Monday, April 27, 2015

Where Bryant Jennings Stands Following Hard-Fought Loss To Klitschko

On February 23, 2008 Wladimir Klitschko successfully unified his IBF and IBO Heavyweight world titles with a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten WBO world champion Sultan Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Klitschko’s one-sided victory over Ibragimov would be Klitschko’s last fight in the United States for over seven years.

In the years following that fight bouts fought for versions of the World Heavyweight championship took place outside of the United States. Wladimir along with his brother Vitali established themselves as two of the sport’s marquee draws regularly defending their titles in sold-out arenas and stadiums around the world. The brothers’ dominance and ability to consistently draw large crowds regardless of their opposition resulted in an absence of Heavyweight championship fights being staged in the United States.

The retirement of Vitali Klitschko in 2013 however, opened the door for a return of World Heavyweight championship Boxing to America. In May of last year Bermane Stiverne scored a knockout in his rematch with Chris Arreola in Los Angeles, California. The fight, which was to determine a new WBC world champion following Vitali’s retirement was the first World Heavyweight championship fight to take place in America in five years since Arreola’s failed bid in his challenge of Vitali in 2009 in Los Angeles.

Stiverne’s victory in his rematch with Arreola and subsequent loss to Deontay Wilder earlier this year in Las Vegas, Nevada showed growing demand for the Heavyweight championship of the world to be defended here in the United States. It seemed only natural that the unified world champion of the division would soon make his return to America.

Wladimir Klitschko’s return would come on April 25th as he looked to make the eighteenth defense of his world championship at Madison Square Garden. Standing across the ring from Klitschko was undefeated top American contender Bryant Jennings.

Jennings, who entered the fight unbeaten in nineteen professional fights was clearly at a disadvantage in terms of experience compared to Klitschko, who had competed in sixty-six professional fights prior to this encounter. The challenger however, had established himself as one of the best American Heavyweights and entered the fight ranked in the top ten of the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight ratings.

There may have been some who felt that this fight was a mere formality for the unified IBF/WBO/IBO/WBA world champion Klitschko who in his second reign as a Heavyweight world champion has compiled seventeen successful defenses and had not faced a stern test in quite some time. The challenger however, would show that he came to fight.

One of the things that Jennings was able to do early on in the fight was disrupt Klitschko’s rhythm by using lateral movement and as well as moving his head. This seemed to disrupt Klitschko’s ability to land his jab followed by his straight right hand, which has been a focal point of his offense over the last several years. As has been the case for previous Klitschko opponents however, Jennings would have difficulty getting on the inside of the champion as Klitschko looked to clinch him every time the challenger could get close.

As the fight progressed it became in large part a battle of Klitschko’s jab versus Jennings’ ability to land body punches when he was able to get close. One thing that Jennings increasingly did as the rounds went on was continue to try and let his hands go even when Klitschko looked to tie him up on the inside. Despite not being able to consistently land his right hand throughout the fight, Klitschko was able to win rounds strictly off of his ability to throw jabs and thus constantly have something in front of Jennings to go through in order to get on the inside.

Jennings however, would gradually have more success landing to champion’s body and was able to occasionally mix in offense to the head of Klitschko as the rounds went on. The challenger was clearly not awed by the occasion of fighting for a world championship for the first time in his career and doing so in a venue rich in Boxing history as Madison Square Garden. Jennings was also not intimidated by the champion and was not discouraged even when Klitschko would clinch him.

Klitschko’s holding of Jennings would lead to the champion being penalized a point in round ten. Despite losing a point on the scorecards, Klitschko was able to maintain a lead and fend off a determined effort from Jennings to retain his unified world championship via twelve round unanimous decision. Official scores were 118-109, and 116-111 (on two scorecards) for Wladimir Klitschko.

Unofficially, I scored this fight the same as two of the official judges on 116-111 in favor of Klitschko. Although Klitschko continues to sit atop the Heavyweight division and continues his march towards Boxing history having now successfully defended his title for the eighteenth time, this observer believes that Bryant Jennings became the fighter who was able to provide Klitschko with a stern test.

Even though it is logical to assume that there could be a difference of opinion in regard to Klitschko’s performance in this fight as compared to previous outings, I believe the story of this fight was not so much that Klitschko had difficulty in executing his offense, but rather a determined effort from a challenger who proved his legitimacy as a top contender in the Heavyweight division.

