Return Of Prodigal Champ Klitschko: Columnist Sees KO Victory By Round Five

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Wladimir Klitschko

Like a soldier away from home for a long time, or Ulysses, Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko, 63-3, 54 knockouts recently announced his return.

Also known as Dr. Steel Hammer, born in Kazakhstan, 38 years ago, and now living in Kiev in the Ukraine, he stood on the podium of the Madison Square Garden Theatre and expressed repeatedly how very happy and excited he was to return to his beloved New York City.

This is where he lived for quite a long time and enjoyed fighting in it’s great garden ring.

Klitschko was here to announce his 19th title defense of his multiple heavyweight title belts:W.B.A.; I.B.F.; W.B.O.; I.B.O.; and, Ring Magazine.

The challenger is Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 19-0, 10 k.o.s, from, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The championship boxing event will take place, on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden.

The standing room only press conference by media and fans was delighted not only by Klitschko 's charismatic profile and remarks, but his determination and excitement as he looks forward to fighting a tough but young opponent. He labeled his challenger Rocky Balboa of the Sylvester Stallone movies.

Anything could happen in a fight and Jennings although younger and with less fights than me has displayed that confident destructive energy that will force me to train hard and not take him for granted”, said a smiling Klitschko.

Bryant Jennings was a relative unknown in the boxing circles until he defeated then undefeated Polish star Artur Szpilka by knockout in the 10th round; he then beat Mike Perez by unanimous decision, in a special heavyweight eliminator fight. Both victories occurred in Madison Square Garden.

Jennings was a standout High School Football, and Basketball player, who also competed in Track & Field, and was scouted by top division colleges like, Michigan, Iowa State, and Syracuse.

He chose boxing, losing in the finals of the 2009 in National Golden Gloves Championships and finished with an amateur record of only 13-4.

Jennings, the father of a five-year-old son, Mason, began to work at the Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia, and at the late age of 24 decided to fight professionally, making his professional debut on February 26, 2010. He has since retired from his job to concentrate full-time on his boxing career.

I owe my success in boxing not only to my excellent trainer, but also to my previous sports that prepared me well, especially football, and track,” said Jennings.  “Boxing has been easy for me, I enjoy it very much and I am ready for anything that Klitschko brings to the ring”, Jennings said.

Bryant Jennings exudes a lot of nervous energy and confidence in this upcoming fight but not over confidence which he said “would lead to carelessness and defeat”.

Promoter Gary Shaw said he had hired some of the tallest and toughest sparring partners to prepare Jennings for the biggest fight of his career to guarantee his victory over Klitschko. “Our mission is to bring back those heavyweight belts that were overseas too long. They belong here in the USA”, Shaw said.

Wladimir Klitschko who will be fighting for the 4th time in boxing's Mecca said it was always something special fighting in Madison Square Garden where all of the greats like Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali, fought before him.

Klitschko, acknowledged that this next defense of his titles, if successful, will tie Louis’ record at 27 of successful defenses of his belts; but he will not retire even if he passes Joe Louis’ record, he said.

He wants to continue fighting, and perhaps re-capture the W.B.C. belt now owned by Deontay Wilder who recently dethroned  Bermane Stiverne. “I want to unify all of the belts and take them back home”,  he said.

In an emotional moment he talked about the conflict in his country, the Ukraine. Klitschko, Olympic Gold Medalist in 1996 in Atlanta, expressed great concern about his homeland which he said was "invaded" by Russia. The fighting has caused the loss of many lives, especially of children, and the destruction of the economy.

He is hopeful that his brother Vitali, the Mayor of kiev, himself a former W.B.O. Heavyweight Champion, would be able to contribute towards restoring peace and a better way of life for his people.

The fight with Jennings seems to be just another walk in the park for Wladimir Klitschko who is enjoying a 10 year title reign of all of his belts. He is the overwhelming favorite to easily defeat Bryant Jennings who actually was supposed to fight the new W.B.O. Champ Deontay Wilder.

Wilder instead decided to by-pass Jennings and fight the British & European Heavyweight Champ Tyson Fury, 22-0, 16 k.o.’s., after which he then plans to fight both Klitschko and Jennings.

Bryant Jennings who, at 6’3” is shorter than Klitschko, at 6’6”, only has a puncher’s chance to win. Klitschko’s  only three losses were by knockouts; maybe he'll underestimate the challenger and let him reach his jaw.

Klitschko is never out of condition, and is always prepared no matter who he fights.

A sell-out crowd in Madison Square Garden and viewers on H.B.O. will see Klitschko successfully defend and retain his titles knocking out Jennings by the 5th round in my estimation.

He could then fight Deontay Wilder in a unification fight for all of the 5 heavyweight belts. Then one heavyweight champ will remain standing.

Yes there is great excitement as fans await the possible clash between Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather.

But it is the heavyweights who rule the boxing world, when top caliber boxers meet.

It has always been so; and may always be so. 

 

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