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Klitschko’s camp says fight is on; Jennings’ side says not yet

20
Jan
Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images

Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images

While RING heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says the former will defend his title against Bryant Jennings on April 25 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Jennings’ promoter, Gary Shaw of Roc Nation Sports, says, “We do not have a signed contract yet.”
“As of today we don’t have a signed contract,” said Shaw, through Roc Nation’s public relations. “So as far as we are concerned, there is no fight.”
Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, could not be reached for an immediate comment. But K2 Promotions, anticipating that the deal will be completed, issued a statement announcing the fight on behalf of Klitschko (63-3, 53 knockouts), 38.
“I don’t know where this comes from,” said Boente, in an email to RingTV.com. “But we have signed contracts from Roc Nation and Jennings but it could be that Tom hasn’t sent back the contract with his signature because he was travelling. Tom just told me that he hasn’t send it back yet and will do now.”

The release included a quote from an HBO official touting Klitschko as “an ambassador to the sport” and Jennings’ “opportunity.” Informed of the development, an HBO spokesperson said, “I’ll look into it.”

“I do have great respect for Bryant Jennings and his achievements. He has good movement in the ring and good technique,” said Klitschko who also holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles. Klitschko is coming off a fifth-round stoppage of previously undefeated Kubrat Pulev in November in the first of a three-fight deal Klitschko has with HBO.

“I know this will be a tough challenge. I am extremely happy to fight in New York again. I had my first unification fight here and a lot of great heavyweight matches have taken place at Madison Square Garden. It will definitely be a great fight night and I will do everything for it from my side.”

Klitschko made his 17th straight defense with the stoppage of Pulev, representing Klitschko’s 26th title bout. His record in title bouts is 24-2 including 22 defenses (over two reigns) that ranks second only to that of the 25 (all consecutive) by the legendary Joe Louis.

“For the fourth time, Wladimir will be boxing in the world’s most famous arena,” said Boente. “It’s always something special to promote at Madison Square Garden, where legends such as Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield stood inside the ring. We are looking forward to another exciting fight and a great event.”

Jennings (19-0, 10 KOs), of Philadelphia, was last in action for a split decision victory over previously unbeaten Mike Perez in July, ending Jennings’ own run of four straight stoppage wins.

“Wladimir has proven to be the most dominant heavyweight champion in recent history,” said Loeffler. “We are looking forward to another great performance on April 25.”

THE RING’s No. 5-rated heavyweight, Jennings, 30, is actually the mandatory challenger to WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder, who unanimously decisioned Bermane Stiverne for the belt on Saturday.

Roc Nation Sports finalized a deal earlier this month to purchase Shaw’s company, Gary Shaw Productions (GSP), making Shaw the organization’s head of the boxing division. In accordance with the move, Roc Nation took over the promotional agreements of Shaw’s fighters, a stable that includes Jennings.

 

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