Jaron Ennis doesn’t know a whole lot about Juan Carlos Abreu.
The emerging welterweight contender is aware, though, that none of Abreu’s pro opponents have been able to knock him out. Ennis intends to change that Saturday night, when they’re scheduled to meet in a 10-round fight Showtime will televise from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“That’d mean a lot for me to do that,” Ennis told BoxingScene.com. “I feel that’d be a big statement, for me to stop this guy and show the division that I’m here, and that I’m nothing to be played with.”
Abreu (23-5-1, 21 KOs, 1 NC) – a Salem, Massachusetts, resident raised in the Dominican Republic – has suffered four of his past five losses versus boxers who were undefeated when they fought. Those defeats came against WBA interim welterweight champion Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs), Alex Martin (15-3, 6 KOs), Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KOs) and Alexander Besputin (14-0, 9 KOs).
Philadelphia’s Ennis (25-0, 23 KOs) hasn’t studied Abreu’s bouts, but the skillful, powerful fighter expects to dominate his 33-year-old opponent.
“I don’t look at the fighter,” Ennis said. “I go out there and feel them out by the first round, to see what they’re bringing to the table. Like I always say, you never know what they’re gonna bring to the table. They can change their whole game plan. Just because they’ve fought one way, that don’t mean they’re gonna fight you that same exact way. We prepare all the way around, so we’ll pick him apart as soon as the bell rings. I’m focused on myself and what I have to do. He’s just another guy in the way of me getting on my way to my world title.”
The 23-year-old Ennis’ handlers secured Abreu as his opponent on approximately three weeks’ notice. As usual, they had difficulty finding fighters who were willing to face Ennis for reasonable amounts of money.
“I heard they went through a bunch of fighters,” Ennis said. “Guys didn’t wanna fight, or they was trying to get more money. There is nothing I can do but just keep winning, beat the guys they’re putting in front of me and just keep getting better each and every time.”
The Ennis-Abreu bout will open a Showtime tripleheader set to begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs), of Orlando, Florida, will encounter Cleveland’s Terrell Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) in the main event, a 12-round, 154-pound WBC elimination match. Also Saturday night, Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KOs) will battle Cobia Breedy (15-0, 5 KOs), of Hyattsville, Maryland, in a 10-round featherweight fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.