Jaron Ennis Concludes Davis-Garcia Undercard With Lopsided Win
WASHINGTON – Jaron “Boots” Ennis went past six-rounds for the first time in a lackluster fight but shut out the unknown Karen Chukhadzhian to claim the vacant IBF interim welterweight title before a sellout crowd of 19,731 in the co-feature of the Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Garcia card at Capital One Arena.
The judges all had the fight 120-108 for Ennis, who is now a mandatory challenger for three-belt titleholder Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs).
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) January 8, 2023
Most thought Ennis would take out Chukhadzhian early and easily but that was nowhere near the case.
Chukhadzhian was elusive, moving a lot and not giving Ennis to many openings. Although Ennis was winning the rounds, Chukhadzhian’s didn’t make it easy because of the constant movement.
“We come here to dominate. I feel like I could have thrown more punches,” Ennis said. “I should stop that guy and that’s on me. I wanted him to engage but we did what we could.
“I learned to just take my time and to not rush anything. I’m glad I went 12 rounds. It felt great. I felt I was in the best shape. I just needed to throw a little more punches. I should have got him out of there.”
He also got in some solid shots on Ennis, such as a right hand that knocked him into the ropes in the fifth round.
There was not much action and the crowd began booing in the sixth round as Chukhadzhian continued moving and Ennis chased him around.
Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs), 25, of Philadelphia, appeared to become more aggressive in the final few rounds but still had problems connecting cleanly because Chukhadzhian (21-2, 11 KOs), 26, of Ukraine, continued to move but also landed his own shots here and there when he decided to stand still for a moment.
Ennis break through offensively in the 10th round when he hurt Chukhadzhian with a body shot that slowed him down enough and allowed Ennis to land head shots. But it was short-lived as the reverted to the way it had gone and the crowd began booing yet again in the 11th round.
“He ran a lot. Hats off to him since a lot of guys didn’t want to fight me,” Ennis said. “So shout out to him for coming here and taking this fight. Everyone knows that I want Errol Spence and the winner of Vergil Ortiz and (Eimantas) Stanionis. You know, all the top guys. Let’s get it, you know?”
Chukhadzhian, who was fighting in the United States for the first time and stepping way up in competition, had not lost since a three-round split decision in his second fight in 2015.
Villa edges Ellis
Roiman Villa closed the show with two 12th-round knockdowns to eke out a majority decision win over Rashidi Ellis in an IBF welterweight title elimination fight that put him in position for an eventual mandatory shot at three-belt titlist Errol Spence Jr.
Villa won 114-112 on two scorecards – thanks to the knockdowns — and the third judge had it 113-113.
“He was a tough fighter. He moved a lot. He does hit hard,” Villa said. “The first couple rounds I was a little tight but then I got loose. I was on top of him from the first round. I know that fighters such as him who are quick sooner or later will get a little tired and that’s what I took advantage of.”
Ellis, who was in his second bout since signing with PBC after parting ways with Golden Boy, boxed well and when he let his hands go landed regularly. Villa tried to be aggressive he rarely could land a clean shot for most of the fight.
It made for a lackluster action but one Ellis (24-1, 15 KOs), 29, of Lynn, Massachusetts, largely controlled until Villa came roaring back in the later rounds. He clearly won the ninth round with a series of hard shots that knocked Ellis back.
Venezuela’s Villa (26-1, 24 KOs), 29, who was stepping up in competition, tagged Ellis with more shots in the 10th round, including a right hand late in the round that appeared to hurt Ellis
He continued to stalk Ellis in the 11th and then in the 12th round, Villa battered him and dropped him twice.
First, he landed a left hook midway through the round for a knockdown and then he dropped Ellis to his rear end with an onslaught just before the final bell. Ellis beat the count and the fight ended.
“I didn’t really feel like I needed the knockout in that last round, I just wanted to dominate,” Villa said. “Ellis is a good fighter, but this was mostly about what I was able to do.”
Despite the knockdowns, Ellis felt he won.
“I want the rematch right away. I’m fine (physically),” Ellis said. “I thought I was dictating the fight. I don’t know. I don’t know what happened. I totally disagree with the decision. I was winning most of the rounds. Yeah, he had the knockdown(s) but other than that I was winning most of the rounds.”
Andrade shuts out Nicholson
Former middleweight and junior middleweight titlist Demetrious Andrade, in his super middleweight debut and first fight with PBC, ended a 14-month layoff and scored two knockdowns in a one-sided decision against Demond Nicholson in the pay-per-view opener.
All three judges had it a 100-88 shutout.
“I felt good. I can definitely tell the weight difference but the speed and combinations and the IQ was the plan today and that’s what we did,” Andrade said.
It was a fresh start for Andrade, was coming off a shoulder injury and went with PBC after his contract with Matchroom Boxing ended hoping to finally land a major fight that has eluded him throughout his career. With PBC, he could eventually face the winner of David Benavidez-Caleb Plant or middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo when he moves up.
“The only way I can say I’m the best is by fighting the best. Everyone knows that Demond Nicholson is a dog. That’s why we took this fight,” Andrade said. “He took this fight because he knew I was coming up and he definitely has the animal in him. He showed it today.”
Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs), 34, of Providence, Rhode Island, took it to Nicholson (26-5-1, 22 KOs), 29, of Laurel, Maryland, in the opening round and then landed a left hand in the second round for a knockdown. He was much more aggressive that usual.Nicholson, whose three-fight winning streak ended, appeared to drop Andrade for a flash knockdown with a body shot in the fifth round but referee Malik Waleed ruled it a slip. Andrade did not appear hurt and maintained control of the fight.
Late in the seventh round, Andrade appeared to drop Nicholson, also with a body shot, but Waleed again waved it off and ruled it a slip.
Andrade continued to go for a knockout in the ninth round, letting his hands go regularly but Nicholson stood up to several clean punches, although Andrade did drop him with a left-right combination in the final seconds of the 10th round.