This Saturday night, Showtime broadcasts a fight card that gives fans two real step-up bouts for Jaron Ennis and Eimantas Stanionis. Their opponents Sergey Lipinets and Thomas Dulorme are way more experienced on the highest level of the sport as far as opponents faced.
If Ennis and/or Stanionis win decisively this weekend, it equates to big opportunities and larger paydays in the near future. Showtime’s ShoBox is the longest-running prospect outlet in boxing; time and time again, it continues to produce tough tasks for up and comers which leads to becoming a champion for a select few. Once fighters graduate, that ShoBox stage Saturday’s matchups are a natural progression on Showtime.
This type of card on paper is exactly what boxing needs more of if it wants to keep a hardcore fanbase happy and also possibly add new fans over time no matter what platform. The television ratings and live streams won’t blow any onlooker away, but it’s crucial for a fighter to take the correct step-up when the time is right.
Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis has been buying his time, waiting for the chance to leapfrog up a long ladder at the welterweight division. As we know, the politics of this over a century-old professional sport can put a damper on the number of great fights that actually get made in a timely fashion.
A boxer generally has to be signed to one of the Big-3 platforms in America, those, of course, being the Premier Boxing Champions, Top Rank, and DAZN. A boxer’s career is far from perfect even when sighing with one of the major outlets, let alone if they’re stuck on the outside looking in. Ennis’s situation is a sticky one that hopefully gets settled in 2021, which will give us a better idea of the path he should or can take to secure a title bout.
The media and fans, especially on boxing twitter, have gotten behind Boots wanting what’s rightfully his in the form of legit opponents. Unfortunately, Ennis, like a long list of boxers, have to wait in line before they can shine on the grand stage. Sergey Lipinets is not exactly the brightest of lights, but that doesn’t mean a dynamic performance by Boots won’t put the gas pedal down on his career as long as he gets his promoter issues sorted.
Sergey is coming off a difficult outing against Custio Clayton in a fight that many thought Clayton should’ve gotten the nod. In March 2019, Lipinets delivered a fight of the year caliber action-packed scrap by stopping Lamont Peterson. In 2018 as an unbeaten contender at junior welterweight, Lipinets faced then-undefeated Mikey Garcia. Mikey clearly defeated Lipinets, but not without tasting Sergey’s power punching.
At 26-0 (24KO’s), Jaron looks the part as the real deal with speed, skills, length, and knockout power. Ennis can continue to prove just how much power he really has as he enters the Top-10 at 147. Lipinets has already been dropped, but no one has managed to get him out of there. At the same time, Ennis has to be wary, at least in the opening frames, not to look for a KO or get caught in exchanges. Ennis brings a lot to the table from an outside boxing style, able to land off the ropes and cover up or just bang it out. All that bundled into a package that can be delivered at somewhat close range, never fully outside for long periods, so he is able to land a punch.
Expect Lipinets to move with caution in the first couple of rounds, needing to establish a jab with upper body movement the closer he gets to Boots. If he doesn’t take his time, he will get blitzkrieg from the sheer volume and variety of punch angles coming from Ennis. Ennis will likely use his footwork to move in and out, circling as he peppers Lipinets. Jaron will work the body; if Sergey wants to win this bout, he must focus on that area as well, giving him a target to aim for rather than trying to catch up to Ennis’s foot and hand speed.
Lipinets’s up jab will be another key in order to keep Ennis thinking instead of only reacting. This cat and mouse game won’t last but a few rounds, and Sergey needs to make those early ones count, or it could get ugly in the later rounds. If there is a stoppage, it will come from quick sharp hooks and nasty flush uppercuts that either cut or close Sergey’s eyes up, forcing someone to stop this fight. If Boots is able to hurt Lipinets to the point he can’t beat the count or no counted is needed, look out, world.
My Official Prediction is Jaron Ennis by Unanimous Decision.
Ennis vs. Lipinets, Smith Jr vs. Vlasov Preview! Herring, MJ, & Tszyu KO Recap! 04/06 by RopeADopeRadio | Sports (blogtalkradio.com)
Eimantas Stanionis is a rising prospect sporting a perfect 12-0 record with 9 stoppages. In the last several fights, Stanionis seems to be settling in very nicely at the paid ranks. He does have a tendency to mix it up early in fights, and although improvement has been made, Eimantas loads up too much at times. His handlers see his development as they continue to match him tough considering the number of rounds he has a pro. Thomas Dulorme is about as good as it comes if you want to see what you have as a prospect.
Dulorme had very limited success early with Terence Crawford until one of the best fighters in the world made him pay for it in short order. Back in 2018, Dulorme was neck and neck in a loss to Yordenis Ugas, and just last August, he faded down the stretch in a competitive bout against Jamal James. Dulorme’s best showing versus a known commodity came in a hard-fought draw to Jessie Vargas. It will be interesting to see how Stanionis and Dulorme approach this matchup and how many risks they’ll be willing to take in the first chunk of the fight.
It’s a must that both fighters take their time in the first half. Can Dulorme stay disciplined on the outside or on the edge of the pocket with his jab taking advantage of the height and 5-inch reach he has of Eimantas? Likely behind a high-guard; another area to attack for Dulorme is the body under that guard; Stanionis will apply smart pressure throwing a decent jab and meaningful hooks to the body and head. Look for Stanionis to open up on offense somewhere in rounds 4-6. That’s if he doesn’t land something hard that stumble’s Dulorme prior. This boxing podcaster believes Dulorme will be up or tied in this fight after, say, 4 or 5 rounds. And that’s where we get to really find out what we have in Stanionis. His pressure and uptick in output will change the fight’s pace and began to slow down and wear out Dulorme. A later round knockdown leads to flurries and enough dominant rounds and moments within the frame to overcome the early adversity.
My Official Prediction is Eimantas Stanionis by Majority-Decision.
Side Note: Don’t forget the main event featuring Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov on ESPN for Saturday, as well as some UK action with Connor Benn and Samuel Vargas on DAZN.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio