September 22, 2023

Jaron Ennis does not mind criticism of his latest performances and vows to keep winning

SANTA MONICA, CA - MAY 11: Welterweight contender Jaron Ennis trains during media practice for his upcoming fight against Custio Clayton at Churchill Boxing Club on May 11, 2022 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

SANTA MONICA, CA – MAY 11: Welterweight contender Jaron Ennis trains during media practice for his upcoming fight against Custio Clayton at Churchill Boxing Club on May 11, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Jaron Ennis has never lost a game as a professional and only dropped a handful of rounds. He has never fought a full three minute round where all three judges voted against him.

He is 30-0 with 26 knockouts and has been so dominant in his career that he is a -1400 favorite at BetMGM ahead of Saturday’s fight against 26-1 Roiman Villa. Villa, who has 24 knockouts from his 26 wins, is a +1000 underdog ahead of their fight Saturday (9:30 p.m. ET, Showtime) in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ennis was not knocked out last time, when he scored a lackluster unanimous decision over Karen Chukhadzhian to win the IBF interim welterweight title. Ennis swept all 12 rounds on all three maps, but it was a fight that didn’t feel like a closeout. Chukhadzhian never stopped trying and was never seriously injured in the fight.

Ennis has looked fantastic in the vast majority of his 30 games, so if he won a shutout on his supposed worst night, he’s doing well.

His father, Derek, was once a fighter who compiled a record of 24-5-1 with 13 KOs in a career that ended in 2014. And he taught his son the rules of the game from an early age.

An old boxing saying reminds fighters to win the fight for you and worry about looking good in the next fight. And as a grizzled veteran, Ennis was unaffected by the slings and arrows that came his way. A lot was expected of him – and still is – so if he doesn’t score a spectacular knockout, that’s news.

But he’s not going to fight Villa with a chip on his shoulder or anything to prove. He’s going to do what he’s always done: win.

“To be honest, I don’t care what anyone says about me,” he said. “As long as I do what I have to do and I come out victorious, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, having fights like this is a learning experience. That’s how you get better. [The criticism] won’t do anything but make me better and sharper. So I’m going to go out and do what I need to do, do what we’ve been working on and hopefully take it to the next level.”

Villa is 26-1 with 24 knockouts coming off a win over Rashidi Ellis. Sampson Lewkowicz, Villa’s manager, told Yahoo Sports that Villa planned to fight Ennis on his next appearance. They both fought on the same January 7 card.

Villa scored 24 knockouts in his first 24 wins, against only one loss by majority decision. In his last two appearances, he scored wins over Janelson Bocachica and Ellis.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 13: Jaron Ennis weighs in at the Westin LAX before his IBF welterweight bout against Custio Clayton to be held at Dignity Health Sports Park, on May 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Jaron Ennis is 30-0 with 26 KOs. (Jayne Kamin-Once/Getty Images)

Ennis grinned at the news that Villa wanted to meet him. Villa took a close look at Ennis, who didn’t know much about Chukhadzhian when they fought. He said his father watched a Chukhadzhian movie and told him he was a straightforward fighter. He fought Ennis very differently.

“One of the reasons I don’t watch a lot of movies of guys I fight is that they fight someone else one way and they fight a completely different way when they come in on me,” he said. “My dad and the other guys on my team told me they saw Karen and he moved forward and didn’t move that much. They said he liked to push. But you saw how he fought me. So it’s a perfect example of why I don’t watch much [film].”

However, there is a good chance that Villa will not change his style. That can make things explosive.

Villa has a high quality knockout record, although his opposition was not on Ennis’ level. Ennis has been one of the hot prospects in the sport and a potential star due to his charisma and his crushing power.

If Villa goes for the knockout, it could be a night to remember.

“He comes forward and doesn’t move his head much,” Ennis said of Villa. “He’s throwing those big, broad hooks, some big, looping shots. There’s a lot of things we’ve seen.”

Not moving the head is always a problem in boxing, but especially against a terrifying puncher like Ennis.

“I think I can hit a little bit,” he said with a chuckle.

It’s just another weapon in the toolbox for him. People rave about him though, as he seems to have the full arsenal to make him an elite boxer.

If he gets that big win over Villa it will only be further confirmation that he is one of the best young fighters in a sport that is teeming with.

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