Jaron Ennis has remained as patient as possible while waiting for an established welterweight to fight him.
Now that Sergey Lipinets has accepted this challenging assignment, Ennis is anxious to justify the hype he has created thus far. The undefeated Philadelphia native is 26-0 and has knocked out 24 of his opponents, but Ennis knows he needs a convincing victory over an opponent like Lipinets on his resume.
Their 12-round fight will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).
“This is my time,” Ennis said during a virtual press conference recently. “I’m ready to rock and roll. Whatever he brings, I’m gonna be ready for it. And we don’t look at nobody as a stepping stone. This fight right here is gonna take me to the next level, and they will see. And like I said, I’ve been through a bunch of different things. They don’t know how I’m gonna come.
“And just know I’m ready. This might’ve been the hardest I’ve been working ever, and I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a very, very long time. And I finally got a guy with a name and now it’s my time to shine, and just show the world the rest of my talent, and show ‘em that I’m really nothing to be played with, and I’m a dangerous man. And they will see on April 10th.”
The 23-year-old Ennis possesses an uncommon combination of intelligence, power, skill and speed. He has torn through his opponents relatively easily since making his pro debut in April 2016 and is widely viewed as one of the best young boxers in the sport.
Lipinets is Ennis’ most dangerous, accomplished opponent to date, though.
The 32-year-old Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) has lost only to four-division champion Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs). Garcia dropped Lipinets in the seventh round and defeated the Kazakhstan native by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for Lipinets’ IBF junior welterweight title in March 2018 at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
Lipinets also fought to a 12-round majority draw with Canada’s Custio Clayton (18-0-1, 12 KOs) in his last fight, a 12-rounder for the IBF interim welterweight title October 24 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“Me beating Lipinets,” Ennis said, “that’s taking my career to the next level because he was a former world champion at 140 and he fought a lot of top guys. And me beating him and making a statement on him, that’s a whole different level right there. That’s boosting me all the way up, and I feel like after this, it’s bigger and better things. But, you know, we got business to handle on April 10th.”
Showtime’s telecast will include two 12-round bouts before Ennis-Lipinets.
Another young, unbeaten welterweight, Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis (12-0, 9 KOs), also will face his most experienced, proven opponent in the 12-round co-feature. The 26-year-old Stanionis, a 2016 Olympian, and Puerto Rican veteran Thomas Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) are set to meet in a WBA elimination match.
The opener of this three-bout broadcast will feature the Philippines’ Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs), who will make a mandated defense of his IBF junior bantamweight championship against Mexico’s Jonathan Rodriguez (22-1, 16 KOs) in a 12-round, 115-pound title fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.