In front of 17,056 fans at a packed Madison Square Garden, Wladimir Klitschko had his toughest fight in years, but the champ prevailed yet again, beating Bryant Jennings over 12 rounds on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Klitschko (64-3, 53 KO) wasn't exactly ever in danger of losing to Jennings (19-1, 10 KO), but he definitely had to earn the victory, as Jennings refused to crumble in the face of Wladimir's menacing aura or even some monstrous right hand shots that looked like they would have knocked out just about anyone else in the division.
In other words, this was no standard Klitschko wipeout, no drubbing, no early night. Klitschko left this fight having taken some punishment, especially to the body, where Jennings did most of his best work. He also legitimately disrupted Klitschko's rhythm quite frequently, and with referee Michael Griffin taking a harder than normal stance on Klitschko's notorious holding, Wladimir wasn't able to lean and lay on Jennings as much as we've seen him do in past fights.
That said, Klitschko also definitely won this fight, and deserves credit for holding off the challenge of a very determined, younger fighter who came in with a good game plan and executed quite well for most of the night. It was Wladimir whose hand was raised when it was over, making his 18th straight successful world title defense, and winning his 22nd consecutive fight.