Jennings Retains USBA Title With KO Of Tupou


Photo: Chris Toney

Bryant Jennings, 16-0, 7 KOs, retained his USBA heavyweight championship with a sudden 5th round TKO of Bowie Tupou at 1:37 of round five. Jennings won the fight before his hometown, North Philadelphia crowd. Tupou landed some heavy blows of his own but fell victim to a vicious right uppercut delivered by Jennings. Tupou crashed to the canvas but managed to climb to his feet. However referee Blair Talmadge stopped the contest as Tupou, 22-3, 16 KOs, got up.

The fight was the nationally televised main event of NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night boxing series. The entire broadcast will be replayed on Wednesday, December 12 from 7 pm – 9pm ET.

“He was strong,” Jennings said of his opponent. “But when I landed that punch, I really felt like I had him. I thought he might not get up.”

In the 10-round semi-final bout, Philadelphia’s Eric Hunter, 17-2, 9 KOs, dished Jerry Belmontes, of Corpus Christi, TX, his first professional defeat, with a unanimous points verdict. Belmontes fell to 17-1 with 5 KOs. Hunter dropped Belmontes with a counter left hook in round two and generally controlled the entertaining bout. The official scored were 99-91, 99-90 and 97-92.

“I had some ring rust,” Hunter said. “I didn’t think the knockdown would come so fast, but after that I felt myself getting sharper.”

In other bouts, Angel Ocasio, 7-0-2, 2 KOs, looked strong stopping Esteban Rodriguez, 6-4-1, 1 KO, at 38 seconds of round two. Ocasio floored Rodriguez once in round one, and twice more in round two before referee Shawn Clark halted the fight.

Jason Sosa, 7-1-2, 3 KOs, dropped Isaac Suarez, 7-2, 3 KOs, in round two and scored a TKO in the same round when referee Blair Talmadge stopped the fight at the 2:10 mark.

Joshua Arocha, 3-6-2, 2 KOs, upset previously unbeaten Alex Barbosa, 4-1, 1 KO, with a 4-round unanimous decision. The judges scored were 39-37 and 40-36 twice.

Todd Unthank-may, 6-0, 2 KOs, rose from a first round knockdown to score a 4-round unanimous decision over Taneal Goyco, 4-5-1, 2 KOs. All three judges scored the bout 38-37.

Undefeated Jesse Hart, 5-0, 4 KOs, stayed in the win column with a 4-round unanimous decision over Steven Tyner, 3-9-2, 2 KOs. Hart scored a knockdown in the first round, but saw his KO streak snapped by the tough Tyner.

Anthony Burgin remain undefeated, 2-0, 1 KO, with a 4-round unanimous decision over Kenneth Brown, who was making his professional debut in the bout. Burgin was in control the whole way, and earned a shutout on the three official scorecards (40-36).

Hasan Young, 2-1-1, opened the show with a first round TKO of Josue Rivera, 0-2. Three knockdowns by Hasan ended the bout at 1:52 of the initial round.

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