As a teenager, Bryant Jennings' sneakers were worn out and scuffed. Countless miles, he said, were completed on the track at North 16th Street and Montgomery Avenue. It was there that he completed his first 10-mile run.
The monkey bars at the nearby Amos Recreation Center were used for chin-ups, and the football field was where Jennings spent his afternoons.
Just a few hundred yards away from there, the unbeaten North Philadelphia heavyweight will defend his USBA title on Dec. 8 as he headlines the NBC Sports Network's Fight Night card at Temple University's McGonigle Hall.
"I'm home," said Jennings, whose middle school and high school graduation ceremonies were held at McGonigle. "I'm a fighter, and I'm a champion, so I'm going to give my hometown what they want to see."
Jennings has won all four of his fights this year to improve his record to 15-0 with seven knockouts. At Temple, he'll meet Tonga's Bowie Tupou (22-2, 16 KOs).
Joining Jennings on the card is North Philadelphia's Teon Kennedy (17-2, 7 KOs). It's Kennedy's first fight since losing to bantamweight world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in June. Kennedy has moved up to junior lightweight, a class for which his promoter, Russell Peltz, said the fighter is better fitted.
If North Philadelphia's Jesse Hart (3-0, 3 KOs) wins on Saturday as expected against Josh Myers in Las Vegas, he, too, should land on the Temple card.