Bryant Jennings And Sergey Kovalev Score KOs On Fight Night In Bethlehem
A trio of exciting fights lit up the latest edition of Fight Night on NBC Sports Network Friday night. The nationally televised tripleheader was staged at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA.
In the main event, scheduled for ten rounds, heavyweight contender Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 17-0, 9 KOs, remained undefeated with a bruising sixth round TKO of Russian Andrey Fedosov, 24-3, 19 KOs. Both heavyweights took turns landing their shots, but Jennings was the quicker and stronger of the two. Over time, Jennings, of Philadelphia, wore his opponent down and eventually closed his left eye. Fedosov tested Jennings all night, but Bryant passed the stiff test with flying colors.
After six full rounds, referee Steve Smoger halted the fight based on the ringside doctor’s recommendation, saying that Fedosov’s swollen eye was significantly impairing his vision. Fedosov remained on his stool and did not come out for round seven. The official time of the stoppage was 3:00 of round six.
“I was definitely expecting that type of fight,” Jennings said of the scrap. “He was a good challenge. He hit me with some good shots.”
When asked who he’d like to fight next, Jennings’ trainer Fred Jenkins answered for him. “Klitschko!,” Jenkins said. Jennings nodded in agreement and added, “Yeah, we’re hoping for that.”
Russian light heavyweight KO artist Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 21-0-1, 19 KOs, made short work of Houston’s Cornelius White, 21-2, 16 KOs, in their scheduled 12-round fight, and added another exciting knockout to his resume. Kovalev battered White over the first two rounds before dropping him to the canvas three times in round three for the TKO victory. The time was 1:42 of the third.
Kovalev Knocks Out White
Photo credits to Larry Levanti/Main Events
The win earned Kovalev the #1 IBF ranking and made him the mandatory challenger for that 175-pound championship. With three consecutive KO wins on Fight Night, Kovalev has plenty of fan support in his quest for a world title fight.
“I felt good,” Kovalev said. “I’m ready to fight anybody.”
In the first of the televised fights, Ray Narh, 26-2, 21 KOs, won an impressive unanimous 10-round decision over Ronald Cruz, 17-2, 12 KOs. Narh was coming off a two-year layoff, but wasted no time jumping out to a lead and maintaining control throughout the fight. Cruz, of Bethlehem, had the hometown crowd solidly in his corner, but their loud cheering could not lift him to victory. Ronald fought hard, but Narh was far busier and had the answers for Ronald’s sporadic surges.
Narh did not look like a fighter who was off for two years. He used a stinging jab, and a variety of power shots to nail down an easy points win by scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 96-94. This was the second consecutive loss for Cruz.
In a 4-round battle of heavyweights, Bill Marks, Allentown, PA, won his professional debut by majority decision over Williamsport, PA’s Randy Easton, 0-2-1.
In an action-packed junior welterweight fight scheduled for six rounds, Bethlehem’s Jerome Rodriguez and Newburgh, NY’s Treysean Wiggins traded knockdowns in round one, before Rodriguez, 4-0-1, 2 KOs, stormed back in round two to score a knockout at 1:38. Wiggins lost for the first time, 3-1, 3 KOs.
In the first bout of the night, junior welterweight Hasan Young, 3-1-1, 1 KO, won a 6-round unanimous decision over Ariel Duran, 7-5-1, 4 KOs, of Queens, NY. Young was busier and more accurate in the fight and earned the decision by scores of 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56.
In a 4-round swing bout between two junior middleweights making their pro debut, Arturo Trujilo, Easton, PA, knocked down West Philly’s Anthony Watson twice in the first round to claim a TKO win at 29 seconds of round one. The bout took place between the Kovalev and Jennings bouts.