBA Super Heavyweight Championship, as well as the IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring Magazine Heavyweight titles.
A unification bout between the two would give the heavyweight division its first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis held the crown in 2000 and would be a step in the right direction for making the division interesting again.
Do you think Wladimir Klitschko is one of the greatest heavyweights of all time? Share your thoughts in the comments section.