Jaron Ennis Demetrius Andrade Both On Davis PPV Undercard
Welterweight contender Jaron “Boots” Ennis and the return of former two-division titlist Demetrius Andrade highlight the undercard of the Showtime PPV event on Jan. 7 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., the network and Premier Boxing Champions announced on Monday.
The card is headlined by Gervonta Davis’ secondary lightweight title defense against junior lightweight titleholder Hector Luis Garcia,
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 5, 2022
Ennis, the 2020 prospect of the year, will face Karen Chukhadzhian for the vacant IBF interim welterweight title in the co-feature.
Welterweight Rashidi Ellis will have his second bout since signing with PBC in a 12-rounder against Roiman Villa.
Andrade, a former middleweight and junior middleweight titlist, will make his super middleweight debut in the pay-per-view opener against Demond Nicholson in a 10-rounder.
Ennis ready to resume title quest
Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs), 25, of Philadelphia, who was limited to just one fight this year — an impressive second-round knockout of then-unbeaten Custio Clayton in May — has been one of boxing’s rising stars for the past few years. He will face the little-known Chukhadzhian with the winner becoming a mandatory challenger for three-belt titlist Errol Spence Jr.
“I can’t wait to start 2023 off right by putting on another explosive performance for my fans,” Ennis said. “I respect all my opponents and am training harder than ever to come out victorious to move one step closer to becoming world champion. Next year is going to be the most significant year of my career and it all starts with this fight. My time is now.”
Chukhadzhian (21-1, 11 KOs), 26, of Ukraine, will be fighting in the United States for the first time and facing his first notable opponent. He has faced lesser opposition throughout his career but has not lost a since a three-round split decision in his second fight in 2015.
“When the offer to fight Jaron Ennis came to us, we immediately agreed,” Chukhadzhian said. “Ennis is a very good boxer. However, both Armenian and Ukrainian blood flows through my veins, and I’m not traveling to the U.S. for a check, but with the goal of showing that all of the hard work we put in was not in vain. We are preparing in the gym, where there is no water and light because of the war. But what doesn’t break us only makes us stronger. I’m confident I will have my hand raised on Jan. 7.”
Ellis (24-0, 15 KOs), 29, of Lynn, Massachusetts, made his PBC debut with a first-round knockout of Jose Marruffo in July after parting ways with Golden Boy, but that was his first fight since October 2020.
“I’m grateful to be stepping into the ring on such a big card to show off my talents,” Ellis said. “I’m ready to go out and accomplish my goals. I’m coming to take care of the welterweight division one fight at a time.”
Venezuela’s Villa (25-1, 24 KOs), 29, will be stepping up in competition and is coming off his most notable win, a lopsided eight-round decision over Janelson Figueroa Bocachica on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” in September.
“I’m looking forward to being able to show all my power and preparation in my next fight against Rashidi Ellis,” Villa said. “This is my chance to show that I’m going to be a world champion in the welterweight division.”
Andrade back from injury
Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs), 34, of Providence, Rhode Island, will be fighting for the first time since a second-round knockout of Jason Quigley to retain the WBO middleweight title in November 2021 and the end of his promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing.
Andrade declined to face mandatory challenger Janibek Alimkhanuly and planned to move up to super middleweight to fight for the vacant WBO interim title but twice pulled out of fighting Zach Parker this year, first due to a shoulder injury and then because he was unhappy with his cut of the winning purse bid.
“My goal right now is to become a three-division world champion,” Andrade said. “Super middleweight is a stacked division with more characters to make some great fights for the fans. I hope Demond Nicholson has a safe camp and brings his very best to the table so that we can have a great showing on this card. I’m ready to display my talent and skill on my journey to becoming a three-division world champion.”
Nicholson (26-4-1, 22 KOs), 29, of Laurel, Maryland, has won three low-level fights in a row since a lopsided eight-round decision loss to unbeaten Edgar Berlanga. He was the first opponent to go the distance with Berlanga, who entered the April 2021 fight having won his first 16 fights by first-round knockout.
“This is a great opportunity for me to attack my dreams,” Nicholson said. “A win on Jan. 7 is going to get me closer to accomplishing the goals I have in this lifetime. I am ready for anything my opponent is going to bring to the ring, so the fans should expect a great fight for as long as this one lasts.”