ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Jaron Ennis demonstrated Friday afternoon at Showboat that he can still comfortably make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

Ennis stepped on the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board’s scale at 145½ pounds for his “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event against Roiman Villa on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Theater. Villa officially weighed 146½ pounds.

Philadelphia’s Ennis, 26, will make his first defense of the IBF interim welterweight title he won when he shut out Ukraine’s Karen Chukhadzhian on all three scorecards in his last fight. Chukhadzhian (22-2, 12 KOs) was an unknown underdog entering their bout, but he surprisingly ended Ennis’ 19-fight knockout streak and became the first opponent to take Ennis 12 rounds since he made his pro debut in April 2016.

Villa, 30, upset Rashidi Ellis the same night Ennis conquered Chukhadzhian on the Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Garcia undercard January 7 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Venezuela’s Villa scored two knockdowns during the 12th round, which accounted for the two-point differences on the scorecards of judges Dave Braslow (114-112) and Paul Wallace (114-112). Judge Tammye Jenkins scored the Villa-Ellis bout a draw (113-113).

Ellis, of Lynn, Massachusetts, nevertheless lost for the first time as a pro (24-1, 15 KOs).

Villa’s victory over Ellis made him the IBF’s number two contender in the welterweight division and a logical opponent for Ennis’ first title defense. The number one spot in the IBF’s rankings is unoccupied.

The official weights for the televised and streamed fights on the Ennis-Villa undercard are listed below.


9:30 p.m. EDT; 6:30 p.m. PDT

Yoelvis Gomez (6-0, 5 KOs), Havana, Cuba, 159 pounds vs. Marquis Taylor (14-1-2, 1 KO, 1 NC), Galena Park, Texas, 158 pounds, 10 rounds, middleweights.

Edwin De Los Santos (15-1, 14 KOs), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 133 pounds vs. Joseph Adorno (17-2-2, 14 KOs), Allentown, Pennsylvania, 135 pounds, 10 rounds, lightweights.

Showtime Sports YouTube channel

7:30 p.m. EDT; 4:30 p.m. PDT

Euri Cedeno (4-0, 4 KOs), La Romana, Dominican Republic, 159 pounds vs. William Townsel (5-0, 4 KOs), Virginia Beach, Virginia, 157½ pounds, 8 rounds, middleweights.

Steven Torres (5-0-1, 5 KOs), Reading, Pennsylvania, 239 pounds vs. James Evans (6-0-1, 6 KOs), Toledo, Ohio, 225½ pounds, 8 rounds, heavyweights.

Dwyke Flemmings Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs), Paterson, New Jersey, 156½ pounds vs. Henry Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs), Las Vegas, 156½ pounds, 4 rounds, middleweights.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.