NEW YORK - A Polish television reporter and cameraman cornered Bryant Jennings outside his locker room late Saturday night, and the North Philadelphia heavyweight saw his chance to tap into a more global audience.
He had broken the spirit of a pro-Polish crowd 20 minutes earlier with a dominant 10th-round technical knockout of Artur Szpilka at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Jennings floored the Pole in the final round.
But Jennings said the performance was not the best he had to offer.
"Szpilka just fought the best heavyweight in the world," Jennings (18-0, 10 knockouts) told the Polish newsman. "He kind of made me not look like the best, because it was very awkward and sloppy." It was his confidence that allowed Jennings to flip the script after Szpilka was less aggressive than he expected. He and his trainer, Fred Jenkins, expected the 24-year-old to "try to literally knock me out," Jennings said.