Bryant Jennings vs Oscar Rivas Fight Preview & Prediction: A Crossroads Battle
This fight between Bryant “Bye Bye” Jennings (24-2,14KOs) and Oscar Rivas (25-0,17KOs) is a crossroads fight that will set the table for both fighters’ careers.
The fight will air on ESPN and the ESPN+ app. For hardcore fans, this is one you don’t want to miss as it will have some short term ramifications on the heavyweight division.
This is a must win fight. He’s had several step up opportunities and has come up short. The Philadelphia native picked up boxing late and, through great work ethic and determination, moved through the rankings quickly.
He has been in there with some good competition such as Mike Perez, Vladimir Klitschko, and Luis Ortiz. It’s this experience that he’ll need to call on to overcome his opponent.
Keys to Victory
He will boast a substantial height and reach advantage in this fight. At 6”3 with an 83 inch reach, Jennings has freakishly long arms. In his losses to Klitschko and Ortiz, he was unable to apply his reach to utilize his jab.
Against Klitschko, he was fighting a veteran champion and technician. The then lineal champion deftly establishes his own jab and his footwork was far superior to the Philly fighter’s.
The riddle was even tougher against Ortiz, who presented the same issues with the added problems of being a southpaw. The crafty Cuban ended up stopping Jennings in a competitive fight.
He will need to use his three inch height advantage and five and 1/2 inch reach advantage to control this fight. He also needs to show better head movement when he pivots away from his opponent. Lastly, he needs to be more assertive when he decides to clinch to actually force a reset.
This brings us to Oscar Rivas of Columbia, who’s looking to make his mark on a major platform. He is coming off his best career win against Fabio Maldonado, handing him his first defeat.
Keys to Victory
He needs to move his head and remember to jab his way in. His pressuring style should serve him well despite his disadvantages because Jennings isn’t very fluid.
What that means for Rivas is sometimes, Jennings will react slow or make basic technical mistakes. In this fight, Rivas needs to make smart gambles and attack openings.
In Jennings’ last fight against Alexander Dimitrenko, he was hit with too many right hands due to defensive lapses. The Colombian needs to be aware of this.
Lastly he needs to pace himself. The Philadelphia native is always in top shape and if Rivas fades, he’ll get out hustled down the stretch.
To summarize the keys to victory, Jennings will have to show that he’s polished up the rough edges in his boxing and utilize his jab and footwork. Rivas will have to apply smart pressure, avoid the jab and keep up a consistent work-rate.
I’d have to lean Jennings by razor thin decision. Quite honestly, I can see a possible draw happening here as the fight may be to close to call.
With Jennings being the house fighter, I think he gets the nod. For those of you that place bets, I’d recommend putting some money on Rivas. He’s the underdog and you’ll get a nice payout if he gets the win!
By: Corey Cunningham