Tonight at 10:00 pm EST on HBO, Wladimir Klitschko returns to the ring to face unbeaten American Bryant Jennings in the main event of a doubleheader from Madison Square Garden. BLH will be here with live round by round coverage and results.
BoxNation (UK) and RTL (Germany) will also have live broadcasts.
Klitschko (63-3, 53 KO) has not fought on American soil since 2008, when he beat Sultan Ibragimov via dreary decision at the same venue. He's a massive favorite for this fight, but Jennings (19-0, 10 KO) is a hungry fighter entering his prime, and coming off of two wins on HBO last year. He's been working toward this fight since 2012, and though Klitschko is expected to dominate, both fighters looked in excellent shape at yesterday's weigh-in event, too.
In the co-feature, welterweight prospect Sadam Ali (21-0, 13 KO) puts his undefeated record on the line in his second appearance on HBO, this time taking on dangerous prospect checker Francisco Santana (22-3-1, 11 KO).
Connor Ruebusch will be handling the live duties this evening, so join him for the fights!
Wladimir Klitschko defeats Bryant Jennings by Unanimous Decision (116-111 x 2, 118-109)
Sadam Ali defeats Francisco Santana by Unanimous Decision (97-93 x 2, 100-90)
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO vs BRYANT JENNINGS
Round 1: Huge roar from the crowd and we're off. Jennings looks for the jab early, and he's moving his head a lot, swaying from side to side. Clipping overhand right from Jennings, and we should be able to expect that punch a lot from him going forward. Klitschko looking calm and collected, and he ties Jennings up twice in quick succession. Hard right hand from Klitschko. Jennings dives into the clinch, but lands a good right hand to the ribs before Klitschko can tie him up. Sharp jabs from Wlad, and he suddenly has Jennings on the retreat. Another overhand right from Jennings, but Klitschko catches this one on his shoulder. Klitschko pawing with the jab now, and he pushes Jennings back. Jennings tries to fire back, but nothing doing. Short right from Klitschko to end the round. 10-9 Klitschko
Round 2: Now Jennings is the one coming forward, and Wlad paws and paws with the jab, feeling out his reactions. Jennings attacks head-forward, and Klitschko does as Klitschko does, tying him up. Nice right to the body from Jennings, and a body jab. Now Klitschko has Jennings on the ropes, and he spears him with two crisp jabs. Jennings circling along the ropes now as Wlad pokes him with the jab. Now the Klitschko 1-2, and Jennings fails to land with his counter hook. Another nice 1-2 to end the round. 10-9 Klitschko, 20-18
Round 3: Jennings gets tied up quickly and goes to work with some nice rights inside, two to the ribs and an uppercut that may or may not have caught Wlad's chin. Klitschko is back on the offensive now, though. Not throwing much, but stalking and measuring. Jennings is having to work much harder at the ropes than Wlad is in the center of the ring. Jennings counters a Klitschko jab with one of his own, but as he retreats the champion follows him with a right hand to the temple. Jennings lands two good shots to the body--that's the best tactic for him early against the giant Klitschko. Klitschko eats three more body shots as he wraps Jennings up in a clinch. And again. 10-9 Jennings, 29-28 Klitschko
Round 4: Jennings leading with the body jab again, and smartly banging Klitschko's ribs after ending up in the clinch. Hard 1-2 from Klitschko, but Jennings responds with some rights to the body. Klitschko looks for his killer left hook now, but Jennings blocks it. Another clinch from Klitschko--hey, what did you expect? But hey now, the referee warns him that he'll take a point if he continues to hold so much. Klitschko lets his hands go now, but Jennings does a nice job defending . Wlad spears him with three hard jabs down the middle. Counter hook from Klitschko, but Jennings is finding the body. 10-9 Klitschko, 39-37
Round 5: And... a clinch opens the round. Four snapping jabs in a row from Klitschko. He's keeping Jennings at bay with that left now, but Jennings prods him with a jab of his own, and this time when Klitschko wraps him up he eats some punches to the ribs again. Once again Wlad is warned by the referee about the holding. Klitschko unleashes the big right a few times, but Jennings blocks it. Klitschko grabs again, and when the ref warns him about holding again Klitschko tries--wonder of wonders--a hard uppercut. Big right hand at range from Wlad, and Jennings drops his hands to say "you didn't hurt me," before jumping in with a good left hook to the body. 10-9 Klitschko, 49-46
Round 6: Jennings gets home with some seriously hard body shots. After a brief clinch, Jennings walks in again, and runs chin-first into a very stiff Klitschko jab that gets his eyes blinking. More good body shots from Jennings, right then left. Klitschko lands a jab at range. Jennings comes in and lands a clipping overhand right. Wlad barely misses with a short right hand as Jennings steps in. Now Jennings is practically putting himself in the clinch--maybe a clever effort to get a point deducted from the champ. Klitschko spins Jennings into the corner, and goes to work with combinations. 10-9 Jennings, 58-56 Klitschko
