Friday, July 25, 2014

Fight Nite

The following is reprinted from HBO and boxing writer Nat Gottlieb. I have particular interest in this fight as the heavyweight I manage has sparred with Jennings and could eventually have to face him for a title. Jennings is also a friend as I have watched him fight and train for a few years now and really like the guy. We will be glued to the TV Saturday night for this match.

In the co-featured bout of Saturday night's World Championship Boxing card at 9:30 PM, two unbeaten heavyweight contenders on the verge of a title fight will step into the ring in what should be an all-action affair with much at stake. Bryant Jennings vs. Mike Perez has the potential to be one of the best heavyweight fights in recent memory. But despite their stellar credentials, each fighter brings some heavy-duty question marks with them into the ring. The answers will go a long way toward bringing some clarity as to who will eventually take over the world title that Vitali Klitschko vacated.

The questions surrounding Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs) are of a different nature. He came to boxing relatively late, at the age of 24. Like a lot of late starters, Jennings was involved in other sports. At Ben Franklin High School in Philadelphia, he played football, basketball, ran the 200 meters and threw the shot put. After graduation, Jennings took a job as a mechanic at the Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia to support his fiancĂ© and young son – a job he still works at in between training for fights.
One benefit of his participation in other sports is that Jennings is an unusually athletic heavyweight whose style more resembles fighters from the lower weight divisions. In addition to moving well in the ring, he has excellent hand speed and a strong jab helped by his exceptionally long reach – at 84 inches, it's three inches longer than Wladimir Klitschko's. He is also that less common heavyweight today with a sculpted body (sort of the anti-Chris Arreola).
The downside to his late start is he is still something of a work in progress. His trainer, Fred Jenkins recently said: "People need to know that Bryant Jennings is still learning how to fight. On his skill level, he's at a B working on a B+. Each fight is a learning experience for him."
Jennings' promoter Gary Shaw says he would compare his boxer, who is 6'2", to a certain former heavyweight champion. "He reminds me of Evander Holyfield in terms of his athleticism, although he didn't have the amateur experience Holyfield had," Shaw says. "I consider him a small heavyweight, like Holyfield. But both fight bigger than their size." Worth noting is that while Holyfield was a half inch taller, his reach was just 78 inches, six shorter than Jennings'.
In his last fight, Jennings faced Artur Szpilka, an undefeated Polish boxer who had beaten a mediocre string of opponents. Although he scored a 10th round knockout, Jennings didn't look as sharp and crisp as he usually does – a fact that could be attributed to ring rust.
After a breakout year in 2012, in which he fought five times on national TV, Jennings had just one fight in 2013, due to promotional problems that were resolved when Shaw bought out his contract last year. When he entered the ring against Szpilka, it was just his second fight in two years. "Everybody has ring rust," Shaw says. "This time when he fights I guarantee you he won't be rusty."
But Jennings may face another obstacle. He was originally scheduled to fight Perez on May 24, but the Cuban sustained a shoulder injury while training and the bout had to be postponed until July 26. Jennings has been in the gym since April, could he be affected by overtraining?
Come fight night, there will be answers to those questions, and a new contender for the heavyweight title.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lehigh Football -150th Anniversary

Lehigh Football Nation: LFN Look Back: "Smokers"

This fellow blogger offers some great history about pep rallies and "smokers" evolving in the most played rivalry in college football. 

High Speed Beef

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Main Event

As mentioned in my last post....Philly Fighter Bryant Jennings will do battle at the Garden Saturday night.
The main event that evening  is Golovkin v. Geale. I predict Golovkin dismantles his Aussie opponent in the 7th or 8th round. Golovkin is tough as Hell...has incredibly fast hands... boxing acumen and plain old power. he destroyed Philly's Gabriel Rosado and turned the kid into a bloody mess. I think Geale will last longer and not suffer the same level of abuse; but he will lose.
So, fellow sportsmen, tune in to HBO on Saturday and put some beer on ice and be ready for some entertaining prizefighting.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Philadelphia Fighter At the Garden

From Philly Boxing writer John Disanto-An interview with Fred Jenkins

This trainers protege, Bryant Jennings takes to the ring this Saturday 7/26 at Madison Square garden to face Irish Mike Perez in what is a title bout eliminator. My heavyweight has sparred frequently with Jennings and Jenkins trained him for a time. Here at MLS we are very excited about this match.

 This is excerpted from Philly Boxing

Philadelphia’s Fred Jenkins has been training boxers for a long time.  Before that, he was a fighter himself.  The PA Boxing Hall of Famer has been in the sport for 43 years, and after all that time, and after developing countless boxers at the ABC Recreation Center in North Philly, all his hard work just might pay off with his latest pupil, heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings, 18-0, 10 KOs.  The pair travel to Madison Square Garden this weekend to take on Mike Perez, 20-0-1, 12 KOs, in a 12-round WBC title eliminator. 
Tell me about Bryant Jennings. 
JENKINS:  “He’s a unique individual.  He likes to be challenged, and whatever challenge comes, he puts it in the back of his mind that he’s got to complete the challenge and out-do the next guy.  That’s his pattern of fighting, and that’s his pattern in life.  He’s always out-doing the next person.”
What does he have to do to out-do Mike Perez? 
JENKINS:  “He’s got to stay ahead on each round, don’t come from behind.  He got to win each round.  No matter what Perez brings to the table, Bryant (must be) able to adjust to the situation and win the round.  I’ll tell you what, the best thing for Mike Perez is not to hit Bryant.  If he don’t hit Bryant, it will be a nice fight.  As soon as he hits Bryant, the fight’s going to change around.”  

