- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Heavyweight hopeful Bryant Jennings, whom HBO wants to begin featuring now that he has signed with promoter Gary Shaw, was initially slated to fight Jan. 18 in Montreal on the Jean Pascal-Lucian Bute undercard.
However, Jennings’ fight has been shifted one week later to Jan. 25 to the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, where he will fight on Top Rank’s HBO card, which is supposed to be headlined by junior lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia’s first defense.
Arum said the network came to him and asked to slot the Jennings fight on his card.
“They want me to put him on, which is fine with me. What the hell do I care. They’re paying for it and they assure me he will facing a decent opponent,” Arum said.
Arum said that the leading candidate to face Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs), 29, of Philadelphia, is Artur Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs), 24, of Poland.
American fight fans got a good look at Szpilka last year when he engaged in two all-out slugfests with Mike Mollo on ESPN's “Friday Night Fights,” winning both by knockout.
Arum said Garcia’s opponent in the main event is likely to be former title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos.
“We’re trying to get that done,” Arum said. “I don’t see any impediment.”
A third fight will also be added to the card. If Top Rank wins this weekend’s purse bid for the fight between lightweight titlist Ricky Burns and Terence Crawford, Arum said that fight would go on the card as the co-feature.
Heavyweight hopeful Bryant Jennings, whom HBO wants to begin featuring now that he has signed with promoter Gary Shaw, was initially slated to fight Jan.