Round 7: Klitschko is back on his jab, and he's got Jennings against the ropes early. He's throwing it low and high nicely. Jennings with a nice left hook over the right hand of Klitschko. Klitschko walks into a clinch, and now Jennings throws the uppercut inside, popping Klitschko's head back. Jennings drops his hands right in front of Klitschko, taunting him, and gets them up just in time to stop the Klitschko left hook. Jennings backing up again, looking for the counter. Right hook to the body from Jennings backs Wlad up. They move and land very little for the last thirty seconds. Another Jennings round--color me impressed. 10-9 Jennings, 67-66 Klitschko
Round 8: Klitschko backs Jennings up, but Jennings jumps right at him with a left hook. Now Klitschko throws the hook, and walks into a Jennings jab in the process. Wlad's right hits gloves, and Jennings nails him with two hard body shots. Venomous 1-2 from Klitschko, both punches piercing Jenning's high guard. A series of stiff jabs lands for the champion. Another, and he shoves Jenning back with his outstretched left hand. 10-9 Klitschko, 77-75
Round 9: Klitschko backing Jennings up again, and gets in the jab to the solar plexus, a real rarity for him. Referee gives Klitschko a "last warning" about holding after he wraps Jennings up and eats a few hard body shots. Klitschko gets back on his jab, and Jennings misses with a wild overhand right. Now Jennings charges him and gets in with an overhand that knocks Wladimir off balance. Oh man! Klitschko staggers Jennings with the single hardest punch of the fight so far, a cracking straight right hand. Now he tries the hook, but Jennings stops it short. 10-9 Klitschko, 87-84
Round 10: Jennings puts his football background to use and practically takes Wlad off his feet with a running clinch attempt. Okay, now the referee takes a point from Klitschko, even though he wasn't holding Jennings. He had his hands on his shoulders, so that was a poor time to take a point, but you can't deny that Klitschko's had it coming for years now. Klitschko having to force himself not to hold now, but he gets in a good uppercut and a straight right against the ropes. Short right behind the ear from Klitschko. He may actually be doing better now that he's not allowed to clinch. Jennings with a shoeshine body combo. And another to close the round after running right into Klitschko's chest. 9-9 Klitschko, 96-93
Round 11: Jennings lands a hard right to the body. A few more forced clinches from Jennings, neither man landing much aside from some short shots from Jennings in close. Jennings coming forward now, and Klitschko is bouncing around, trying to find an opening. Jennings gets in with an overhand, but Klitschko comes back with a pair of hard 1-2s, getting his right hand through Jennings' gloves. More cuffing right hands in a final clinch, but nothing serious. 10-9 Klitschko, 106-102
Round 12: Jennings seems ready to fight his heart out in this round. He lands a good left hook to the body of the champion, and a wide right to the ribs on the other side. Klitschko is looking for the knockout, and he gets in with a vicious combination of straight punches. The left cross slips right through Jennings' gloves and snaps his head back. Klitschko looking very energetic, and he lands a stunning right hand that seems to have wobbled Jennings and slowed him considerably. Klitschko looks for the right again, but Jennings slides under it. Wlad stalking now, and Jennings seems to have rescinded his early promise to fight aggressively. Thudding jab from Klitschko, and a hard right after Jennings pulls back. Great round for Klitschko, great round in general. 10-9 Klitschko, 116-111
SADAM ALI vs FRANCISCO SANTANA
Round 1: Ali starts off circling along the ropes, sticking Santana with his sharp jab. Santana stocking and looking for the big left hook. Covering well with his gloves, but not landing much of his own so far. Santana finds his jab now, and suddenly he's getting closer with his other punches. Straight right to the body from Ali. Ali showing some slick defense, but Santana is landing to the body. Glancing hook from Ali, and Santana is getting closer and closer, and landing more and more. Nice body shots to end the round for Santana. 10-9 Santana
Round 2: Solid defense from Santana coming forward, as Ali throws hard punches in combination but finds only gloves. There's a clean punch from Ali, a left hook to the liver, but Santana comes back with one of his own. Two hard body shots from Santana, but Ali has him hurt with an uppercut! Ali on the offensive now, and Santana backs up for the first time in the fight. And a hard left hook to the jaw from Ali. Santana closes the gap once more, but those were some punishing blows. Good jab from Santana, and a short overhand right as Ali tries to sit down on a combination.Great comeback from Santana, but it wasn't enough. 10-9 Ali, 19-19
