Boxing

Is Jaron Ennis Boxing’s Next Big Thing?

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It’s rare that media boxing “experts” are in agreement. But every single one seems to be high on 23-year-old Philadelphia native Jaron “Boots” Ennis and the likelihood that he’ll become an elite player in the historical welterweight glamour division.

Ennis is set to meet the biggest challenge of his young career this coming Saturday on Showtime in the form of Kazakhstan-born, Russia-representing former junior welterweight champ Sergey Lipinets. And knowledgeable boxing people are excited with the possibility of seeing a true boxing-style coming out party.

The young, undefeated superstar-in-the-making comes into Saturday’s fight with some impressive accomplishments in the second and third-tier levels on his way up. He’s 26-0 with 24 knockouts. 22 of his 24 knockouts have come within the first four rounds (He’s never been past the sixth round). Coming into his recent No Decision with Chris Van Heerden (due to Van Heerden suffering a cut via headbutt), Ennis was riding a streak of 16 consecutive stoppage wins.

Along the way, he’s piled up wins over some decent opposition such as Juan Carlos Abreu, Mike Arnaoutis, Armando Alvarez, and Bakhtiyar Eyubov. None were huge names, but they were good fighters and he plowed right through them with little trouble.

Ennis’ hand speed, two-fisted power, and overall athleticism make him a formidable prospect. His fluidity, composure, and supreme confidence, however, make him special. It’s this complete package that makes him a “can’t miss” in many informed eyes.

Against Lipinets, he should have a stiff test. The 32-year-old former world champ is a legitimately skilled and mature fighter who has come a long way in a relative short period of time and is ranked among the top 10 of the welterweight division. Trained by renowned trainer Joe Goossen, the former professional kickboxer is a quick, adept learner and always supremely focused.

Lipinets’ high-water mark wins have come against former world titlist Cosme Rivera, who he beat in just his sixth pro fight, as well as Levan Ghvamichava, Leonardo Zappavigna, Erick Bone, and former world champ Lamont Peterson. His only career loss came against pound-for-pound star Mikey Garcia in a suprisingly competitive contest. In his most recent bout, Lipinets fought to a controversial majority draw against undefeated Canadian Custio Clayton.

So, the rising star will have his hands full this Saturday and, if he blows past Lipinets like he’s blown past most of his opposition, it’ll make a huge statement. But simply beating Lipinets will make a statement and announce his arrival on to the main stage of the division that has brought us legendary figures such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, Pernell Whitaker, and, of course, modern day legends Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

In the present tense scene, a win on Saturday will put him into the same deep end of the talent pool currently occupied by Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, and Shawn Porter.

A victory this weekend will also put him on a collision course with another 23-year-old superstar-in-the-making named Vergil Ortiz Jr., who is cutting his own path of destruction through the lower ranks of the 147 lb. class from the other side of the boxing business world.

Across the board, Ennis brings excitement to the division and to the sport, which is always in need of someone and/or something capable of energizing the base. At the very least, “Boots” is an exciting talent to watch as he develops and makes his way to bigger and better things.

It’s recommended that you reserve your seat on the Jaron Ennis bandwagon now and get ready to enjoy the ride.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com