Bryant Jennings in talks with Top Rank, sees ‘wide open’ division

By Mike Coppinger

You can add another name to the resurgent heavyweight division.

Bryant Jennings hasn’t competed since a December 2015 stoppage defeat to Luis Ortiz, but the Philadelphian’s return is in the works.

The fighter’s former promoter, Gary Shaw, is no longer doing just that — promoting — and Jennings had two choices: Buy out the contract or ride it out.

He chose patience — “had to ride it out” — before the contract finally expired on May 1. Now a free agent, Jennings met with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum last week in New York before the Terence Crawford-Felix Diaz fight. Jennings’ manager, James Prince, set up the meeting so Jennings, a savvy businessman, could meet Arum himself.

“We didn’t get a deal done, but we have mutual interest, and we just had a conversation. We had a sit-down, we talked some things out,” Jennings (19-2, 10 knockouts) told RingTV.com on Thursday. “Possibly in the future some things can come come to fruition.

“It went well, we’re on the same page. Bob’s a straight shooter, he going to lay it out there. … The track record behind Bob speaks for itself and the consistency and what he done over the years — it just speaks for itself. It’s obvious when you look at the numbers, the numbers are going to tell the truth.”

Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti confirmed to RingTV.com that “there was a meeting (with) some interest on both sides.”

It’s a natural move for both parties. Top Rank co-promotes WBO heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker, and also promotes Andy Ruiz, who gave the New Zealand native all he could handle in December.

Jennings is strong and athletic, and although he’s coming off a pair of losses (the only two of his career), they came against RING Top 5-rated heavyweights in Wladimir Klitschko and Ortiz (who wasn’t rated at the time but came in at No. 5 after beating Jennings). Jennings actually gave future Hall of Famer Klitschko some issues with his athleticism and speed on his way to a decision defeat, and then accepted another challenging fight immediately after.

The 32-year-old splits his time between Boca Raton, Florida, and Philadelphia, and while he hasn’t competed under the bright lights, he’s been hard at work. Jennings was in camp with Alexander Povetkin ahead of the eventually scrapped fight against Bermane Stiverne (scheduled for December 2016). “By-By” also helped Shannon Briggs prepare for Fres Oquendo before that fight was canceled Monday.

Jennings remains in great shape — not just physically, but mentally.

“Everybody be forgetting about life, so I’ve been living,” said Jennings, who took time to educate himself on finances following the two biggest purses of his career.”They just want you to be in the ring all damn day and be stupid. … It’s definitely nice to take advantage of yourself, take some time for yourself to figure some things out. When you’re training all the time you definitely can’t do that.”

Arum asked Jennings, “When will you be ready to fight?”

“I said ‘yesterday.’ It’s always been whatever with whoever,” Jennings said. “These dudes are not competitive. I hate when I speak on it and they say, ‘Oh you’re negative.’ I’ll just be quiet.”

Before the losses to Klitschko and Ortiz, Jennings built some buzz with wins on HBO over Artur Szpilka and Mike Perez in 2014. With more than one year off to recharge his batteries, Jennings hopes to mix it up with some of the best in the division soon enough.

“In a perfect world, the plan is to get active, stay active, be consistent and show the world I’m of a different era,” he said. “It’s only been eight years since [I started] boxing anyway. They don’t appreciate realness, they don’t appreciate rarity. They look at everything that’s common.

“The game is wide open.”

The post Bryant Jennings in talks with Top Rank, sees ‘wide open’ division appeared first on The Ring.

Source:: The Ring – Boxing

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By Fernando Quiles Jr. When Matt Brown isn’t competing, he’s enjoying his time coaching other fighters. Brown has had quite the mixed martial arts (MMA) career. There was a point when “The Immortal” was written off by many. Then something clicked. Brown went on a seven-fight winning streak and even found himself in a title eliminator. When it’s all […]

Source:: MMA News

De La Hoya expects 3M buys for Canelo-Golovkin

By Wil Esco

Oscar De La Hoya has some high hopes for this fall’s big fight.

In this video interview caught by FightHub, Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya talks about his expectations for this September’s Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight as he narrows down his list of potential venues.

De La Hoya on his opinion about the current state of boxing:

“With the heavyweight division being back with Anthony Joshua, you know with the Keith Thurman fight that was viewed by what, more that 5 million people on prime time TV, with Canelo-Chavez selling over a million homes — we’re expecting close to 3 million with Golovkin and Canelo in September. These are the types of fights that bring boxing back, and that’s exactly my mission – is to bring boxing back, bring back that excitement that people used to live for when watching boxing. So little by little we’re chipping that block and hopefully making it happen.”

On where Canelo-Golovkin will be held:

“It’s between Dallas and Las Vegas so I have my meetings set already, all this week and next week, and hopefully I can have an answer for you in a few days.”