It will be interesting to see who Klitschko chooses to face next in what will be his nineteenth title defense and if successful would put him one defense away from tying Larry Holmes’ mark of twenty successful Heavyweight title defenses, second only to Joe Louis who has the all-time record for successful title defenses in any way division in the history of the sport of twenty-five. Although fighters such as Tyson Fury and Vyacheslav Glazkov are currently awaiting mandatory title shots as the WBO’s and IBF’s top-rated contenders and demand to see Klitschko face WBC champion Deontay Wilder to determine an undisputed Heavyweight world champion is likely to increase, this observer believes Bryant Jennings has earned a rematch.

After all, Jennings not only faced a dominant world champion who was vastly more experienced, but he also made that champion fight and was able to win rounds in the process. There have not been many challengers during Wladimir Klitschko’s current reign as champion who have brought the fight to him. Although Jennings suffered the first defeat of his career, his stock as a player in the Heavyweight division has gone up as a result of the determined effort he put forth in this fight.

Whether or not Jennings will get a rematch in the near future remains to be seen. If an immediate rematch is not in the cards for Bryant Jennings, it will be interesting to see whether or not his performance in this fight may lead to a title shot against Deontay Wilder for the WBC world championship assuming Klitschko will make a mandatory title defense in his next fight against either Fury or Glazkov. 

One thing however, is certainly clear. After a long absence, the demand for World Heavyweight championship Boxing here in the United States is alive and well. It is my hope that the resurgence of World Heavyweight championship fights here in America continues.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved. 

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 

Monday, April 20, 2015

What’s Next For Andrzej Fonfara And Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.?

The Light-Heavyweight fight between former WBC Middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andrzej Fonfara presented an intriguing storyline. In one corner Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a fighter who has had struggles in recent times losing his Middleweight world championship to Sergio Martinez in 2012 and engaging in two battles with top contender Brian Vera in 2013 and 2014.

 The first of those two battles between Chavez and Vera many observers including this one felt that Vera deserved the decision. To his credit however, Chavez left no doubts in his rematch with Vera earning a convincing twelve round unanimous decision. Despite his impressive performance in his second fight with Vera in March of last year, Chavez entered into this fight with Andrzej Fonfara having not fought in over a year. In addition to coming off of a layoff, Chavez was also fighting for the first time in the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division. Although Chavez fought both of his fights against Brian Vera at catch weights above the 160lb. Middleweight division, it did interest me to see how Chavez would respond to being hit by a natural Light-Heavyweight.

Standing in the corner opposing Chavez stood top Light-Heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara. Fonfara established himself in the eyes of many as a player in the Light-Heavyweight division by giving a spirited effort in defeat in his challenge of WBC world champion Adonis Stevenson in May of last year. Fonfara rebounded from his loss to Stevenson by scoring a ten round unanimous decision over Doudou Ngumbu in November of last year.

The fight between Chavez and Fonfara presented a unique opportunity for both fighters. For Chavez this fight represented an opportunity to establish himself as a contender in the Light-Heavyweight division by defeating a recent world title challenger who is ranked in the top ten in all of the sport’s major world sanctioning organizations. For Fonfara this fight was not only an opportunity to continue building momentum toward a potential title shot, but one might argue that a victory over a marquee opponent such as Chavez presented the opportunity to possibly secure a title shot in the near future.

An intriguing storyline culminated when Chavez and Fonfara met on April 18th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Stylistically, this fight had the ingredients of an exciting battle between two fighters who have shown willingness in the past to go toe to toe with their opposition. What was somewhat surprising from the outset was the disciplined approach in which Andrzej Fonfara executed his offense.

Fonfara dictated the pace of this fight from the beginning keeping Chavez at distance and landing combinations. Fonfara’s ability to place his punches well was complimented by a high defensive guard and his ability to use lateral movement to keep Chavez from being able to get on the inside for significant periods of time.

As the fight progressed Fonfara continued to dictate how the fight was fought. Fonfara’s combination punching, ability to counter Chavez, and return offense whenever Chavez was able to get close and let his hands go was the story of this fight. Chavez’ defensive flaws were something that Fonfara was able to take full advantage of as Chavez would often lead in with his head and in the process leave openings for Fonfara to execute his offense.

