In the main event of the evening, the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the world. Wladimir Klitschko (63-3 with 54 KOs) entered the ring to one of the loudest roars from a crowd you may ever hear to face the undefeated Bryant Jennings (19-0 with 10 KOs). Over 17 thousand filled the World’s Most Famous Arena at Madison Square Garden to watch Klitschko fight his 1st fight in the US in over seven year.
In round one, Jennings didn’t seem adjusted to the atmosphere yet as he barely threw any punches. Klitschko just came out using his vintage jab and chased Jennings around the ring for most of the round. Due to lack of activity, I’d have to give the 1st to Klitschko.\
Round two Jennings at least threw some punches, but most were one and done, no combos. He also ran into Klitschko’s waist about four or five times. The 2nd half of the round was more of the same, Klitschko using the jab and Jennings throwing one and moving. At this point, I have it 2-3 Klitschko.
Jennings started off the 3rd round much better. As Klitschko went in to grab, Jennings got him with an uppercut and a few body shots. He ran into Klitschko, charging at him to sneak inside the jab and started throwing shots to the body. Best round for him, I could see a judge possibly giving him that round.
Klitschko caught Jennings with a couple shots to being the 4th; then he began to hold, which is very typical of a Klitschko fight. Jennings let Klitschko’s jab get through his high guard too much. It probably cost him the round.
As they moved onto round five, it was more of the same as Jennings rushed in and tried to throw punches to the body and Klitschko used his jab and held whenever Jennings got inside. It isn’t pretty, but as usual, it’s effective.
When round six came, most people had Klitschko sweeping the 1st five rounds. It looks like Jennings maybe slightly bleeding from the mouth, but not too bad. The blood was likely caused by the numerous jabs Jennings absorbed. As Klitschko ended the round well and may have stolen the round from Jennings who fought his best round. Jennings went back to the corner looking like he was finally getting tired.
Although he ended the last round taking a couple shots, Jennings came out in round seven looking confident. He landed an uppercut and a couple shots on Klitschko and then actually showboated a bit while his gloves were down. It was a good effort that I thought won the round for Jennings.
Jennings caught Klitschko early in round eight. It didn’t exactly stun him, but it did cause him to back up for a second. Klitschko then began his barrage of jabs which likely either evened up the round or as with me, won him the round.
In round nine, once again Klitschko jabbed Jennings to death for the 1st minute and half, but then was caught by 3-4 shots from Jennings. He may not have been hurt, but he did proceed to grab and hold onto Jennings for the next few square ups. I gave this round to Jennings also.
With round 10 starting, Jennings had already made it a lot further than a lot of Klitschko’s opponents in the past have made and further than many expected. One minute into the round, Klitschko was deducted a point for excessive holding. Klitschko won the round, so it should be a 9-9 round. Since the 1st five rounds, the case could be made that Jennings has fought him pretty even. The question is if that would reflect on the cards.
The championship rounds begun as round 11 started. At this point, it looked like Jennings was either looking for the wild KO or to survive 12 rounds as he covered up, threw wild punch, covered up, threw wild punch for most of the round. Klitschko continued his relentless jab to win another round.
The 12th and final round started, and before the even got to the center of the ring, you can see the look in Jennings’s eyes like he wasn’t going to leave any bullets in his holster. He came out aggressive, even backing Klitschko up for really the 1st full round of the fight. He ran into a couple shots, but he survived the round, another round in which I gave to Klitschko due to his jab and not getting hit.
As the fight ended, they hugged in the middle of the ring, and it was a very good showing for the young Jennings. Some thought a fight like this may have ruined his career, but he may have gained a lesson that you cannot replicate. On my card I had it 9-3 Klitschko, so with the point taken away, my final scorecard was 116-111 for Wladimir Klitschko. The judges agreed as the final scorecards were 116-111, 116-111, and 118-109 as the reigning heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko once again is victorious as he returns to the Garden.