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Jennings Maintains Unbeaten Record Against Szpilka

BoXING

Bryant Jennings improved his professional boxing record to 18-0-10 KOs on his HBO debut on Saturday night.

Jennings took on fellow unbeaten heavyweight Arthur Szpilka of Poland, who boasted a 16-0-12 KOs record , at Madison Square Garden on the undercard of the Mikey Garcia vs Juan Carlos Burgos bout.

Not much was happening in the first four rounds,with both boxers well aware of each others power. Jennings controlled the distance and the pace but in the fourth the action picked up as Szpilka was able to close the distance and force a fight. Jennings had to abandon his slick boxing skills in the fifth and dig in deep,he landed some good left hooks to Szpilka at the end of the fifth and no doubt caught the attention of the Polish heavyweight.

Szpilka came out in the sixth still a bit shocked from the end of the fifth round, and Jennings noticed as he upped the pressure and got his reward after a powerful left hook to Szpilka’s liver. After a second hit the Polish boxer was floored as Jennings scored the first knockdown of the night.

Jennings upped the pace further in the seventh round. Looking to finish off Szpila he didn’t just come forward and swing, he threw educated punches,controlled distance,pace and was able to move around the ring at ease avoiding Szpilka’s punches. There was a sense of desperation from Szpilka as he rushed in swinging hooks. He might of earned KOs doing that before to the likes of Mike Mollo and other “bums” he fought before this, but Jennings had the skill none of these boxers had, and that was to be able to move, punch and get out of range.

Szpilka continued to throw wide swinging punches in the final round looking for the KO to save his “0”. Jennings avoided the big punches and his opening came as he put Szpilka down for a second time. Referee Michael Ortega counted to 8 before waiving off the bout with just 40 seconds remaining.

So Jennings holds onto his unbeaten record and in doing so he my have put himself in contention for a heavyweight title shot. He has said he is ready for a world title now, a comment that may be slightly premature. Their is no doubt Jennings possesses the skill and ring knowledge to one day become a world champion, but not right now. Szpilka would of been his toughest test to date, but Szpilka himself has not fought anyone even near world title contention. Jennings will need to be handled properly if America is to see a heavyweight champion. He might be well advised to stay away from the top 10 until next year. At this moment, I can’t see him putting on as good of a show and winning against the likes of Perez,Fury, or Stiverne. 

Image courtesy of boxingscene.com

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