Yesterday both Wladimir Klitschko and Bryant Jennings held a press conference to officially announce their April 25th title fight at MSG. This event will mark Wlad's 18th consecutive title defense, and he's absolutely brimming with confidence. According to HBO's Ken Hershman, this will also mark Wlad's 20th appearance on HBO. Bryant, however, isn't showing any intimidation and predicts that the fight will end in a KO.
"This fight will end in a knockout," said Jennings. "It's going to be either him or me. Don't think it will be me."
It's nice that he believes in himself, but realistically, if this fight does end in a knockout, it will mostly likely be Jennings who is on the receiving end. He has just never been in the ring with anyone in Wlad's class (but to be fair, there really is no one in Wlad's class in the heavyweight division).
"The older Wladimir gets, the more seemingly invincible he becomes," said Hershman.
This is in part due to Wlad's abilities and experience, but it also speaks to the void in the heavyweight division, one which hasn't been a deep division in quite some time. But Gary Shaw, who now promotes Jennings by his lonesome after a short-lived affair with Roc Nation, thinks that Jennings youth and athleticism provide the necessary ingredients to end the champion's long reign.
"One guy likes to hold and lean and the other guy is younger and faster," said Shaw.
"You can't measure anyone's heart in the ring," said Shaw, "and Bryant has been working out to carry all five of Klitschko's belts (Klitschko also holds the IBO title) out of the ring."
"If Klitschko gets old in that ring Bryant will be there to capitalize," added Shaw.
Hoping Wlad gets old in the ring isn't exactly a true vote of confidence for Jennings though. It appears he's banking more on Wlad diminishing rather than his fighter just plain ol' winning due to his own skill set. I think this is something that even Wlad is acutely aware of, and why he mentioned that a showdown with Deontay Wilder is inevitable, but that he's just focused on what's in front of him at this moment.
"Jennings is a tough challenger and I must be ready for everything," Klitschko said. "I know he will prepare well for this opportunity."
"I'm the baddest man on the planet."