World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko and challenger Bryant Jennings met for the first time this morning at the Empire State Building in New York City ahead of today’s press conference to announce their battle set for Saturday, April 25 at Madison Square Garden.
“I do have great respect for Bryant Jennings and his achievements. He has good movement in the ring and good technique. I know this will be a tough challenge.
“I am extremely happy to fight in New York City again. I had my first unification fight there and a lot of great heavyweight matches have taken place at Madison Square Garden. It will definitely be a great fight night and I will do everything for it from my side.”
“Let us, Bryant and me, entertain you on April 25th here in New York at Madison Square Garden. I see how Bryant Jennings acts. I see how he walks, I see how he shakes hands, I see how he speaks, and he has the qualities of Rocky Balboa from Philadelphia.
“Thank you to HBO. Eventually you believed in me. I’m back on your network and I’m happy about it.
“Like Sinatra said, ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Right event, right venue and right city. I fought here for the first time 15 years ago and I’m so happy to come back here and fight.”
“This is the moment I have been waiting for. Now it’s time to bring the belts home.
“This is it. I like to thank everyone involved with this promotion and my city of Philadelphia. It took a long time to make this fight happen and through it all I stayed calm.
“I commend my team for allowing me to be the athlete that I am while these negotiations were going on. On April 25th history will definitely be made and it will be made by me.
“One of us has to lose and it isn’t going to be me. Enough of the talking, I’m ready to fight.”
“For the fourth time Wladimir will be boxing in the world’s most famous arena.” said Bernd Boente, CEO of the Klitschko Management Group. “It’s always something special to promote at Madison Square Garden, where legends such as Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield stood inside the ring. We are looking forward to another exciting fight and a great event.”
Continued Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions: “Wladimir has proven to be the most dominant heavyweight champion in recent history and we are looking forward to another great performance on April 25.”
“We’re proud to present Jennings with the opportunity to win the Unified Heavyweight Title of the World,” said Gary Shaw, head of Gary Shaw Productions.
“On April 25th at Madison Square Garden, Wladimir Klitschko defends his heavyweight championship for the first time in the United States since 2008,” said Peter Nelson, vice president, programming, HBO Sports. “Heavyweight is boxing’s supreme glamor division, and its champion could not be a better ambassador to the sport in a career heading toward historic landmark achievements. Bryant Jennings has an opportunity to halt those ambitions and become America’s first unified heavyweight champion in more than 13 years, challenging for the crown in the media capital of the world. HBO is thrilled to present the event live on our flagship World Championship Boxing series.”
“It is an honor to host the World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden and welcome back Wladimir Klitschko, who last fought at The Garden in 2008,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. “Throughout our 135 year existence, The Garden has hosted the very best in sports and entertainment, and to bring the World Heavyweight Championship back so our passionate boxing fans can see Bryant Jennings challenge for the heavyweight title is a moment not to be missed.”
Klitschko returns to Madison Square Garden for the fourth time sporting a record of 63-3-0 (54KO’s). On November 15, Klitschko scored a fifth round knockout over #1 ranked contender Kubrat Pulev in Hamburg, Germany. Looking as dominant as ever during his illustrious career, Klitschko dropped the heavy handed Bulgarian four times in front of a sold out crowd at the 02 World Arena.
Returning to HBO for his third straight fight, Philadelphia native Jennings has compiled a record of 19-0-0 (10KO’s) over his five-year professional career. Making his HBO and Madison Square Garden debut on January 25, 2014, the 30-year-old Jennings devastatingly stopped undefeated Polish contender Artur Szpilka in the tenth and final round.
Following up on his knockout victory over Szpilka, Jennings won a 12-round unanimous decision over top contender Mike Perez on July 26, 2014 setting up the showdown with Klitschko.
Tickets are also now on sale. The Klitschko vs. Jennings tickets will be priced at $100-$1,000 and can be purchased through the Madison Square Garden Box Office, www.TheGarden.com and www.Ticketmaster.com. The fight is presented by K2 Promotions and Klitschko Management Group in association with Gary Shaw Productions,