Jaron “Boots” Ennis has emerged as a top welterweight contender, and looks to take possibly a final step toward a major world title shot this Saturday when he faces Karen Chukhadzhian for the interim IBF belt.
Ennis (29-0, 27 KO) has already said he believes Spence — who has the IBF belt as well as the WBC and WBA titles — will fight him, and he’s keeping that pressure on ahead of this weekend’s return.
“I know Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford are holding up the division right now, but whatever way I can get my hands on the belts, I’ll be ready,” Ennis said at Wednesday’s media workout.
“I just want to fight. I’m young, hungry and I’m going to keep shining and demolishing these guys they put in front of me. Getting knockouts gives the fans what they want and makes them keep gravitating toward me. As long as I keep doing what I’m doing, my fan base is just going to grow.”
Chukhadzhian (21-1, 11 KO) is frankly not seen as a legitimate threat to Ennis, though you never know until you know. The Ukrainian should be expected to give it everything he has.
“I’m coming here to win,” Chukhadzhian said. “If he wants to avoid going toe-to-toe, then I’ll be ready to box. If it’s a battle on the inside he wants, I know that I can win that way.
“I know that Ennis is a good fighter, but my focus is on my abilities and what I can do in the ring. I’m very confident. I have everything I need to win this fight.”
Ennis’ focus beyond this fight does seem to be entirely on Spence, and he threw out some comments directly for Errol.
“I know Spence says he’s the ‘big fish,’ but we like to go fishing. If I have to sit on the side and ride a jet ski for a while, that’s okay for now. You know what happens when they bring a fish to land, right? They squirm.”