On February 25th, Wladimir Klitschko (63-3, 53 knockouts) is scheduled to defend his titles against undefeated contender, Bryant Jennings (19-0, 10 knockouts). For many, the match-up drums up little interest considering Klitschko’s reign atop the division. Others, however, believe that Jennings’ speed is what will ultimately cause fits for the heavyweight kingpin.
It’s nothing new, and according to Klitschko’s trainer, Ali Bashir, it’s not even a factor.
“I meant when I said that. Eddie Chambers is probably the best and the slickest boxer that Wladimir Klitschko has ever fought, but there have been others in the training camps that equal what Bryant Jennings does so I don’t think that will be a big factor.”
Factor or not, Klitschko is back to training in Florida and has spent more time than usual preparing for the U.S. This had led to some speculation as to why the Champ has spent so much time stateside, but Bashir was quick to put an end to it all.
“Not a problem. Wladimir Klitschko is in shape 12 months of the year; he’s always in shape, and he just trains there anyways. He always just goes there to prepare, even when we’re in Austria or Germany, he’s always in Florida to prepare so this will be no different. We’re gonna stay here in the States because we’re gonna be fighting here in [United States] time, and won’t make sense to fight in Europe because of the time difference. So, it doesn’t make a difference; we’re still gonna train in Florida whether or not we’re fighting in Europe or at the Garden.”
More interesting is the fact that Klitschko will be fighting in the United States for the first time since defending his titles against Sultan Ibragimov in 2008. With being such a proven draw in Germany and a string of such dominant performances, why would Klitschko come to fight in a market that has little appreciation for such a patient, jab-heavy style? Could times be changing in the American boxing scene and television market with the fight being broadcast live by HBO?
“I think that it was waiting to happen. I think it’s a god-send that we’re fighting on HBO, and I think it’s a god-send that we’re fighting in the States again where everybody can get up close and personal with a great style, like Wladimir Klitschko and Vitali Klitschko. Minus about what people say about the Klitschkos, this and that, these guys are progress, a work in progress.”
Some can offer a guess as to how the fight may play out between Jennings and Klitschko, but until the 25th there is no telling just how big a factor Jennings may actually be against “Dr. Steelhammer”.