Even though Chavez needed to find a way to close the distance between himself and Fonfara and get on the inside of the naturally bigger fighter who also had a three inch reach advantage over him, Chavez’ jab was noticeably absent throughout much of this fight as he often walked forward without throwing punches or using head movement to get on the inside. This resulted in Chavez taking significant punishment before being able to let his hands go.

Despite being able to have his moments periodically throughout the fight, it became evident as the rounds went on that Chavez was gradually taking a beating at the hands of Fonfara. Although it was clear as the fight progressed that Fonfara was in control, what was impressive about his performance in my eyes was how he maintained his approach throughout and did not leave Chavez too many openings to attempt to turn the fight in his favor. Even though Fonfara would suffer a point deduction in the seventh round for shoulder butting Chavez, it did not cause him to change his strategy.

In the ninth round Fonfara dropped Chavez with a short left hook to the head. Although Chavez would get up from the knockdown, the first of his career, the bout would come to an end at the conclusion of the ninth round as Chavez would ask his corner to stop the fight indicating a possible leg injury.

The victory for Fonfara however, would be overshadowed briefly by fans who showed their displeasure of the stoppage by throwing beverages at the ring. Whenever situations such as this arise where debris get thrown in the ring in response to the outcome of the fight, readers have seen this observer periodically reference the scene that followed in the aftermath of John John Molina’s tenth round stoppage of Tony Lopez in their second fight in October 1989.

In that fight Molina dominated the action from start to finish and administered a beating to Lopez throughout. The one-sided fight was stopped in round ten causing a near riot from the pro-Lopez crowd in Lopez’ hometown of Sacramento, California at the Arco Arena. A similarity between that fight nearly twenty-six years ago and this fight between Chavez and Fonfara is that like Chavez, Lopez was significantly behind on the official scorecards and was not in a position where he could win the fight by decision.

The scene that developed in the aftermath of the stoppage of the second fight between Lopez and Molina remains one of the most ugly this observer has ever seen in the sport. Molina, who won the IBF Jr. Lightweight world championship from Lopez in that fight and his handlers, had to run for cover following the fight being stopped. 

Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, who was doing commentary on the broadcast of the fight for NBC Sports perhaps put it best when he said that the aftermath of that fight was a disgusting commentary on how far misplaced enthusiasm can go in sports as Lopez was significantly trailing on the scorecards and it was merciful in Pacheco’s opinion that the fight was stopped. The same can easily and perhaps should be said in regard to the fight between Andrzej Fonfara and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 

Although it was clear that the majority of fans who attended the fight between Chavez and Fonfara were supporters of Chavez, the reaction to the stoppage from the crowd in attendance was quite frankly unwarranted and unacceptable. Unlike the scene that emerged in the aftermath of the second Lopez-Molina fight, the scene that followed Andrzej Fonfara’s stoppage of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would not be as chaotic as things would quiet down quickly allowing Fonfara to be formally announced as the victor and for both fighters to give post-fight interviews and leave the ring at their own pace.

The brief ugly scene that emerged shortly after the fight was stopped however, should not overshadow the performance of Andrzej Fonfara. Fonfara not only confirmed his status as a legitimate Light-Heavyweight contender to those who may not have given him that credit prior to this fight, but he also dominated a fighter who was moving up in weight and who has enjoyed marquee status throughout his career.

It will be interesting to see where the twenty-seven year old Fonfara goes coming out of this fight. Fonfara, who called out Adonis Stevenson for a rematch after his victory over Chavez may have to wait for his opportunity for another shot at a world title as Boxing fans and experts alike have been calling for a unification bout between WBC champion Stevenson and undefeated unified WBO/IBF/WBA world champion Sergey Kovalev to determine an undisputed Light-Heavyweight world champion.

If a fight between Kovalev and Stevenson can be made in the near future it seems logical that Andrzej Fonfara could face the winner of that fight based not only on his performance against Chavez, but also his status as a top ten contender in the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Light-Heavyweight ratings. Fonfara certainly deserves a rematch against Stevenson if it can be made and he would also pose an interesting challenge for Sergey Kovalev. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for Andrzej Fonfara, but it is clear his stock continues to rise coming out of this fight.

As for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. it is difficult to tell what he might do coming out of this fight. One should remember that this was Chavez’ first fight in the Light-Heavyweight division and to his credit he chose to face a legitimate contender who recently fought for a world title. Some might say that Chavez could have opted to face someone who was not ranked in the top ten and perhaps someone who is not well known for his first fight as a Light-Heavyweight.

