Boots Ennis wins IBF interim belt in snoozer

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Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Unbeaten longtime top 147lb contender Jaron “Boots” Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) finally got his first world title of sorts when he defeated little-known IBF #4 Karen Chukhadzhian (21-2, 11 KOs) by twelve round unanimous decision to claim the vacant IBF interim welterweight belt on Saturday night in the Tank-HLG co-feature at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Frustrating fight with Ennis pretty much stalking the survival-minded Chukhadzhian the whole way. Scores were 120-108 3x.

This was Ennis’ first fight that went the distance since 2017.

“He ran a lot,” said Ennis. “Hats off to him since a lot of guys didn’t want to fight me. So shout out to him for coming here and taking this fight…everyone knows I want Spence. I’ll keep waiting until the time is right and Spence is ready to take the fight.”

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  • I dont think any of the top fighters are scared of Ennis after watching this performance. Misseda lot of wide swinging punches a didnt have an answer to the ukraines movement

  • Somenthing got exposed in this fight, and Enis even though is a great fighter, showed he can’t resolve a smart fighter with good footwork. Is evident Enis has a lot of room for improvement and need to work a lot ASAP in order to be ready for fighters like Crawford and Spence, I believe he is capable to take the welterweight division, he just need to be a bit smarter and not depend on his power only

    • Lol smart fighter with good footwork.. you mean Olympic level runner. He ran full speed every round and lost every single round . I’ve never seen a fighter lose every single round until this . He came to run not to fight and the judges saw it

  • It takes two to make a fight and the opponent for Ennis wasn’t willing to do this being more interested in going the distance. Nothing is stopping Ennis now the interim champ from winning a world title in 2023.

  • There are levels to boxing. Boots showed that he is NOT ready for Crawford or Spence. His “power” may be a bit exaggerated. When he was not able to stop his opponent in round 6, he became visibly frustrated and started to wing his punches. Against someone like Crawford, he would have paid dearly for that. His offense looked a bit limited. He’s good but he’s not ready for the aforementioned.

  • Karen showed half of the blueprint for defeating “Boots.” Too bad the Ukrainian didn’t have bigger punch.

  • Ennis wanted a big KO for the DC crowd, but Chukhadzhian was slick, slippery and moving — hard to TKO/KO an opponent like Chukhadzhian. Ennis should use this fight to learn about patience, smart pressure and setting up compact punches against a mobile opponent.

    • Great points ,,, I believe Boots will work on better ring cut offs and combinations to set up the bomb shot . He got frustrated with dude running and started trying to one hitter quitter . He gotta take a page out of Floyd book I hope he can speak to Floyd, if a dude wanna run don’t think knockout thinks beating him up with 2-4 punch combos each time you can catch him

  • It’s pretty sad when you get criticized for winning every round. If his opponent came to fight he would have got kod in two or three rounds.

    • I usually agree with you KP, but Boots looked bad and flustered last night. He isn’t ready for Spence or Bud, yet.

    • No one is criticizing him for “winning every round.” He clearly won the fight that’s not the issue. The announcers were going on and on about how Boots has no weakness. Boots accused Karen of “running” as if he were supposed to stand in front of Boots like an idiot. I’m going to criticize Boot for that “running” comment just like I’d criticize Mexican and Asian fighters (Manny Pacquiao) who say it. His team better prepare for fighters with fantastic footwork before they worry about Spence or Crawford. He’s a bit overrated.

  • The Ukranian dude was not like your typical stand upright European boxer with no head movement. He was in great shape and was tough for Ennis to hit clean with his herky jerky style and head movement. Having said that, Ennis did look a little less explosive and confused at times. However, you’re not going to knock everyone out and great fighters learn from each fight, he needed the experience (never been past 7 rounds). I think the winner of Ortiz and Stanois would be the ideal next fight, then Bud or Spence.

  • Credit to Ennis for a solid performance…. credit to his opponent for a good fight…Karen was game…..that was not running…that was great defense…go back and watch the fight.!!!! Karen had excellent lateral movement….angles…slipping….head movement…great distance… punches…counters (actually exposed Ennis with his ability to block and counter aka”catch and shoot”) OFFENSIVELY….Karen threw great counters…solid mixture of punches…catching Ennis …at angles,.on the inside and out…quick…. GO BACK AND WATCH THE FIGHT….KAREN IS A LIVE DAWG!!!! A GOOD FIGHTER!!!

    Ennis is a good fighter… displayed skill and intelligence…never never stopped punching… good combinations … excellent timing ….knew when to go to the body… excellent technique…form..though did get frustrated at times and off balance..Ennis wore Karen down with constant pressure..Congrats for taking a competitive fight….unlikely other champs….being professional and getting the win.,..Ennis already on another level just adding to his knowledge…

  • sounds like a sparring session for boots didnt see the fight how good is boots has he fought any body in the rankings?

  • I kept thinking I was watching a small Beterbiev fighting last night. However, there was a big difference, Beterbiev uses his footwork to come forward and has wrecking ball power.

    Did Boots look wild at times? Of course, he did. He was trying to entertain. He won every round, so I’m not sure how “exposed” he was. I’d still favor him against every Welterweight in the world not named Crawford or Spence and against those two, I’d give him a very good chance. I’d favor Crawford more than Spence, but it would be wrong to call Ennis a “dog” when he’s sitting almost even money against them.

