Jennings happy to face rivals on ring return

Chorley Citizen: if the cap fits: Chorley welterweight Michael Jennings will fight any of the crowd who fancy toppling him if the cap fits: Chorley welterweight Michael Jennings will fight any of the crowd who fancy toppling him

CHORLEY boxer Michael Jennings says he would be happy to take on either Kell Brook or Rafal Jackiewicz in his first fight after defeat to Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden.

Jennings was stopped by Cotto - one of the most famous names in boxing - in the fifth round of the biggest fight of his life in New York 10 days ago.

The 31-year-old, who will return to the gym on Monday to resume training, is keen to get back in the ring to banish the obvious disappointment of missing out on the WBO world title and has shrugged off talk of retirement.

Jennings’ profile has been raised immeasurably by his bout with Cotto and the welterweight is now set to meet his promoter, Frank Warren, next week to discuss the options for his next fight.

And it seems either a British title fight with Brook or a rematch with the current European champion Jackiewicz are two likely options.

Jennings completely outclassed Jackiewicz, aged 32, on points five years ago but the Pole has since won the European belt and defended it on two occasions, while emerging 22-year-old Brook is the reigning British champion and has already made public his desire to take on the Chorley fighter.

“I’m having a complete break for two weeks but I’ll be back in the gym on Monday and I’ll probably hear then what interest there has been,” said Jennings, who now has 34 victories and two defeats in his professional career.

“I don’t have any dates yet for my next fight but I’m going to meet Frank Warren next week so we’ll probably talk about it.

“There are the British and European titles to fight for. Brook would be for the British title and that’s possible and there’s the European champion too, Jackiewicz.

“They are both possible opponents and to be honest I’d be happy with either one.”

Jennings has received widespread support from the people of Chorley since his return to England but he knows the heartbreak of defeat will only go away with a win when he returns to the ring.

“People have been saying well done but I’m still gutted and feel what I did was not good enough,” he said.

“I’ve had support from a lot of people but I’ve won 99 per cent of my fights during my career.

“I really thought I could go there and beat Cotto, so for me it was not good enough that I didn’t.

“Do I feel proud? I don’t feel like it at the moment but I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll sit back and think I was top of the bill at Madison Square Garden fighting Miguel Cotto, who is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

“Not many people can say that.”

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