Rising welterweight star Jaron “Boots” Ennis and former world champion Sergey Lipinets previewed their upcoming 12-round showdown during a virtual press conference Friday before they square off in the main event live on SHOWTIME Saturday, April 10 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will see Ennis face his toughest test to date on his pursuit of a world title shot, while Lipinets looks to make a statement on his quest toward becoming a two-division world champion, having previously captured a title at 140 pounds.
The action will also feature unbeaten Eimantas Stanionis taking another step up in class in the co-main event, as he faces former world title challenger Thomas Dulorme in a 12-round WBA Welterweight Title Eliminator. In the telecast opener, IBF Junior Bantamweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas makes the ninth defense of his title against Jonathan Rodríguez in a 12-round bout.
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Ennis vs. Lipinets is promoted in association with D&D Boxing.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Friday:
“Training camp has been going well. I’m ready to rock and roll, ready to shine and take over this division. It’s my time, and this is the fight that’s going to take me to the next level and bring out the skills and ability that you’ve never seen before. You will see an amazing, strong, sharp fighter ready to put on a punishing performance and get the knockout at the end of the night.
“I know Sergey Lipinets is going to come forward and be right in front of me. That’s his style, and it’s perfect for me. His style clashes perfectly with mine, and he’s going to be running into shots all night long.
“It’s a great feeling to be fighting in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING for the first time. I’m excited, and it’s just my time. After this fight, it’s on to bigger and better, and I just can’t wait.
“Whatever he brings, I’m going to be ready for it. We don’t look at anybody as a stepping stone, but this fight is going to take me to the next level. I can do a bunch of different things, and my opponent doesn’t know how I’m going to come out. He just needs to know I’m ready, and this is the hardest I’ve ever worked to get ready for a fight. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time, and I finally got a guy with a name, and now it’s my time to shine and show the world my talent and show them that I’m not to be played with. I’m a dangerous man, and they will see me on April 10.
“Every time I fight, they always say it’s a step-up. And then when I do what I do, they say I need to fight somebody better. At the end of the day, I just work for myself and my family and my team. I’m just focused on getting better each and every fight and I just work harder and harder every time so I can perform to the best of my ability and show the world that with each fight, I’m getting better, stronger and smarter.
“Beating Lipinets would take my career to the next level because he’s a former world champion at 140 pounds, and he fought a lot of top guys. Making a statement against him is definitely a whole different level, and it would boost me all the way up the rankings. I feel like, after this fight, it’s on to bigger and better things. But we have a business to handle on April 10 first.
“I don’t watch tape of the guys that I fight. I leave that up to my team because you never know how a guy is going to come out. Just because he did one thing against one opponent doesn’t mean he’s going to do the same thing with me. You have to prepare yourself all the way around, and that’s what we do. I do know that he’s a great fighter, but it’s my time.
“Not looking past Sergey Lipinets, but with me doing my thing on April 10, I definitely feel like I’ll be ready for a world title shot by the end of the year. You know me. I’ll fight anybody and everybody. All they have to do is call. I’m hungry, and I’ve been waiting for these types of fights. All I want to do is fight, be great, be a legend, and a multi-division world champion.
“Everybody has different roads to a world title. Mine is taking a little longer than some others, but I don’t mind it. I’m still learning. I’m young, and I’m getting better each and every fight. I’m fine with the way that my career is progressing. Everything is happening for a reason. It’s perfect timing for this opportunity.”
“I’m a hard worker, and I’m not afraid of anything. Nothing is going to scare me when I step into a ring. This ‘stepping stone’ is going to be too high for Ennis. I’m going to go in there and give him a hell of a night.
“If you look at my career and how I went through the ranks, I did something that a lot of people didn’t. I was a world champion 13 fights in. I like to fight, and I like challenges. Ennis is the challenge this time. I’ve never hesitated or thought twice about taking a fight. I wanted to fight the best, and Ennis is one of the best out there right now. If I win, it will further prove that I belong where I am right now.
“I’m learning with every fight that I have. The question is how to correct the mistakes you make. Before I even knew I would fight Ennis, I was already back in the gym working on correcting little mistakes from the Custio Clayton fight.
“We’ve watched Ennis’ fights, and this is a guy who’s not going to shy away or just stay on the outside. He’s going to come to fight, and that appealed to me. That’s what I like, and I’m looking forward to it.
