Klitschko outpoints Jennings to retain titles
IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-3, 53 KOs) scored a 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten American Bryant Jennings (19-1, 10 KOs) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, New York.
While the challenger did enough to make the fight interesting, the Ukrainian outlanded Jennings throughout and won by scores of 116-111, 116-111 and 118-109.
Klitschko, who had a three-inch height and a 15-pound weight advantage, used his left jab to take charge from the start. Jennings moved around and tried to land his shots but was having a hard time getting close to his much bigger opponent.
Jennings landed a hard right hand in the sixth round but Klitschko finished the round backing Jennings up and firing jabs at him.
Referee Michael Griffin took a point from Klitschko for holding in the 10th round but that did not matter because it was not even close on the scorecards.
Jennings went for a knockout in the 12th round, trying to attack Klitschko, but the champion responded with some hard shots in the closing seconds of the fight.
"Jennings would have beaten a lot of heavyweights," said Klitschko. "He's a tough competitor."
Jennings thought the scores were too wide and said: "Every time I started working, he held me. When he was holding me, I was hitting him to the body. I must have hit him with about 100 body shots. Not much to the head, though. I thought the margins should have been closer."
Klitschko has now made 18 consecutive defences in his second title reign, third all time in the division history behind Larry Holmes on 20 and Joe Louis on 25, which is the record for any weight class.
In total this was his 27th world heavyweight title bout, tying with Louis for most in the division history.
This was Klitschko's first bout outside Europe since he defeated Sultan Ibragimov in February 2008, also at Madison Square Garden.
Klitschko aims to unify the division in the future by fighting WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder but his next fight looks likely to be against Britain's Tyson Fury, who his a mandatory challenger, in a huge fight in either England or Germany.
"I think this fight needs to happen in Europe," said the champion. "Fighting Fury in Germany or in Great Britain, that's something we have to figure out."