Bryant has developed quickly, but he hasn’t seen everything yet.  How do you prepare him for the things he hasn’t seen? 
JENKINS:  “You have to realize, he’s only been in the business five years.  I’ve been in the business 43 years.  So what he don’t see, I’ve already seen.  I usually try to prepare him for it, whether he knows it or not.  So when we train, we do a lot of different styles.  We consistently go over different patterns of fighting.  So when he’s in the ring, and the opportunity shows itself, he’s going to automatically do it.” 
How about that tough night that every fighter eventually has, getting knocked down and such? 
JENKINS:  “You rely on his conditioning.  Every fighter should get up from a knockdown.  Every fighter, if they are conditioned right, can get up.” 

Bryant is so confident.  How important is that when he gets in that ring?    

JENKINS:  “It’s very important.  It’s what keeps him motivated.  He believes that he’s great.  It’s not my job to change that.  As long as he stays that way, my job is to keep him over-confident, make him think that he’s invincible.  And that’s the way he is.  He was an ordinary guy before I created a monster.  No matter what he do outside the ring, he got to perform inside the ring.” 
If he wins the world title…
JENKINS:  You say ‘if’.  I say he going to win the world title when the opportunity comes.  I have to think that way at all times because that’s the purpose of training a fighter.  You can’t put no doubt in his mind.  When the opportunity comes, he will win the world title. 
When he wins the world title, you’ll have another world champion to your credit.  Tell me about your first one, Charlie Choo-Choo Brown.
JENKINS:  “He was 22, I was 25.  But not only Choo-Choo Charlie Brown.  Rockin’ Rodney Moore, Zahir Raheem, David Reid, Malik Scott, Randy Griffin, Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson.  There’s a whole slew of fighters.  So my work speaks for itself.  They don’t belong to nobody else.  They belong to me.  I started all those guys from scratch.  Working with all those guys. Learning their ups and downs, and the ins and outs of boxing.  Bryant Jennings is the final result.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Well, maybe not number one.....but it is perhaps in the top ten. Having a pick-up certainly makes things easier...and easier to clean...when hunting and fishing and camping and towing boats up muddy ramps and training dogs. As a corollary, having easy to wash seat covers and vinyl floors in the cab of said truck makes things really easy to clean. When your muddy retriever jumps in after a morning in the end up with mud in places you never thought in the console...or on the back or the rear view mirror.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I typically stay away from the political and the controversial on this blog. I suppose some would say my posts about killing animals are controversial. However, today I felt compelled to throw in a little 2nd Amendment invective based on a recent debate in which I was engaged.

After the recent killing spree by the mentally ill college kid on the West Coast, a woman I went to high school with stated that there is NO reason anyone in the United States should have guns except for those in Law Enforcement and the Military. I obviously take a contrary view. What really confounded and bewildered me was the position this person maintained regarding hunting.

During the debate, I queried whether or not she viewed gun ownership for hunting as a legitimate issue. She did not. I then posited the fact that many people, including some I know well in rural Pennsylvania, literally and absolutely rely on the deer they kill over the season to feed their families. This anti-gun advocate would not even concede this point. In her mind, an absolute prohibition is necessary to prevent gun crime and gun violence. In her naive construct, her right to life trumps my right to own a gun. It is when I hear this kind of anti-gun extremism that I consider re-joining the NRA.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Reading List

As referenced in the last post, Corey Ford was a prolific writer in the outdoor and sporting genre. A quick hunt on Amazon found this affordable used copy. Said volume has been purchased and dispatch is confirmed. This book shall comprise part of my reading whilst lazing in a hammock or on an island in the Adirondacks in about 2 weeks.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Newly Discovered Sportsman

 Last week my son was attending a collegiate rugby development camp at Dartmouth College.The facilities at Dartmouth for rugby include the Corey Ford Clubhouse. I had never heard of him.
 Upon entering the clubhouse between watching my son's matches, I was treated to a display case that told me all I needed to know about this interesting sportsman.
Ford was a writer who contributed to Field & Stream for 30 years and wrote about characters from the "Lower Forty Shooting and Inside Straight Club." He lived in Hanover New Hampshire, hunted birds,wrote, and coached boxing and rugby and was a mentor to class after class of Dartmouth men. When he died, he directed that his estate be liquidated to build a clubhouse for the rugby team. His writing in Sports Illustrated about taking the Dartmouth Rugby team to England in the 50'swas featured in the display case. After reading this prose, I was on the hunt for this book. I am watching Ebay  right now to try and bag a copy.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day Salutations

Here in Philadelphia, the 4th of July is woven onto the fabric of our city like the colors in the flag. As we remember the brave patriots...we will enjoy burgers from ribeye and chuck freshly ground by the Sportsman, ice cold Yeungling, corn,tomatoes and apple pie...with baseball on the radio.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Two of the Greatest

The one on the right referred to himself as the greatest....some would say he was during his reign and champion. The one on the left never referred to himself as the greatest....but many would say he was.