On what will ultimately be the deciding factor in choosing a venue:

“What was that movie, ‘show me the money!’ [laughs]. No, no, it’s all about where the fans want it. I mean, look, we’ve been having polls on ESPN and all over on the web,on the internet, and it’s all about where the fans want it and a lot of fans are saying they want it in Dallas – it’s almost split right down the middle – a lot of people want it in Vegas because of the whole excitement and Vegas and the lights and action and so I have my work cut out but I’m sure I’ll decide on the perfect place for this fight.”

Source:: Bad Left Hook

Kell Brook: ‘I’m the southpaw-slayer’

By Tom Gray

When a big fight comes around there are always questions, and Kell Brook defending his IBF welterweight title against unbeaten American Errol Spence Jr. presents more than most.

The pair will collide at Bramall Lane soccer stadium in Sheffield, England, on Saturday, before a crowd of approximately 26,000 people. It is a U.K. pay-per-view event, has been picked up by Showtime in the U.S. and it is the hottest ticket in world boxing this weekend.

Brook, who is rated No. 2 by THE RING at 147 pounds, won the title in August 2014 when he outpointed highly rated brawler Shawn Porter in Carson, California. The Sheffield-born boxer-puncher has made three successful defenses, against “Jo Jo” Dan, Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier. Spence, a highly talented and explosive southpaw, looks like none of the above.

“He’s very good at everything he does and there’s nothing I can pull him on,” admitted Brook in an interview with RingTV.com. “I’m up against someone who has similarities to myself. He’s big, he’s a smart fighter, he can punch and he can box. It all comes back to experience and I’ve proven that I have the will to win. This time around he’s in with the champion.

“I’ve been over to California and won the world title. I’ve been through what Errol is going through now but I’ve come through the other side. I’ve been in big fights, big stadium fights, and I know what it takes. I’ve defended the title and I’ve sampled the big fight atmosphere. He still has question marks and we’re going to find out what he’s made of.”

Yes, at this point, you’re either a believer or a non-believer when it comes to Spence. The American’s best victories have arguably come against Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu and, although Spence dazzled in those virtuoso performances, Brook is keen to keep things in perspective. The Sheffield man stated that Algieri “couldn’t threaten Spence with his punch-power” and Bundu was “over the hill.”

But what about Spence’s southpaw style and power? The visitor, who is rated No.7 by THE RING, has won 21 straight, scoring 18 knockouts, and nobody has come close to testing him.

“I’ve been quoted before as saying I’m the southpaw-slayer,” replied Brook confidently. “I can get my shots off and I can get involved with southpaws and figure them out.

Errol Spence. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

“I think this fight will erupt and you can expect anything. You can even expect both of us to be hurt. You can expect both of us to be asked serious questions and I know, from experience, that I can answer those questions. I’ve shown that I can adapt and find a way to win. I’ve never lost at welterweight and I’ve trained hard for this fight.”

And therein lies the next question. In his most recent outing, last September, Brook was transformed into a solid 160-pounder to challenge the most feared middleweight in the world, Gennady Golovkin. Brook had a go but succumbed to the bigger man in five rounds, sustaining a broken orbital bone in the process.

Many expected him to vacate his welterweight title and settle in at junior middleweight. Brook (36-1, 25 knockouts) had struggled to make 147 pounds before his excursion into middleweight territory, so surely his days at welterweight were over? Not according to Brook, who was unwilling to give up what he worked so hard for.

Can the Englishman be as good as he was at welterweight, following a substantial weight-drop, or will the laws of physiology catch up on the 31-year-old?

“At this moment in time, I think it’s been a very good move,” Brook said in earnest. “I didn’t train my whole career to get that world title so that I could give it up. It has been a struggle but we’re going to find out how I can perform at welterweight. I’ll refuel after the weigh-in and get all the rehydration drinks into me.

“I’ll be firing on all cylinders. I’m fighting-fit, ready, sharp and I’ll be able to do this. I might stay at welterweight (after this fight) but it depends how I feel. When I come out of this one, I’d like to sign up for another fight and get back out before the end of the year. I’d like to get another fight arranged when I’m still lean, fit and healthy.”

All the questions are due to be answered. Can Spence kick it at top level? Will Brook’s experience prove decisive? Can Spence take a direct hit? Can Brook still operate effectively at the welterweight limit?

“You’re going to be in a fight and I’m coming,” hissed Brook when asked to deliver Spence a pre-fight message. “I am Sheffield steel and the title will stay in Sheffield.”

Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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Source:: The Ring – Boxing

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Source:: MMA News

Watch live: Brook-Spence weigh-in, 8 a.m. ET

Watch live: Brook-Spence weigh-in, 8 a.m. ET

Source:: ESPN – Boxing

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Source:: MMA News