  • Good win for Boots… However, as has been said, Chukhadzhian provided the blueprint or 1/2 the plan to beat Ennis. A fighter with mobility and an offensive arsenal would have beat Ennis. Power is diminished at the top of the food chain…

    I have been saying this for the last 2 years, everyone is questioning Crawford’s opposition (can’t help it if none of the top fighters don’t really want to fight him), Crawford should take the fight with Ennis and then Ortiz. F**K the belts and fight for recognition as the people’s championship…

  • Ennis going 12 rounds was a wonderful scenario.WHY? Because now that he showed he was capable of doing that, and Spence and Crawford thinking that he is not as powerful as they thought, you can now look for either man to FINALLY fight Boots.And from what I see both men will get their heads BROKEN!!!!

  • Spence will not be fighting Boots or Bud. I’m sure he wants it but his manager and promoter are going to stay clear of that street.

  • soon as lil booty fights a real champ he is exposed. Being athletic is not a guaranteed hall of fame issuance.
    Can you imagine what Hearns or Leonard would have done to him? Vergil takes him in 6..

    • Gaskin…often read your comments…you know better…you are well versed….Fighters …even special fighters need fights like this to grow….i.e…Leonard v Duran I & II…in both fights ..both fighters were special…but had to grow…Leonard after the first Duran fight had to learn,..several things …that helped progress his entire career…So did Duran …another special fighter..after the second fight with Leonard… Duran…learned… became a master boxer/puncher almost beat the great Marvin Hagler…. actually wrote the blueprint for beating Hagler.,point is…Greatness is a threshold that has to be maintained.. challenged and surpassed….Ennis is on that level…now to maintain and surpass it Ennis has to be pushed..recognize weaknesses and improve…doesn’t mean that Ennis can’t …what I saw last night was a young fighter …showing some above average stuff….

  • Noting special about this fight. Chukhadzhian fought to survive and did just that. Ennis not impressive or well-known. I know he wants a fight with Spence, since it would represent a good payday for him, but Spence only fights once a year. A matchup with him is not likely to happen anytime soon.

    • Again..Don’t think Karen was running…that is just his style…Hit Ennis with some good punches…Karen has a Hector Camacho style…superb lateral movement…with angles..throwing punches while being evasive..Karen hit Ennis with some good shots..Karen showed skill..fighters have different syles..a runner has no plans to engage that was not the case.,Ennis took solid punches from Karen..Ennia knew in the fight that he was “in” a fight….go back and watch the fight

  • Karen may have done a lot of running but Boots better get use to that. This is a good lesson for him. Boots has got serious power and that’s evident by his resume, so he better expect this sort of thing going forward, he needs to work on cutting off the ring and using more angles because no one is gonna just stand there and trade with a banger. Regardless, I can’t wait to see him in the ring again soon.

  • Boots was exposed finally after being fed nothing but home depot workers and a couple of pre retirement has beens to pad his record and it seems like he picked this guy and his shifty style to prepare for Crawfish and yea not ready for Bud and he will be punished and KOd by Spence hes better off waiting for them to move up in weight

  • Some really ignorant takes on this site. There’s a difference between FACTS and OPINIONS and BULLSHIT.
    OPINIONS: Bud would have smoked that dude. Boots is not ready for Crawford/Spence. Spence in 2. Karen showed “half the blueprint” for beating Boots. Vergil takes him in 6. He’s overrated.
    BULLSHIT: Boots showed “a lot” of flaws. Didn’t have an answer to the Ukrainian’s movement. Depends on his power only.
    FACTS: Boots showed some flaws. He did come with a few plans (including hanging on the ropes, counterpunching, switch hitting) but was too focused on the KO and not intelligently breaking down his man. Did not cut off the ring well. Allowed Karen to get his confidence back in the 12th (reminiscent of Danny Garcia vs. Spence). Karen showcased a very slippery style that the Ukraine is increasingly being known for producing. Boots won every single round and that must be respected (did Crawford get this disrespect when he beat Postol?) As of now, Boots is on the same level as V. Ortiz, Stanionis and is definitely READY to test against that elite level (Spence, Crawford). Only through those fights (or if he fights like 10 fringe contenders, if he takes the Crawford route) can he elevate himself to the person he tells us he is. He still can do it.

  • Y’all sound crazy in these comments. Boots came to punch and fight and give the fans what they paid to see, his opponent came to run and evade fighting every single round , where Boots can improve is to become more combination minded to cut a dude face up if he can’t get the bomb shot just punish with quick accurate combinations, that’s what made Floyd special . Spence nice but he lost to Shawn Porter. Bud nice but I’d take Boots against either guy

  • It’s amazing that “boxing” fans don’t see things for the way it is. How we forget how Spence couldn’t stop a lightweight that was in survival mode. Also, the one real mistake Boots made was he was trying to force the KO shot. He wasn’t really putting shots together like he normally does. Boots wouldn’t fight Spence or Crawford this way.

  • Although Boots Innis is a good fighter, who has he really fought? He hasn’t fought anybody. Plus, he’s inactive having had five fights in a little over 3 years. So when you put him in the ring in a big TV-spot and does nothing… idk… now what?

  • It takes two to make a fight and his opponent was in for a pay day only. Crawford and Spence won’t fight him.

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