“Ultimately, we all want those world titles. This is the kind of fight where the winner can’t be denied anymore. Ennis is not a boogeyman, and he’s another fighter with two hands and two feet.
“I’m sure that he’s training hard for 12 rounds. We’re both going to be ready. Ultimately, our main goal is to put on a great show. May the best man win. It’s hard to predict how he’ll do in the later rounds because it does look like he belongs with me at the top of the division. We’ll find out on April 10.
“I’m not thinking about anything that’s going to happen after this fight. I’m just worried about April 10. I have to deal with Jaron Ennis, and that’s not an easy task. After this fight, we can have that conversation about the other big names at welterweight.
“It may look like I’m a fighter who’s standing there in front of you, but I’m good at working hard, getting into my opponent’s chest, and doing what I do best, which is throwing punches from every possible angle. The punch that is really going to hurt you is the one that you don’t see coming.
“It’s been a hard training camp because it’s probably easier for Ennis to get a sparring partner who is like me, than it is for me to get someone like Ennis. We’ve had to get a lot of fighters in here, and it’s made it a hard camp. I’ve been digging real deep every day in training.”
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
“This is really is a fantastic main event. Ennis is one of boxing’s fastest-rising talents. He has the kind of style that just makes great fights. He has tremendous hand speed, punching power, and he can switch styles from orthodox to southpaw, which makes it very hard for opponents to prepare for him.
“Ennis is taking a big step up in class against the former world champion Sergey Lipinets, who always comes to fight. He’s a seasoned, aggressive fighter with serious punching power. In his only loss, a world title defense against Mikey Garcia, you could see that he landed the bigger, harder, more punishing shots, and you could tell by looking at Garcia’s face after the fight.
“Lipinets can make it a tough night for anyone. This fight will show us if Ennis has the goods to be the next big thing at 147 pounds.
“This is a tremendous tripleheader starting out with a great world title fight. With Eimantas Stanionis stepping up against Thomas Dulorme in the co-main event, we see another rising star in the division. I think that Stanionis and Ennis might be the two guys a notch ahead of the other rising contenders at 147-pounds. Plus the all-action main event, it’s going to be great for the fans watching on SHOWTIME.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“We are really excited about this card and the whole weekend. For SHOWTIME, it is a big fight weekend. Friday night, we’ve got the launch of our Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix from BELLATOR MMA as part of our three consecutive weeks of BELLATOR MMA on SHOWTIME. I can’t think of a better way to top this whole weekend off with two of the most exciting fighters in the 147-pound division. Two of the most fan-friendly fighters in the division. This is guaranteed to be an exciting fight.
“We have three intriguing, meaningful fights on Saturday, April 10. We open with a world title fight, and that shows the depth of this card and the quality of the card. You can look across the networks and all the various platforms. You don’t see many cards with a world title fight three fights down. It should be an all-action world title fight with Jerwin Ancajas and Jonathan Rodriguez. In the co-feature, fast-rising young welterweight Eimantas Stanionis against the veteran Thomas Dulorme. Given those two styles, I’d expect all action.
“The main event is one of the premier fights on the schedule this spring. It’s something that fight fans have been looking forward to ever since it was first identified as a possibility. We’ve seen Sergey Lipinets on SHOWTIME several times. He is an aggressive fighter. You know exactly what he does when he gets in the ring. He’s all-action, and he’s a big puncher. Jaron is the same type of fighter. This has the makings of a real war. Two highly accomplished guys in the welterweight division. We may just be seeing who is the future in the welterweight division when we’re done with this card.
“One of the things that we enjoy most at SHOWTIME is helping build a fighter. Our audience likes it when they can see guys over and over again and watch as a fighter matures. That’s what happened with Sergey. We had him on for one of his early fights, and we saw him all the way through a world title and big fights. With ‘Boots,’ we’ve been proud to work with him as he grows from a young fighter and highly regarded prospect on ShoBox to now seeing another big step in his career as the main event. If he’s able to win, his credentials put him up at the top of the division. The same goes for Sergey. The winner of this fight deserves a high-level fight. These are two guys at the top of the division, two of the most exciting guys in the division, and whoever comes out on top is due for a world title shot in the very near future.”