Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s personality was on display at the opening press conference for the Ukrainian’s April 25 title defense against undefeated contender Bryant Jennings at Madison Square Garden.
As a prolific, veteran boxer with 19 years of experience under his belt, Klitschko has become a consummated entertainer, which he exhibited Wednesday afternoon.
While being amusing at times, Klitschko also articulated unostentatiously regarding his place in boxing history and called for peace in his native Ukraine.
Tom Loeffler, promoter of K2 Promotions, says Klitschko understands what his job as an entertainer, to entertain.
“Wladimir has been champion for a long time and he is a professional, and he understands this is the biggest stage in the world here at the Mecca of boxing in New York City,” articulated Loeffler. “So, he understands he has to entertain not only at the press conferences, but also at the fight, and I think this will be a very exciting event on April 25th,” he added.
After a slight hiccup during negotiations during the split between Roc Nation and Gary Shaw, Loeffler said that the two sides had to re-negotiate some terms.
“At the end of the day, we got it done,” said Loeffler. “It was a lot of work. We are here at Madison Square Garden, and we are really excited, also to be live on HBO here in the United States is the biggest boxing platform you can be on.”
Shannon Briggs, former WBO Heavyweight champion, who has been taunting and pursuing a fight with Klitschko for the past year, was initially thought to have been on Klitschko’s radar for this bout, but instead, Klitschko chose Bryant Jennings.
Despite Briggs’s popularity in Germany following his loss to Vitali Klitschko, and five of his past six victories coming by way of knockout in his comeback to the sport, Loeffler viewed Jennings, shockingly, as more dangerous than Briggs.
“Bryant being undefeated and where he is at in his career right now, is one of the biggest challenges Wladimir could face.”
One could deride such a remark, given the fact that Bryant Jennings has only been fighting professionally for the past five years. Furthermore, Jennings’s defensive style could prove to be an inducement to snooze, unless Klitschko has other plans for the Philadelphia native, who he has described as a ‘Rocky Balboa’ opponent.
Jennings struggled this past July against another unknown fighter in Mike Perez. It seems implausible that Jennings could be a threat to the Klitschko throne. If anything, this is looking like Vitali Klitschko-Kevin Johnson, the sequel.