With his USBA heavyweight title on the line and his grandmother seated ringside, Bryant Jennings said “By-By” to Bowie Tupou with a right uppercut in the 5th round.
Outweighed by more than 25 pounds, the 28-year-old Jennings used his speed advantage and footwork to stop Tupou at 1:37 of the 5th in his first title defense. It was also the fifth fight of the year for Jennings, who moves to 16-0 with 8 knockouts.
In the 3rd round, Tupou (22-3, 16 KO) landed an overhand right that seemed to floor Jennings, but it wasn’t ruled a knockdown. After the bout, Jennings told NBC Sports’ Chris Mannix that he thought it was just the opposite.
“I think he hit the crap out of me,” said Jennings, whose nickname is "By-By."
The Philadelphia fighter’s win sent the Temple University crowd into a frenzy. Of the knockout, Jennings said that’s what he practiced for. Mannix asked him where he would compare himself in the ranks of American heavyweights.
“My confidence level is really high, but this is a tough sport,” Jennings said, before reciting a Jay-Z verse from The Black Album.
In a steady super featherweight opening bout, hometown fighter Eric Hunter unanimously out-pointed the previously undefeated Jerry Belmontes. The official scores were 99-91, 97-92 and 99-90. TQBR also scored it for Hunter, 98-91.
Hunter, 26, scored a knockdown in the 2nd round with a left hook upstairs. Though competitive throughout the first half of the match, Belmontes failed to disrupt the rhythm Hunter set during the latter rounds.
It was the second fight for Hunter (17-2, 9 KOs) since December 2010, following his most recent defeat by disqualification to Luis Franco. Belmontes, from Corpus Cristi, Texas, fell to 17-1 with 5 knockouts.
Fans at the McGonigle Hall cheered their fighter and applauded the fight itself.