PHILADELPHIA – Bryant Jennings used a fine mix of looping head shots and effective counters to win a 10-round unanimous decision against Maurice Byarm in a heavyweight bout on Saturday night.
Jennings remained undefeated at 12-0 with five KOs, while Byarm, whose father, Lionel, was Evander Holyfield's first pro opponent, lost for the first time, falling to 13-1-1.
The Byarm-Jennings fight was actually a late replacement for the original main event between ranked heavyweights Sergei Liakhovich and Eddie Chambers, who pulled out of the fight on January 13 with fractured ribs injured during training.
It was quite a drop-off to Byarm and Jennings. Neither fighter had gone beyond six rounds before Saturday night. But it also was quite the challenge for two undefeated heavyweights who put their records at risk in front of a national audience on five days' notice.
"I really didn't let any of the TV or the other stuff around bother me," Jennings said. "I went 10 rounds with no problem. To tell the truth, I thought I thought the 10th was the ninth round. After tonight, I'm a 10-round fighter and I think I helped myself. A lot of people saw this, it was great exposure, and I move forward. I'll tell you this, we both took beatings."
In the co-feature, junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado (19-5, 11 KOs) registered a fifth-round TKO against Jesus Soto-Karass (24-7-3, 16 KOs).