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