Philly boxer Jennings looks to his Saturday bout

Bryant Jennings
Bryant Jennings
Posted: September 07, 2012

He runs 10 miles a day, abstains from alcohol, and works a full-time job. This dedication, combined with his unique in-ring style, has helped transform North Philadelphia's Bryant Jennings into one of America's top heavyweight prospects.

On Saturday afternoon, the North Philadelphia resident will look to continue his impressive year and shed his prospect status as he meets Chris Koval at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Jennings (14-0, 6 KOs) has won three fights this year, including an impressive ninth-round stoppage of former world champion Siarhei Liakhovich.

Some days, before the sun rises, Jennings, 27, leaves his house in West Park and runs down Girard Avenue before completing a loop around Kelly and West River Drives.

The 101/2-mile trek is essential to building Jennings' in-ring speed, which has made him a difficult matchup for oversize heavyweights.

"Easiest fighter to train that's ever come through," said Jennings' trainer, Fred Jenkins. "All he says is 'Yes, sir. No, sir. What else do you want me to do?' "

Jennings said he never saw the appeal of alcohol, which made it easy to abstain. Over his lifetime, Jennings estimated that he has consumed a total of eight ounces. But that may be a bit high, Jennings said.

"I'm not sure how much it helps [to abstain]," he said. "You could ask a drunk person, but I would think it helps a whole lot. To be intoxicated is something vicious."

Along with honing his boxing skills, Jennings works 40 hours a week as a building mechanic at the Federal Reserve. His grandfather was a mechanic, and Jennings said he has always been good with his hands.

Jennings used up his paid time off in order to train for previous fights this year, but his work has been flexible for this fight. He was able to get off for two weeks before the fight to finish his training camp.

He'll continue to balance boxing with a full-time job until he's confident his boxing income is sustainable, Jennings said.

"It's not a big obstacle in my way. It's just work," he said.


Contact staff writer Matt Breen at mbreen@phillynews.com or on Twitter @matt_breen.

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