The sport of boxing not only requires energy and focus, but serious discipline.
Bryant Jennings, the rising Philadelphia boxer, who's the undefeated champ with two titles -USBA Heavyweight Title (2012) Pennsylvania State Heavyweight Title (2012) has a lot to prove. Being 19-0-0, (10 being by K.O.) is waking up the fans of the sport with his amazing athleticism and has been making headlines everywhere.
HYPEFRESH journalist, Jerrell Carter (@HumbleRell12) has been keeping an eye on the reigning Champ, and decided to catch up with him in an exclusive interview. Timing was everything, as the champ was hard at work in between training sessions, preparing for his World Heavyweight bout v.s. the ferocious, undefeated world champion - Wladmir Klitchsko.
A very interesting conversation it was, as the two ran through a variety of topics that revealed more than just his undying passion to be the best.
Jerrell C: Before we kick this off, please formally introduce yourself to those who may not know exactly who you are.
B.Jennings: I'm from North Philly, 25th and Master. That's where I spent most of my days. Im just a dude with lots of ambition, tons of goals, positive views on life, a well experienced individual, a son, a father, a great brother, and a great friend. April 25, i'll be boxing for the Heavyweight championship of the world at Madison Square Garden. Five belts on the line against Wladamir Klitchsko. This is the biggest phase in boxing... Once I win the title, I will continue to live my life, showing the world who I am. It will be my official introduction that day.
Jerrell C: What are some of the things you do that helps you stay zoned and focused a professional athlete?
B. Jennings: On any given day, I live as if i'm in training. It's not just 8 weeks at a time prior to fights. But rather 365 days a year, no drinking or smoking, no unwanted company knocking me off my zone.. I definitely remove all distractions that normally would set me back. Just pure focus in my mission to prepare, through tunnel vision. I have no problem sacrificing everything to accomplish the task at hand.
Jerrell C: Let's take it back to the days before your perfect 19-0 record and Heavyweight title shot... Tell us your humble begginings in boxing.
B. Jennings: Well I started boxing late... 24 years old, to be exact. The recreation center's boxing program was always there in my neighborhod.. My trainer today, used to always ask me back then, "when you coming inside so I can train you?" He seen something in me from being a beast on the basketball courts that made him interested. I used to hesitate in responding, like "ummmm.... i'll let you know." And that went on for a few years.
Then one day, *chuckles* I just decided to go inside and take his offer... And that's where it all started. I never missed any days really.. I stayed consistent in that training and stayed motivated. Now, flash forward to this day... to 6 years later...I'm going up to contend for the Heavyweight Championship in boxing.
Jerrell.C: What would you say is the hardest thing that you have to deal with now as a Professional Boxer?
B. Jennings: I can't really say that there's many "hard" things when it comes to the sport.. It's not really a challenge for me. As I explained earlier, I live this lifestyle 365 days a year, so i'm focused. Even the sexual abstinence part during the duration of training is easy too. Of course there's temptation out here, but that's easy to ignore.
But I will say, dealing with people is the most challenging thing. I'm categorized now as a celebrity, which I dislike being called. Mainly because the definition of a modern day celebrity has changed, as it's not what it used to be when I was growing up.
I try to explain to people, i'm the same person as was when I started. As a matter of fact, the same gym from my beginning is the same I train in to this day. Then you have some folks saying, "Why you don't hang out no more, or come around like you used to?" Ya'll know where to find me. My work is getting done, right up the street from our neighborhoods.
Jerrell C: We've seen the Instagram posts of you "declaring your freedoms" from all that.
B. Jennings: Absolutely! As a matter of fact, just the other day I posted on instagram "Today, I let go." I'm no longer entertaining people's personal feelings about my dedication to my career. I just can't do it. Then they tell me that "i'm changing" from what I used to do. Of course I'm changing, of course i'm not doing the same things. I'm on a different level now, so I cant engage in the things from my past.
Another thing is when people come outta left field to get put on. They hit me up now asking if they can get a job with me... Man, I been trying to hook them up, way back when I first started. They just was sleeping on me then. Now they feel some kinda way because I gave the role to someone else. I tell em' all the time, don't talk to me about what you want to do for me, just do it. I'll definitely notice your commitment and initiative and look out.
Jerrell C: So basically, you're steering clear from the dead-weights and bandwagon jumpers.
B. Jennings: Exactly. And trust me, this part of it is killing me.
Jerrell C:We got word about your eating practices. Your a vegan?
B.Jennings: Yeah. It started with me being a vegetarian, and then it eventually movedtowards vegan-ism. Now it's permanent. It's a true way of life. As a professional athlete, my diet helps me tremendously. There's no difficulty in me making weight before fights, or maintaining it.
I feel better than ever, light on my feet... Heck, I even think with a more clear mind, all from my eating the right choices for me and my body. I research everyday on Vegan-ism, learning new things daily, which is pretty cool.
Jerrell C: Scenario. It's fight night. It's been a long wait for the main event. The crowd is chanting your name. Your opponent is in the ring. Millions of eyes are on you at that very moment. What's this feeling like?
B. Jennings: My mind is off. I personally cut it off so I can stay focused on what's about to take place. Of course I see my surroundings, the crowd, the energy... And in my head i'm like "yeaaahhhhh, it's about to go down." But all in all, I channel this energy into my game-plan, and turn it on 100.
Jerrell C: What motivates you when you feel like stopping?
B. Jennings: The fact that I set out a goal, and I haven't achieved it yet. Outside of the fact of being an inspiration to my peers and fans, and to provide financially for my family... Whatever I say i'm gonna do, it will be done. I won't stop without giving it my all. And by getting it finished by any means, or through any circumstances.
Jerrell C:Outside of boxing, do you have any things on the side that you enjoy doing, or any other ventures that the people don't know about?
B. Jennings: *Laughs* I do a lil' bit of everything.. Ima handyman with the tools. I used to renovate houses! I'm also good with mechanics and touching up cars..
But one fact about me people may not know is that I love to make good music, through being a lyricist. Yeah, I spit, and I do it well *laughs*. However, it's takes a lot of energy and time to promote my work, and to get people to follow me as an artist and listen to my music.
I can't really box and make music at the same time, because it takes away from my energy in becoming the ultimate fighter.