- North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- James Prince, Josh Dubin
- John David Jackson
VERONA, N.Y. (Nov. 20, 2018) — Bryant “B.Y.” Jennings is itching for another heavyweight world title shot. The 34-year-old Philadelphia native has won five consecutive bouts, four by knockout, and is intent on making an emphatic statement.
Jennings will put his IBF International and NABO heavyweight belts on the line in a 12-round showdown against the unbeaten NABF champion Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas on Friday, Jan. 18 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. In the 10-round co-feature, undefeated featherweight sensation and 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson will face an opponent to be determined.
Jennings-Rivas and Stevenson versus Jessie Cris Rosales will stream live at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), tickets, priced at $79, $62, and $45, are available at the Turning Stone Resort Box Office by calling 315-361-7469 or online at Ticketmaster
“I’ve been in this situation before. This is not a tall order at all,” Jennings said. “The job is to stay focused. I’m going to keep grinding and not take anybody lightly. Talk is cheap.”
‘‘I’ve waited for this opportunity for a very long time,” Rivas said. “Jennings is an excellent boxer. He is a world-class fighter and exactly the kind of challenge I was hoping to face. It is now time to take care of business and step up for the real challenges.’’
“I am ready to begin 2019 where 2018 left off,” Stevenson said. “This will be the year where I take my career to the next level. The fans are going to be in for a treat. It’s my time to shine.”
Jennings (24-2, 14 KOs), a former football, basketball, and track star at North Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin High School, did not pick up a pair of boxing gloves until he was 24 years old. He turned pro following an abbreviated 17-fight amateur career and quickly rose the ranks despite his limited experience. He fought valiantly in a 2015 title shot against Wladimir Klitschko, pushing the future Hall of Famer the distance in front of 17,056 fans at Madison Square Garden. Following a TKO defeat to Luis Ortiz later that year at Turning Stone Resort Casino, Jennings took 20 months off, returning to action in August 2017 under the Top Rank banner.
Since then, he has been one of the busiest heavyweight contenders as he seeks another shot on the world championship stage. In his last bout, Aug. 18 in Atlantic City as the headliner on an ESPN-televised card, Jennings recovered from a fourth-round knockdown to stop longtime contender Alexander Dimitrenko in the ninth.
Rivas (24-0, 17 KOs), a former Colombian amateur standout who now lives in Montreal, has fought all but two of his professional bouts in Canada. A nine-year pro, he transitioned to the paid ranks following a 2007 Pan American Games silver medal and quarterfinal berth at the 2008 Olympics. At 31 years old, the athletic, 240-pound Rivas is in his physical prime. He won the NABF title on Sept. 28, 2017 with a spectacular first-round stoppage against former world title challenger Carl Davis Drummond. In his last outing, May 19 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, he wore down Herve Hubeaux and prevailed via 10-round unanimous decision to retain the NABF title.
Stevenson (9-0, 5 KOs), a proud native of Newark, N.J., authored one of the great United States amateur careers. At the 2016 Olympics, Stevenson earned a silver medal following a controversial 2-1 decision loss to Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez in the championship match. Using that heartbreak as motivation, Stevenson soon showed why he is considered among the sport’s rising stars. He went 5-0 with three knockouts in 2018, and in his last fight, Oct. 13 on the ESPN-televised undercard of the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. main event, he knocked down Viorel Simion three times en route to a first-round TKO. Simion, 21-2 entering the fight, had never been knocked down as a pro.
Use the hashtag #JenningsRivas to join the conversation on social media.
To subscribe to ESPN+, visit www.plus.espn.com
ABOUT TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO
Host of the January 18th event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year caliber boxing. The January event will mark Turning Stone’s 27th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, a 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend. Additionally, Turning Stone and the International Boxing Hall of Fame last year announced a five-year multifaceted partnership to spotlight boxing throughout the entire region. The program includes a series of nationally-televised boxing events at Turning Stone, culminating every year in June with an elaborate and bigger-than-ever International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend celebration. International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend will be held June 6 – 9, 2019.
ESPN+, which surpassed one million paying subscribers in just five months, is the premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It offers fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.
Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL, thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and multiple other sports), domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie and more), exclusive Top Rank boxing, UFC (beginning in 2019), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive documentary films and series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time.
ESPN+ is an integrated part of the ESPN App, the leading sports app and the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans. The ESPN App is a showcase of the company’s culture of innovation, delivering a rich, personalized experience that curates all of ESPN’s content around each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ is also available through ESPN.com.