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Custio Clayton’s trainer looks forward to clash with Jaron Ennis

Eric Belanger says they’ve been looking for a fight against Ennis for some time now, and the moment has arrived.

Clayton can put himself in position for an IBF title fight with a win over Ennis.
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Ahead of an IBF eliminator fight between Jaron Ennis and Custio Clayton, Clayton’s trainer Eric Belanger discusses the fight with Fight Hype, which he says is even better now with a chance at a world title on the line as they’ve previously been in discussion to fight Ennis before with less on the line. Check out some excerpts of what Belanger had to say on the fight below.

On how Clayton matches up against Ennis

“ I think we can bring a lot of different things to the table that can upset. One is options. Jaron Ennis is not a (one)-dimensional fighter, he’s got some options he can use but so do we. Back when we fought Lipinets on two weeks notice everyone thought we were just a pressure fighter, we’re gonna come forward. We told everybody we’re gonna show everybody we have footwork and a jab. We can box, we can pressure, we can counter punch, our defense is slick, and I think we bring a level of maturity I think Jaron hasn’t seen yet.

“He’s been asking for this. This isn’t something that we’re taking ‘cause it’s fallen in our lap, it’s something we’ve been asking for. We’ve agreed to fight Jaron Ennis, this is the third or fourth time now that we’ve said ‘yes’ and they had cold feet, changed their minds and went different directions. So we’ve had him in our sights for at least a solid year now...we’ve got multiple game plans that we’re working on, we’re locked in, and it’s gonna be a great fight.

“This is actually the third time we started camp thinking we’re fighting Jaron Ennis, and it gets postponed or he goes off and fights somebody else in the meantime. So like I said, it’s not something that fell into our lap, it’s something we’ve been asking for, something we’ve wanted, and now we’ve got what we wanted. It’s an IBF eliminator which is even better than what we were being proposed last year.”

On whether or not Ennis is being over-hyped as a talent

“It’s hard to say because we haven’t seen yet, so we’ll find out if it’s over hype or if it’s as good May 14th. He’s flashy, which makes us get excited. It’s very flashy, he does big movements, he’s got charisma, so he has that ‘wow’ factor in the ring. And it kind of makes my job difficult a little bit in a certain sense because when you’ve got an undefeated guy who hasn’t been tested, all the holes you seen in the game are assumptions. So you’ve gotta assume that there’s holes but once we get there we’re gonna find out.

“We can’t base our game plan on one assumption because at this point they’re all assumptions. Is he all hype? We assume he is. Is he gonna be exposed on May 14th? I assume he will. So that’s what we’re gonna find out.”

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