by David P. Greisman
Bryant Jennings said he hadn’t seen much of fellow unbeaten heavyweight Mike Perez, who he’ll be facing July 26 at Madison Square Garden on the undercard to Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Geale.
He watched Perez’s win over Magomed Abdusalamov, as Jennings wanted to support Curtis Stevens in his challenge of middleweight titleholder Golovkin on that same card.
But beyond that?
“I don’t really need to see fights,” Jennings told BoxingScene last month. “Because I came up in this game real fast, and I came up in this game not watching fights, so I was moreso learning to be an adjuster, and learning to use my brain in the ring instead of going with what’s on paper and then taking what’s on paper and applying it.
“That ain’t how it goes. Just like reading books and things like that, and then applying it to life, that’s different. You got to learn to apply things to life the way you move, the way you live, the way you experience. Because what’s on paper can’t always be applied to real life.”
He acknowledged that watching footage can help a fighter spot weaknesses and tendencies.
“But I work quickly with my brain. I point those out immediately. And then that’s why you have a corner,” he said. “My trainer watches film and then brings it to me and says, ‘This is what he does, so just be on the lookout.’ Trainers and other people from outside have a better eye anyway. When you’re in the ring, you can’t really see everything. That’s why you have trainers yelling things out in the corner, ‘Do this, do that,’ but when you’re in there, you’re like, ‘That’s not there,’ and they say, ‘Yo, trust me, it’s there, go ahead, do it.’ ”
He says he’s aware of Perez’s preference for defense, but he prefers to prepare himself rather than concern himself with his opponent.
“It’ll all be different when you get into the ring,” Jennings said. “I work on me. I’m really not worried about the other fighter, because you have to adjust to me. I’m not adjusting to nobody. All the greats make people adjust to them.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]