Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings and featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson are likely to return to the ring on Friday, Jan. 18, according to Dan Rafael, with no opponents set yet for that card, which would air on ESPN+ from Verona, New York.
Jennings (24-2, 14 KO) is getting himself back into the heavyweight mix, winning three fights this year and five in a row following back-to-back losses to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz in 2015.
The 34-year-old Philly fighter most recently fought on August 18, beating veteran Alexander Dimitrenko by ninth round TKO. Jennings had to come off the canvas in the fourth round of that bout. Top Rank seem determined to get him back to the level where he can land another title fight, and I wouldn’t expect anything truly marquee out of the January bout, rather something to keep Jennings winning.
Stevenson (9-0, 5 KO) went 5-0 in 2018, capping his in-ring year on October 13 with a sensational first round wipeout of veteran Viorel Simion in Omaha, on the Crawford-Benavidez undercard.
The 21-year-old rising star has called out the top names in his division, but most likely we see him also keep taking increment moves up the ladder. He’s young and full of promise and has star charisma, but also plenty he can still improve, so Top Rank will likely keep being smart and relatively cautious. Another veteran test would make sense for him in January.