Jaron “Boots” Ennis had go to the 12-round distance for the first time in his pro career, but got the win over a savvy and skilled Karen Chukhadzhian on unanimous scores of 120-108 from all three judges.
Bad Left Hook had the fight 118-110 and 119-109 for Ennis on two unofficial cards.
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Ennis (28-0, 25 KO) may not have had the highlight reel performance tonight, but can really take this as a useful bout, too, as Chukhadzhian (21-2, 11 KO) was both crafty and, a lot of the time, fairly negative in his approach. Top fighters all have to learn to deal with “annoying” opponents, and Ennis got that tonight.
Not to totally under-sell what Chukhadzhian did legitimately well, real credit should be given to his footwork and gas tank. He’s a seriously skilled boxer, he just wasn’t able to do enough offensively to win rounds against Ennis, at least not more than a couple, and a couple is giving him swing rounds, basically.
The win gives Ennis the interim IBF welterweight title, and a likely order for a fight with Errol Spence Jr at some point this year, so long as Spence still has the IBF title.
“I learned to take my time and not rush nothing. I’m glad I went 12 rounds,” Ennis said. “I just need to throw more punches. I should have gotten him out of here. He ran a lot, but hat’s off to him, because a lot of guys didn’t want to fight me.”
Ennis said he still wants “all the top guys,” and says he’s ready for an order to face Errol Spence Jr whenever Spence is ready.
SHOStats saw Ennis dominating, which is accurate, seeing him landing 203 of 592 (34%) total punches, and 147 of 317 (46%) of his power shots. Chukhadzhian landed 97 of 573 (17%) of his total punches, a percentage highly impacted by the fact the Ukrainian landed just 5 of 200 (3%) attempted jabs, with Ennis using a significant reach advantage nicely. Chukhadzhian landed 92 of 373 (25%) power shots, which still isn’t a great percentage or anything, but he did land some solid shots along the way.
.@JaronEnnis was workin in round 5 #EnnisChukhadzhian | Order #DavisGarcia: https://t.co/d96HK2LrHD pic.twitter.com/S3oQiAqQbP— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) January 8, 2023
Chukhadzhian has been on skates every round, forcing Ennis to chase after him and find shots that have come relatively easy in past fights. #EnnisChukhadzhian— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) January 8, 2023
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Mr. Catch a Body @JaronEnnis was targeting the body in RD10. #EnnisChukhadzhian— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) January 8, 2023
Order #DavisGarcia now! : https://t.co/c2C4VnzRmn pic.twitter.com/aDGUySywqH