Round 3: Ali busy with the feints early, and he has Santana reacting. Let's see what he can put together. First hard punch of the round is another uppercut from Ali, clean but not as devastating as the last. Ali busy with the jab, and Santana cracks him with a cross counter that snaps his head back. Santana gets Ali in the corner and goes to work. Not much landing, but he finishes up with a decent body shot. Good uppercut to the ribs from Ali, but Santana comes in with a high-low combination, and lands the right upstairs. And again, and now a solid left hook as Ali circles away. And another sharp right from Santana as Ali circles the other way. Good left hook from Ali, but he's having to work a lot more this round, and Santana did enough to win it. 10-9 Santana, 29-28
Round 4: Both fighters working their jabs, both landing intermittently. Good right hand from Ali, and a good right to the body in return from Santana. Two good body shots from Santana, and they clinch. Ali tries to jump back in after the break, but nothing doing--Santana's gloves are high and his vision is still good. Ali catches Santana with a jab as he jumps in, but he's cornered once again and Santana gets in with a pair of left hooks. Ali upping his volume, but again he's catching gloves and arms. Santana is out-landing mostly because he's the one going to the body. 10-9 Santana, 39-37
Round 5: Nice jabs and a decent right hand from Ali to start. Santana's all over him still, but Santana starts this round doing a better job of switching angles and firing off choice punches. Another right hand from Ali. Ali ducks a four punch shoeshine combination from Santana. But Santana catches him with an awkward short right against the ropes. Now Ali has Santana's right arm tied up, and Santana goes to work with the left, fonking Ali with three or four short hooks. Now they break, and Ali is back on his bike. Good jabs from Ali, and a good 1-2 down the pipe. Santana's starting to fall in now, and getting tied up as a result. Ali ends the round with a rapid-fire combo. 10-9 Ali, 48-47 Santana
Round 6: Ali with a sharp right hand to start, and Santana comes back with a sharp left hook. And another hook from Santana, this one after a good right to the body. Another 1-2 from Santana, and now he posts his left hand on Santana's face to keep space, pops him with the right hand, and follows with a hook. Clever work from the undefeated prospect. Santana pressing even harder at the end of this round. His combinations are looking wide now, but he lands a few left hooks to the chest as Ali circles. Ali ends the round hitting gloves once more, and Santana comes back with a left to the body. 10-9 Ali, 57-57
Round 7: Ali landing more jabs to start the round. Ali is picking up the volume again, and he connects with a glancing right hand and a left uppercut. Santana tries to close the distance again, but he steps right into Ali's jab. Ali finds the chin with that punch three more times immediately after. Santana is starting to miss baddly now, and Ali is finding his timing with the jabs and a few lefts to the body. Lead right from Ali there. Santana ends the round flurrying, but he's hitting shoulders and air now. An easy Ali round. 10-9 Ali, 67-66
Round 8: Ali is starting to back up toward the ropes without actually hitting them now. Then, when Santana throws, Ali slides back to evade and comes back with a counter right. Sergio Martinez-esque manipulation of distance from Ali. Nice counter uppercut from Ali, but the hook he was countering still lands, and then another. Santana has heart, folks. He's still doing good work. Two nice body shots from Santana, and then a very solid left hook upstairs that may have staggered Ali for a moment. And Ali is certainly on the defensive now, throwing much less than before. Ali back to countering now, and he's getting clipped but sneaking in sharp uppercuts. Very close round. 10-9 Santana, 76-76
Round 9: Santana comes out with renewed vigor, and lands the short right that was working so well for him earlier on. Ali jabbing, of course, but not landing as much as he was in the 7th and 8th. Ali counters a Santana jab with a left uppercut to the body, and a short right on the ear. Santana traps Ali against the ropes and clips him with a few glancing blows, and then a stiff jab. Ali slides in to clinch, and Santana meets him with a nice uppercut before agreeing to tie up. Santana lands a few cuffing blows and then once clean body shot in the corner. And a left hook at the bell seals that round for Santana. 10-9 Santana, 86-85
Round 10: Ali starts the round well, meeting Santana's assault with sharps 1s and 2s. Santana throws to the body with the hook now, and sweeps a right hand over the top. Ali going to the clinch to get a reset, but Santana's on him immediately after the break. Ali clinches again, and Santana goes to work. Ali clips Santana with a left hook coming in now, and now a hard overhand right. Santana looks wobbly on his legs. Santana is just standing in front of him, and he eats another right. But Santana dives into the pocket with a shoeshine combo to the beltline. He's bumrushing Ali now, coming in head first and just mindlessly swinging away. Ali's offense has been stifled, but Santana isn't landing cleanly. They end the fight swinging away in the corner. 10-9 Ali, 95-95 DRAW