By: Sean Crose
When recently asked by Lance Pugmire for FightHype who was the best welterweight in the world, Errol Spence or Terence Crawford, Jaron “Boots” Ennis was ready with a bold answer: “I’m the best welterweight in the world,” he replied. The man may be right. Boasting a record of twenty-nine wins and zero losses, the twenty-five year old knockout artist has polished off all but two of his opponents within the distance. Suffice to say, this being modern boxing, people are wondering if Ennis will be avoided by the biggest names in the business – meaning Spence and possibly even Crawford. Judging from his interview with Pugmire, however, Ennis doesn’t seem to think so.
For this Saturday, the Philly native will be taking on the little known 21-1 Karen Chukhadzhian in a scheduled 12 rounder for the IBF interim welterweight title. And a win may well pit him against current IBF world welterweight titlist Spence. “I definitely think it’s clear path to the main belt, the IBF belt,” Ennis said of a win on Saturday. “I feel like it’s going to put me right there.” The IBF is known, after all, to enforce its own rules (something that’s not entirely common in the contemporary boxing business).
“I feel,” the fighter added, “like the IBF is real strict with what’s going on.” If that’s the case, then Ennis may indeed be getting his chance against Spence, especially now that a much anticipated fight between Spence and fellow world titlist Crawford has fallen through. Not that Ennis thinks Spence is afraid. “I think he will fight me,” he said of Spence. “I feel like the fans want to see it. If it ain’t him or Crawford they want to see me and him.” As for Chukhadzhian, who he’ll be facing on the undercard of this weekend’s Gervonta Davis – Luis Garcia pay per view event, Ennis indicates that he and his team have been hard at work.
“I didn’t watch too much on him,” Ennis admitted, “but my brother, my team, have been watching him.” Although he hasn’t been studying Chukhadzhian, Ennis has been studying a fighter of note while preparing for this Saturday’s fight. “I’ve been watching a lot of Mike Tyson,” he said, letting Pugmire know he’s been learning from footage of one of the all time greats. “Pressure,” he says of the lessons he’s learned watching Tyson fight, “move your head walking in, being smart, a lot of double shots with the same hand.”
“I just need,” Ennis said in reference to Chukhadzhian, “to go out there and be smart.”
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