Bryant Jennings Gets Off Canvas to KO Bowie Tupou in Philly - Boxing Report
By Jason Pribila at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 9, 2012)
Main Events and Peltz Boxing brought
their “Fight Night” Series to Philadelphia and featured their
Season One star, heavyweight Bryant “By By” Jennings (16-0, 8
KO). Jennings fought in the main event of the series’ inaugural
show in January and returned to the ring in his hometown against
Bowie Tupou (22-3, 16 KO) hoping to finish 2012 a perfect (5-0).
Jennings was a football star who took
up boxing late. He is a gym rat who avoids needing to get in shape
for a fight by staying in shape year round. He is a prospect who
continues to improve his craft with the unique opportunity of having
is progress documented on television. In Tupou, he would be facing
his most dangerous foe to date.
Jennings controlled the opening two
stanzas by keeping Tupou at a distance behind his jab. In round two,
he proved why he is a TV-friendly fighter. Tupou landed his first
big shot upstairs, and Jennings let go of a “whoo” and ended the
second round with a flurry.
In round three, Tupou landed a looping
right hand to the top of Jennings’ head that sent him to the
canvas. Although the referee somehow called it a slip, everyone else
could see that Jennings was in a precarious situation. Jennings kept
his head and was able to hold Tupou until he regained his legs. He
survived the round in a fight that was suddenly even.
Jennings began round four by circling
to his right which effectively kept him away from Tupou’s right
hand. Jennings then closed the round by throwing and landing with a
flurry of head shots.
Jennings proved he was all the way back
when he began to rip shots to Tupou’s body. When Tupou put up the
ear-muffs, Jennings took advantage of the opening and landed a
perfect uppercut to Tupou’s chin. The punch knocked Tupou down and
out, and Jennings was suddenly reciting a poem in a post-fight
The Official Time 1:37 of Round 5 was
read, and Philly fans cheered loudly in support of their hometown
While a sanctioning body has Jennings
ranked as high as fifth, he remains a work in progress. Fortunately
he has a Hall of Fame promoter and match-maker who will gradually
step up his competition in 2013.
The evening’s co-feature saw
featherweight Eric “The Outlaw” Hunter (17-2, 9 KO) revive his
career in front of his hometown fans by upsetting previously
undefeated Jerry Belmontes (17-1, 5 KO) by unanimous decision.
Hunter took the fight on short notice
when original opponent, Teon Kennedy, was forced to withdrawal due to
injury. A televised bout in his hometown was exactly what Hunter
needed to rejuvenate a once promising career that had grown stagnant
after he lost via disqualification in December of 2010.
The former 2004 Olympic-alternate
quickly let Belmontes know that he was not in the ring to play the
role of opponent. Hunter threw and landed at a high percentage in
the first round, and then landed a perfect counter left that dropped
Belmontes in the second.
The Texas native dusted himself off and
became an effective aggressor in round three. However, he was unable
to maintain momentum as Hunter returned to counter-punching. Hunter
remained in the pocket and was able to counter a lunging Belmontes.
Hunter landed a few shots below the beltline to add to Belmontes
When Hunter chose to throw first he was
effective by landing lead left hooks and straight rights. Belmontes
was no longer landing his own straight right, and seemed unsure how
to attack an opponent who was often standing in front of him with his
hands at his sides.
By the eighth round Belmontes’ corner
informed their charge that they needed a knockout, but it was Hunter
who closed the show strong. The final bell rang and compubox
illustrated that Hunter threw (535-424) and landed (208-150) more
punches at a higher percentage (39-35).
The judges made it official when their
scores of: 99-91, 97-92, 99-90 were read in favor of Hunter.
PribNotes: While this edition of
FightNight was overshadowed by the Pacquiao-Marquez fight in Vegas,
it was a big winner on twitter.com. As writers were getting restless
during the two sleep inducing fights on the Top Rank undercard,
tweets were coming from Philly alerting folks about the action they
were missing. This is nothing new to people whom ever purchased
tickets to a Main Events or Peltz Boxing show. These are two
promoters who are conscious of making a full evening of entertaining
fights for the fans who spend their money on tickets.
Three weeks ago we saw another American
heavyweight suffer a shocking knockout loss. The difference between
Jennings and Seth Mitchell was that Jennings was able to hold on,
rather than trying to blindly throw back to even the score. I wonder
if Mitchell’s loss benefited Jennings.
Eric Hunter’s victory will no doubt
keep him on the short list for upcoming “Fight Night” shows. How
about an all-Philly showdown with Kennedy?
Steve “USS” Cunningham did a nice
job filling in on the broadcast for Freddie Roach. Cunningham and
Tomas Adamek were in attendance in order to promote their 12/22
rematch that will air live on NBC that Saturday afternoon.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member
of the Boxing Writers Association of America and he could be reached
for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @PribsBoxing.
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