By: Oliver McManus
Saturday night’s Showtime card became engulfed in controversy when, main event, Claressa Shields vs Ivana Habazin was called off due to a weigh-in altercation. Jaron Ennis bore the burden to perform on his young shoulders and the 22 year old rose to the occasion immaculately.
Fighting against, stocky Argentine, Demian Fernández appeared to represent a step up in the career of Ennis but he paid little attention to that supposition. ‘Boots’ entered the ring wearing a rather outlandish blue (faux) fur gilet of sorts but even that didn’t prove to be a talking point come the end of the fight.
The exciting prospect showcased his explosivity with a third round TKO over his game opponent who ultimately failed to provide the rugged assessment anticipated. Ennis boxed at a canter, looking relaxed in the ring as he worked through the motions, but was willing to fight in Fernandez preferred style.
Standing toe-to-toe, where Fernandez has found considerable success previously, the contest was lively but Ennis always looked comfortable. He was the more polished boxer and was able to accurately pick his shots whereas Fernandez looked more unorthodox and flailing. Having dominated the opening two rounds, the third round saw Ennis apply the pressure and land upwards of a dozen shots to drop the Argentine.
The 22 year old looked merciless in his pursuit of the finish with real vim and vigour applied with Fernandez back into the corner. Vicious right hands were swung with the full weight of his body, twisting into each punch, as he barely let Fernandez breath. Often the term ‘smother’ gets used in reference to ‘a spoiler’ who disrupts the rhythm of a bout but in this case it was Ennis who smothered Fernandez with a relentless work rate.
Fernandez took a knee having been blitzed into submission and, despite getting up at nine, was in no position to continue. Ennis boxed sensationally to record his 24th professional victory and post-fight revealed he may drop to super-lightweight in order to pursue ‘big fights.’
The main bout on the undercard saw Michigan heavyweight Jermain Franklin shake off the cobwebs to record a victory over Pavel Sour. Having underwhelmed against Rydell Booker and Jerry Forrest, the 25 year old was emphatic against his Czech opponent. Sour had never previously boxed at this level and looked over-worked against Franklin from the off.
Having dropped Sour twice – in the sixth and tenth round – Franklin was looking to force the knockout but had to settle for a wide points decision. Questions were answered, to an extent, with this performance as Franklin sported a lighter figure; looking notably more mobile. His power is evident, though untested, and he perhaps got ahead of himself on Saturday night in trying to force the finish but dealt with the task at hand adequately.
The story of the night, in the ring at least, belongs to Jaron Ennis who remains on track as one of the most exciting prospects in America. And those knockouts, well, they show no sign of slowing down any time soon.