Andre Ward believes it’s a positive that Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis was forced to go the distance last Saturday night against the crafty safety-first Karen Chukhadzhian to win a 12 round unanimous decision at the Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C.
This was the first time in Ennis’ seven-year professional career that he’s gone twelve rounds, and Ward feels that it was a good thing for him.
However, boxing fans and many in the media were openly critical of Boots Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) because they felt he should have found a way to dispatch Chukhadzhian (21-2, 11 KOs), even with all the running that he was doing.
It would be a good thing for Ennis if fighters like Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford, and Keith Thurman were to suddenly start showing interest in fighting him after this performance, but it doesn’t look like they’re inclined to do that. Spence says he’s going up to 154 to fight Thurman, and Crawford hasn’t said anything.
If BLK Prime keeps throwing crazy money for Crawford to fight guys like David Avanesyan, then he doesn’t need to risk his neck fighting Boots Ennis.
“Boots Ennis finally went past six rounds. For the first time in his career, he went the full 12 rounds to pick up a promotional trinket. Also known as an interim belt,” said Max Kellerman on Max On Boxing, discussing Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis’ recent win over Karen Chukhadzhian last Saturday night in Washington, D.C.
The IBF interim belt that Boots Ennis won against Chukhadzhian could soon be elevated to the full title if Spence doesn’t soon return from the 154-lb division.
“What do you think about where ‘Boots’ is professionally because I was getting the feeling that if he can keep going at that trajectory if Crawford & Spence eventually fight, ‘Boots’ could be there to make another super fight with the winner his last fight [against Chukhadzhian], do we need to put the brakes on a little bit?”
“No, I think the last fight was exactly what ‘Boots’ needed,” said Andre Ward. “I think the hype was real, and ‘Boots’ was the next wave. I said this before, and I’ll say it again, Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, they’re not going to fight Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis; they’re just not.
“It’s not about anybody being scared. Everybody is a fighter, and they’ve been fighting since they were babies. This is nothing new, but it doesn’t make business sense.
“I think him going the distance and fighting the guy [Chukhadzhian] he just fought, which was very, very crafty and better than I thought he was. He actually fought above his head because when I looked at the tape of Ennis’ opponent, I said, ‘It’s not going to go past three or four rounds.’
“That’s what he needed. It’s a good lesson for ‘Boots.’ ‘Boots’ has good teaching, but sometimes experimentally, you’ve got to go through it. So it was good for him to land some shots and for his opponent not to go down.
“It was good for him not to have to go through some things and now fight a different style where now he has to track a guy down who is being defensive.
“He’s a very tough guy to stop, but those 12 rounds, I couldn’t tell you how valuable that’s going to be for Boots Ennis psychologically, physically, and mentally. Let me say this. Even the backlash he’s getting on social media and from the media, which I don’t think is warranted, it’s good for him.
“It’s a good early test and a sign to let him know that not everybody is going to like you. One day they’re with you, and the next day, they’re not. So stay focused, and live your life in the middle,” said Ward.