About 90-minutes after his sensational sledgehammer right hand had flattened previously unbeaten Kelvin Price in the third round of Saturday night’s clash of 6-foot-7 heavyweights at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder named the next man against whom he would like to go after his 27th knockout.
That man is Philadelphia’s 6-2 Bryant “Bye Bye” Jennings, who is 16-0 with eight knockouts.
“I want to be back in the ring as soon as possible, and I definitely want Bryant Jennings. I want him. I want him. Bryant Jennings. That’s who I want. Everybody wants to see it. The fans want it. There can only be one of us,” said Wilder, who stopped Price (13-1, 6 KOs) at 51 seconds of the third round to improve to 26-0 with 26 knockouts.
“At the end of the day, there can only be one heavyweight champion. I’m trying to delete all of the American heavyweights. I’m trying to get rid of all of them so that I can become just that main one. We’ve got a lot of them in the running right now, you know, and a lot of us have got ’0′s. But just like I got rid of Kelvin Price’s ’0′ tonight, everybody else’s ’0′ has got to go too.”
Jennings is coming off last weekend’s fifth-round stoppage of Bowie Tupou (22-3, 16 KOs), of Tonga, and has scored his biggest victory over former WBO beltholder Siarhei Liakhovich by ninth-round knockout in March.
Wilder said that he was dedicating Saturday night’s performance in honor of the late Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel “Manny” Steward, who had considered him to be “the best heavyweight prospect before his death in October at the age of 68.
Wilder celebrated his 27th birthday on Oct. 22 in Austria, while spending time as the primary sparring partner for RING, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko — who was trained by Steward — in advance of Klitscko’s unanimous-decision victory over Mariusz Wach last month.
A 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Wilder’s participation was critical for the 6-6 Klitschko, whose stoppage of 6-7 1/2 Wach marked his 17th-straight win during a run that has included 12 knockouts.
Wilder took care of Price on the Showtime-televised undercard to a main event featuring a 10th-round knockout by former IBF and WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan over Carlos Molina.
“I’ve been blessed with God-given talent and power, man, and I’ll go against anybody in the world. I’m just that confident in myself. So I’m ready for whoever. So that’s who I want next is Bryant Jennings, because the fans want it, and there’s been a lot of publicity and talk about it,” said Wilder.
“We’ve gained a lot of fans just from the Twitter wars that we’ve had. I heard a lot of people talking about it tonight, so that’s what the people want, and that’s what I want as well. I think that it would be a great fight. So if they come with the right offer, nice television deal, man, we can make that one happen.”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org