By Kurt Wolfheimer
Saturday night at the luxurious 4,500 seat McGonigle Hall at Temple University in Philadelphia PA, fast rising heavyweight Bryant Jennings (15-0, 7 KOs) is set to move one step closer to a world title shot when he defends his USBA heavyweight belt against tough Tongan Bernie Tupou (22-2, 16 KOs) in the main event on the NBC Sports Network “Fight Night” series. Promoter Russell Peltz, Jennings and Tupou spoke to FightNews at the Thursday’s final press conference at the Draught Horse Pub on Temple University’s campus.
Peltz spoke of the importance of the NBC “Fight Night” series:
“Earlier this year, the NBC Sports Network “Fight Night” series kicked off in Philly. They featured two fighters that nobody really paid attention to or cared about. Right now big things are happening for them. Gabriel Rosado wasn’t even on the radar. Twelve months later, he’ll find himself fighting for the world title in Madison Square Garden. The other fighter that headlined on that night, a six round heavyweight at the time, was Bryant Jennings He is now ranked fifth in the world and the USBA champion, who is defending his title this Saturday night. I feel that the NBC Sports Network fight series is the best boxing series on television with constant evenly contested and highly competitive fights.”
Peltz on the Jennings vs. Tupou:
“This heavyweight fight is an important fight. When you look at each of the fighters records and common opponents, each fighter has beaten Alexis Mejias. Bryant had a little bit of trouble in that fight and won a decision. Tupou knocked him out in two rounds. Next common opponent was Chris Koval. Bryant stopped him in one and Bowie did it in three. Anytime heavyweights step into the ring anything can happen.
The heavyweight headliners spoke about their showdown next:
Bryant Jennings: It is another fight in my progression towards my goal to be a world champion. I am just glad to be here right now and honored in such a way for my boxing. All my hard work is finally paying off.”
“I don’t know much about Bowie Tupou. I leave that up to my trainers (to find out about him). I don’t look at previous fights. Usually because the fighter could come out and look completely different than what he looked like in previous fights. What I do look at, is one round of their best fight to see what they do have.”
“I am predicting another “W” and moving to 16-0 and still retaining the USBA belt.”
Bowie Tupou: “It feels very good to get a chance to fight for the USBA title. It is going to be a good fight. He is a great fighter and we will see what happens when we step into the ring.
“FIGHT NIGHT 36: BRYANT JENNINGS” premieres Thursday, December 8th at 10p ET/7p PT. NBC Sports Network will air a special rebroadcast after the Pacquiao-Marquez IV fight beginning at 1am ET/10pm PT.
The event is promoted by Main Events, Peltz Boxing, and Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with BAM Boxing. The doors open at 6p and the first bout is at 7p. Tickets are $35, $50 or $75 and available at www.peltzboxing.com or www.comcastTIX.com or at the box office.