By: Sean Crose
The Interim IBF Welterweight title was at stake Saturday night in Washington DC as the 29-0 Jaron “Boots” Ennis took on the 21-1 Karen Chukhadzhian in a scheduled twelve round affair at the Capital One Arena. Chukhadzhian had a quirky style, but Ennis – who was hungry for a big match – was the one landing the better shots. Ennis continued to play it cool and confident in the second, maintaining range and moving in and out for quick shots. Chukhadzhian, a little known yet skilled fighter, was clearly being held at bay by Ennis in the third round.
With that in mind Chukhadzhian landed effectively in the first minute of the fourth. He continued to land throughout the round, perhaps taking the chapter on the judge’s cards. Chukhadzhian tagged his man in the fifth. Ennis, however, continued to play it cool while pressing the action. Was it enough, though? Chukhadzhian was unable to to outland Ennis with effective shots in the sixth, though he was certainly in the fight, which no doubt came as a surprise to some. One thing was certain: Chukhadzhian, was at least somewhat able to throw off Ennis’ timing.
Ennis was able to more or less dominate the seventh. Chukhadzhian simply wasn’t going to be an easy win for the man, but it didn’t mean Ennis would allow himself to get flustered. In fact, Ennis appeared to be turning up the pressure the eighth, firing his right in a downward motion repeatedly. Chukhadzhian survived handily, but by the ninth it was obvious that the man would have to make something happen if he wanted to score the upset win. During the tenth, it looked like Ennis was starting to take a toll on his high energy, awkward opponent.
Chukhadzhian spent the majority of the eleventh on defense – but it was an effective defense. He may not have won the round, but he was still in the fight, which was something few expected. The last round was competitive, with Chukhadzhian landing well while Ennis worked the body. It was an entertaining final three minutes. Still, it was Ennis who got the judge’s nod via unanimous decision.
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