Even though Chavez came out of this fight with Andrzej Fonfara on the losing end, he deserves credit for choosing to face one of the best fighters in the division. Although Chavez has lost two of his last four fights and has suffered the first knockout loss of his professional career, this observer does not believe that Chavez is a shot fighter by any means.

This fight could be viewed as scenario of a naturally bigger man in Andrzej Fonfara simply besting a fighter in Chavez, who was moving up fifteen pounds above the weight where he was a world champion. In terms of what route Chavez might take next there are a few interesting options.

One option might be that Chavez moves down in weight to the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division where he is ranked in the top five by both the WBC and WBA. Although one might assume that the loss to Andrzej Fonfara might affect Chavez’ standing in the Super- Middleweight ratings, despite the fight taking place in a different weight class, perhaps moving down in weight to Super-Middleweight might be viewed as the best option for him.

Another option could be that Chavez chooses to continue competing as a Light-Heavyweight and if so he could find himself in position to secure a lucrative fights against some of the best fighters that the division has to offer. Despite losing this fight against Andrzej Fonfara, Chavez does still have a sizable fan following and is still a marquee draw in the sport. 

Although one might say that the scene that briefly emerged following the stoppage of this fight came from fans who may not have been aware that Chavez himself asked for the fight to be stopped and now knowing that it was he who ultimately stopped the fight that Chavez’ marquee value might be damaged going forward, I respectfully disagree. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has now competed in fifty-two professional fights, winning forty-eight of those bouts as well has earning a draw along the way.

It is true that Chavez has now suffered two losses in his career, but many great fighters throughout the history of the sport, including Chavez’ father the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. have at one time or another suffered setbacks and were able to rebound from them and go on to have continued success in their careers. This observer believes the twenty-nine year old Chavez needs time to regroup and if he can bounce back from this defeat, his loss to Andrzej Fonfara may ultimately be viewed as a bump in the road of what could be viewed as a great career when all is said and done.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved. 

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015


We want to let our readers know that we are between rounds and will return to our regular weekly schedule on Monday, April 20th. Stay Tuned.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Black Promoter Hopes To Have Success In One Of The Toughest Industries In Entertainment

Press Release: April 9, 2015- By League of Extraordinary Fighters and Majestic Raven Entertainment- “You say successful black boxing promoter and only one name pops up. I won’t say who but you know”.- Allen Jaco

Allen Jaco Pictured (Right) Photo Credit: Majestic Raven Entetertainment
Most 25 year old entrepreneurs dream of finding success as a business owner by looking at past success stories as inspiration. Inspiring record label owners dream of being the next P.Diddy or Russell Simmons. Some even dream of being the next Oprah or Virgin® founder Richard Branson. For Allen Jaco his entrepreneurial spirit led him to an endeavor where entrepreneurial inspiration is minimal: boxing.

Unlike other industries where the American dream is plentiful, Allen picked a sport where success is shrouded by controversy. Successful promoters like Don King, Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya all have had their share of turmoil and controversy in the sport. “I got into boxing because a couple of close friends of mine were boxing. I always had more than just love for the sport. I always wanted to be a part of this sport.” says Allen. “I just love it.”  While he has yet to promote a show (his first one will be May 8th) he has seen the difficulty that many in the industry face.  He realizes that history has not been favorable to African-American promoters. “There are so many successful African American boxers that even the casual fan can name. You say successful black promoter and only one name pops up. I wont say who but you know."

In January of this year Allen had scheduled his first boxing show, but due to injuries he had to cancel the event days before the show was to take place. “It was painful, I mean it was one of those things where you didn’t realize how much this business can be up and down. I mean we are days away from the fight and it just seem to fall apart. But, I learned a lot from it. Boxing is a sport just as much as it is a business.” 

Allen hopes that his May show will allow him to not only look for success but to accomplish a long term goal. “I always wanted to do a show in my hometown (Beaumont, Texas).  One of my goals was to bring boxing back here. May is the month where I start building my own inspiration.”

Allen Jaco is founder of League of Extraordinary Fighters, a Beaumont, Texas boxing promotional company. For more information about League of Extraordinary Fighters Please visit their Facebook page:

For more information about Majestic Raven Entertainment please visit:



Material Courtesy of: League of Extraordinary Fighters and Majestic Raven Entertainment. Used with permission.

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.