Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis goes 12 for the first time topping Karen Chukhadzhian on the Davis-Garcia undercard
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jaron “Boots” Ennis won every round, a complete shutout, over awkward unknown Ukrainian Karen Chukhadzhian Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 19,731 at the Capital One Arena on the Gervonta “Tank” Davis-Hector Luis Garcia undercard.
It marked the first time Ennis (30-0, 27 knockouts) went 12 rounds in his career, and though he won 120-108 on the three scorecards, it didn’t seem as satisfying as other Ennis’ past performances since he’s set the bar so high.
Chukhadzhian (21-2, 11 KOs) was a difficult opponent who was more interested in lasting than winning. He worked angles well and ran and ducked.
Ranked No. 3 at welterweight by The Ring, Ennis, however, was hit more than he ever has been as a pro, and he also missed more than he ever did before.
“We come here to dominate,” Ennis said. “I feel like I could have thrown more punches. I should stop that guy and that’s on me. I wanted him to engage but we did what we could.
“I learned to just take my time and to not rush anything. I’m glad I went 12 rounds. It felt great. I felt I was in the best shape. I just needed to throw a little more punches. I should have got him out of there.
“He ran a lot. 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 that I want Errol Spence and the winner of Virgil Ortiz and (Eimantas) Stanionis. You know – all the top guys. Let’s get it, you know?
“I’ll wait until the time is right and (Spence) is ready.”
Roiman Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) pulled off the shocker by beating Rashidi Ellis (24-1, 15 KOs) by 12-round majority decision. Judges David Braslow and Paul Wallace’s 114-112 scorecards overruled judge Tammye Jenkins’ 113-113 score.
“First of all, thank God for this victory,” Villa said. “Second of all, he was a tough fighter. He moved a lot. He does hit hard. The first couple rounds I was a little tight but then I got loose.
“I was on top of him from the first round. I know that fighters such as him who are quick sooner or later will get a little tired and that’s what I took advantage of. My corner told me to knock him down (in the 12th round). I couldn’t do it on the first try but I kept going.”
Ellis had won the first five rounds on the scorecards, but Villa appeared to be whittling him down.
Entering the 12th, Villa’s corner told him he had to knock out Ellis to win. With 1:54 left in the last round, Villa saw his opening and blasted Ellis with a left hook to knock down Ellis for the second time in his career. Ellis got up on unstable legs and Villa did not let up. With :03 left in the fight, Villa nailed Ellis with a right sending him down a second time twisted into the ropes.
“I want the rematch right away. I’m fine (physically),” Ellis said. “I thought I was dictating the fight. I don’t know. I don’t know what happened. I totally disagree with the decision. I was winning most of the rounds. Yeah, he had the knockdown but other than that I was winning most of the rounds.”
Ellis’ jab dominated most of this fight. Through nine rounds, Ellis landed 146 jabs to Villa’s 8. At the end of the 9th round, Villa started landing his power punches. In rounds 9-12, Villa landed 58 power punches to Ellis’ 24. Villa knocked Ellis down twice in the 12th round to swing the majority decision his way.
“I thought he just fell on the last knockdown so I wasn’t sure (if it was a knockdown),” Villa said. “But if they want the rematch we’ll give them the rematch. I like the Mexican fighters with balls and I like the way he fights so I would definitely give him the rematch. I told him after the fight to smile and he had nothing to say.
“I didn’t really feel like I needed the knockout in that last round, I just wanted to dominate. Ellis is a good fighter, but this was mostly about what I was able to do. All credit to God for allowing me to come out with my arm raised up high. I’m not thinking about the future right now, just soaking in the moment.”
Making his 168-pound debut, former two-division titlist Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Demond Nicholson (26-5-1, 22 KOs), knocking down Nicholson twice. Returning from a 13-month layoff due to surgery on his right shoulder, Andrade knocked Nicholson in the second and 10th rounds.
“I felt good, I can definitely tell the weight difference but the speed and combinations and the IQ was the plan today and that’s what we did,” Andrade said. “The weight (was different).”
As for fighting the David Benavidez-Caleb Plant winner next, Andrade put the 168-pound class on notice.
“The only way I can say I’m the best is by fighting the best,” he said. “Everyone knows that Demond Nicholson is a dog. That’s why we took this fight. He took this fight because he knew I was coming up and he definitely has the animal in him. He showed it today and we’re just boxing – IQ.
“We’re going to look to see who’s available at 168 pounds. I’m just going to get stronger, sharper and faster too.”
Junior middleweight Vito Mielnicki, Jr. (14-1, 9 KOs) kept rolling, stopping Omar Rosales (9-2-1, 5 KOs) at :26 of round four of a scheduled 10-rounder.
Super lightweight Brandun Lee (27-0, 23 KOs) stopped Diego Luque (21-11-2, 10 KOs) at 2:55 in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-rounder.
Junior middleweight Travon Marshall (7-0, 6 KOs) stopped Shawn West (7-3-1, 4 KOs) at :48 of the first round. Welterweight Keeshawn Williams (11-1-1, 2 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Gustavo David Vittori (26-12-1, 12 KOs).
In what could be defined as a mild upset, junior welterweight Michael Ogundo (17-16, 14 KOs) stopped former junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson (35-6-1, 17 KOs) at 2:05 of the fourth round in a scheduled six-rounder.
Kyrone Davis (17-3-1, 6 KOs) won a unanimous eight-round super middleweight decision over Cristian Fabian Rios (23-16-3, 7 KOs). Junior middleweight Jalil Hackett (5-0, 4 KOs) stopped Joel Guevara (4-9-1, 3 KOs) at 2:01 of the first in a scheduled four-rounder. In the first fight, lightweight Mia Ellis (6-1, 4 KOs) stopped Karen Dulin (5-26-1, 3 KOs) at 1:58 of the first round of a scheduled four-rounder.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
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