By Keith Idec
Bowie Tupou weighed 28 pounds more than him Friday afternoon and has scored knockouts in 16 of his 22 professional wins.
Unbeaten Bryant Jennings, Tupou’s opponent Saturday night in Philadelphia, is far from impressed.
“I don’t really think much of him,” Jennings told BoxingScene.com regarding their NBC Sports Network main event. “I just know that he’s an obstacle that’s in my way. I’ve trained very hard and I’m prepared for a lot of things. I don’t think he’s going to bring anything that I haven’t seen or that I’m not ready for. And may the best man win.”
Malik Scott, another undefeated Philadelphia fighter, stopped Tupou in the eighth round of Tupou’s last fight, Sept. 8 in Oakland, Calif. Scott (35-0, 12 KOs) had recorded just one knockout in his previous 15 fights before his TKO victory over the Tonga-born Tupou.
The 30-year-old Tupou (22-2, 16 KOs) also has been knocked out by journeyman Demetrice King, of Flint, Mich. King knocked him out in the second round in August 2009.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Jennings, meanwhile, has enjoyed a career year in 2012.
He’s 4-0, including a dominant performance in a ninth-round TKO victory over former WBO champion Sergei Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KOs) on March 24 in Brooklyn. The Philadelphia native also out-boxed previously unbeaten Maurice Byarm (13-2-1, 9 KOs), of Washington, D.C., on his way to a 10-round unanimous decision Jan. 21, also in Philadelphia.
The 28-year-old Jennings had hoped back-to-back victories over Byarm and Liakhovich would’ve led to more than three straight fights against C-level heavyweights, but he is trying his best to remain patient as he tries to fight his way toward a title shot.
“I’m there mentally,” Jennings said. “But, you know, with the politics of things inside the boxing world, I’ve just learned to worry about what’s in front of me and the time will come. You make some demands and you put your faith in your demands to come true, and when things don’t come at the time you expected them to come it’s kind of disappointing at times. I’ve focused on just being me, just taking it one fight at a time. I’m just looking forward to getting the opportunity to fight for a world title.”
The Jennings-Tupou main event, a 10-round fight, will headline a nine-bout card at Temple University’s McGonigle Hall. The NBC Sports Network telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET with a 10-round lightweight bout between Jerry Belmontes (17-0, 5 KOs), of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Philadelphia’s Eric Hunter (16-2, 9 KOs).
The telecast will air again at 1 a.m. ET, after the conclusion of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez per-per-view main event from Las Vegas.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.