Philadelphia heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings totaled five victories in as many bouts in 2012. A 28-year-old boxer-puncher who stands 6-foot-2, Jennings scoring three knockouts during that time, including stoppages in his past two fights.
But Jennings had to rise from a second-round knockdown to defeat his last opponent, Bowie Tupou, whom he finished in the fifth round last December.
Jennings (16-0, 8 knockouts) faces perhaps an even more difficult challenge in his initial fight of 2013 when he meets hard-hitting Russian Andrey Fedosov (24-2, 19 KOs), of Hollywood, Calif., on June 14 on NBC’s Fight Night from the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa.
“Fedosov hasn’t had a chance to fight the top guys,” said Fedesov’s Chicago-based promoter, Bobby Hitz. “Once Fedosov gets a hold of Jennings, you’ll see a brand new face in the heavyweight division.”
A 27-year-old from Shuya, Russia, who stands 6-foot-1, Fedosov has won six of his past seven fights with five knockouts, all of which have been in the United States.
Fedosov has a three-fight winning streak since falling by split-decision to former contender Lance Whitaker in June of 2010, a bout during which Fedosov suffered a torn left bicep.
Coming off a fifth-round stoppage of Darnell Wilson in April, Fedosov is looking to continue his victory march against Jennings.
But Jennings is looking for improvement since facing Tupou.
“I haven’t boxed since Dec. 8, and I’m anxious to get back into the ring. I never look ahead,” said Jennings, who stopped Tupou with a right uppercut in the final round of their bout.
“Yes, I’m on the fast track to the top, but people can make mistakes when they forget to concentrate on the task at hand. My job is to beat Fedosov, then move on to bigger and better things. That’s where my focus is currently.”
Jennings-Fedosov is part of a triple-header to include welterweight Ray Nahr (25-2, 21 KOs) ending a more than two-year layoff with his returns against Puerto Rican welterweight Ronald Cruz (17-1, 12 KOs), having last been in the ring when he was stopped in the third round by Mike Alvarado in May of 2011.
Nahr is replacing Jaime Herrera (10-2, 5 KOs), who suffered a lower back injury during training. The card will also feature light heavyweights Sergei Kovalev (20-0-1, 18 KOs) and Cornelius White (21-1, 16 KOs).
Photos PhillyBoxingHistory.com and Main Events
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]