Jennings vs. Dimitrenko Preview

By Robert Ecksel on June 30, 2018
Jennings vs. Dimitrenko Preview
"Every fight for me is a risk. I’m confident in myself but don’t take any opponent lightly."

On Saturday, August 18, Bryant Jennings gets it on with rugged Alexander Dimitrenko in a fight televised live on ESPN…

On Saturday, August 18, in a fight televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (23-2, 13 KOs), the Fighting Pride of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, gets it on with Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3, 26 KOs), the former European heavyweight champion from Hamburg, Germany, by way of Yevpatoria, Crimea, Russia, for the WBO International heavyweight title.

“Dimitrenko is a big, competitive fighter,” said Jennings. “I worked very hard to gain my position in the heavyweight division. Every fight for me is a risk. While I’m confident in myself, I don’t take any opponent lightly. Boxing fans can expect me to bring my best.”

Jennings’ best is often good enough. His back-to-back losses, to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz in 2015, were to elite fighters. Dimitrenko might not be at their level, but he comes to fight.

“I am looking forward to this fight, as this is an opportunity to advance in the heavyweight division,” he said. “I love to train and push myself to the limit. I want to be great. I’ve never had so much fun in boxing. The fight against Jennings comes at just the right time, and I will take advantage of this opportunity.”

In the co-main event, Jesse Hart (24-1, 20 KOs), carrying on a great Philadelphia tradition, will defend the NABF super middleweight title in a 10-rounder against veteran bomber Mike Gavronski (24-2-1, 15 KOs).

“I’m excited to be back in Atlantic City,” said Hart. “I know that my hometown fans will show up, and I will put on a spectacular performance. Gavronski is a good test. He’s durable, and I know this fight will be great for boxing and boxing fans.”

Durability can take one far, sometimes all the way to Atlantic City.

“It’s a wonderful place to showcase my talents,” said Gavronski. “This is what you live for. Hart is a tough guy who can do a lot of nice things. I just think I can do them a lot better.”

On the undercard (ESPN+), 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, undefeated Shakur Stevenson (7-0, 4 KOs) will face Carlos Ruiz (16-4-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout. Stevenson last fought on the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn undercard, knocking out Aelio Mesquita in the second round.

Former WBA super featherweight champion Jason Sosa (20-3-4, 15 KOs), the gunslinger from Camden, New Jersey, will take on Reynaldo Blanco (14-4, 8 KOs). Sosa has dropped two in a row and is looking to get back into contention in the 130-pound division.

Philadelphia fan favorite Christian Carto (15-0, 11 KOs) will square off against Javier Gallo (25-15-1, 13 KOs), from the mean streets of Tijuana, Mexico, in an eight-round bantamweight brawl.

Atlantic City’s Thomas LaManna (25-2-1, 9 KOs) looks to extend his five-bout unbeaten streak against Matthew Strode (25-6, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight bout.

Joseph Adorno (7-0, 7 KOs), who is also scheduled to fight July 7 in Fresno, California, will see action in a six-rounder.

And, in a heavyweight special attraction, undefeated Oleksandr Teslenko (13-0, 11 KOs) will fight an opponent to be determined.

Jennings-Dimitrenko and Hart-Gavronski will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:00 PM ET, and all undercard bouts will be streamed live on ESPN+ beginning at 7:00 PM.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets, priced at $127, $77, $52, and $37 (including facility fees), will go on sale Friday, June 29 at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets will be available at the Ovation Hall box office, online at, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

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