Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs) was the first to show up for the media day so he was the first to be interviewed. Reporters swarmed moments after he came through the door:
Jennings said that he's not thinking about Artur Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs) potentially being unable to fight (due to visa problems) although he is concerned. Ultimately he's "leaving that to the other side" and is just focused on "fighting on January 25th" regardless of the opponent. He seems to believe that he's fighting on that date whether Szpilka shows or not, which may be true, but not just any opponent will get the bout televised by HBO. Hopefully things turn out for the best. Either way I doubt Jennings would choose different words to talk about the fight. As far as BY is concerned Szpilka is "just another opponent" and his "18th fight." He even quoted Forrest Gump afterward and proclaimed, "That's all I've got to say about that."
Later, when Jennings was baited about Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KOs) having more exposure than him, he replied, "We all know that his exposure has got him exposed." Some of us probably believe that to a certain degree, but it's hard to expose a perfect record until a blemish comes along...or at least a robbery. Either way Jennings plans to make a much bigger statement in his HBO debut than anything Wilder has ever done on Showtime or elsewhere.
As for the other heavyweights out there, Jennings said he doesn't really study them unless he's at their fights. He's not concerned about Mike Perez-Carlos Takam taking place the weekend before his scheduled date, although HBO is most likely interested in matching the winner against Jennings or Szpilka. Jennings also appears interested if the prize is right (it's not just about the money). It will be intriguing to see which network grabs the Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola rematch. HBO picked it up the first time but Arreola took his next fight on Showtime (which got him back into title contention). Nonetheless, no matter who grabs the fight the ultimate prize remains the same - the WBC heavyweight championship of the world. And that's what Jennings is looking to get.
But I digress. Next to show up to the media day, unexpectedly and without workout attire, was the great Bernard Hopkins:
B-Hop pretty much crashed the party, but, hey, it was his Birthday, plus he's the "Alien," so, whatever. Hopkins just turned 49. Don't you know old people do whatever the **** they want? To hell with "the cold war," B-Hop will show up to a Top Rank media event if he feels like it. While there he discussed unifying with Beibut Shumenov in March/April and picked Adonis Stevenson to beat Sergey Kovalev (whenever they get around to it). B-Hop then wants to unify (again) with Stevenson and become the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world, as previously reported in the Fighter-Writer Diaries. In any event, while B-Hop was being interviewed by the media, Jesse Hart (11-0, 10 KOs) arrived and was immediately interviewed by Top Rank. When Jesse finished with them the media jumped in:
Essentially Jesse wants to set himself apart from everyone else that has fought Derrick Findley (20-11-1, 13 KOs) by stopping him inside 3 rounds. Findley has previously gone the distance with Andre Ward, Matt Korobov, Fernando Guerrero, J'Leon Love, and Curtis Stevens among others. The only man to stop Findley is Andre Dirrell, and that was a 6 round corner retirement. "Hard Work" Hart plans to simply annihilate Findley and subsequently send him back down in weight. Jesse sees Derrick as an "undisciplined fighter" that should be a welterweight.
On another note Jesse stated his intentions to bring significant boxing matches back to Philadelphia, his hometown. Bob Arum promised to make it happen for him, for whatever that's worth. Not to dig at fellow Philly fighter Danny Garcia, but Jesse says a world title fight should have been in place for Danny at home by now. Jesse plans to fight for a world title of his own within a year.
And that mostly wrapped it up as far as interviews went. The remaining videos are of the actual workouts. First Jennings shadowboxed:
Then he hit the speed bag:
Then Jennings finished up by jumping rope:
Next Hart began to workout, starting with some shadowboxing:
Then he worked mitts with Fred Jenkins and Danny Davis (the latter of which is highly recommended to see):
Then he hit the speed bag (also recommended):
Then he hit the heavy bag:
Then he jumped rope:
Then he used weight to exercise his neck:
And finally Jesse ended the workout by exercising his abs:
Hart, a part of D&D Management, wasn't the only fighter in the stable to attend the media day as Damon Allen (5-0, 2 KOs) and Emmanuel Taylor (17-1, 12 KOs) watched on. BLH recently caught up with Allen after his win over Anthony Linenfelser. Thus BLH interviewed Taylor instead, scheduled to fight the undefeated Chris Algieri on Feb. 14. Taylor believes his greater experience will lead him to victory.
The Jesse Hart & Bryant Jennings media day took place at the Joe Hand boxing gym on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. A photo gallery of the event, courtesy of Darryl Cobb Jr, is available atop this page.