With the top end of the loaded welterweight division somewhat stalled out, Jaron Ennis is looking to inject a little life at 147 pounds and make a statement that he's a title contender right now. Ennis will take the biggest step up of his career Saturday night when he faces rugged veteran Sergey Lipinets at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut (9 p.m. ET, Showtime).
Ennis (26-0, 24 KO) is coming off a disappointing fight with Chris van Heerden in December. Ennis was making easy work of van Heerden, but a clash of heads in the late stages of the opening round caused a nasty cut on the forehead of van Heerden, resulting in a doctor's stoppage and a no contest.
Prior to that fight, Ennis had stopped 16 consecutive opponents while establishing himself as one of boxing's elite prospects in a division where there is no shortage of big names.
In Lipinets (16-1, 12 KO), Ennis is facing the stiffest test of his career. Lipinets has only lost once in his career, a 2018 decision defeat to Mikey Garcia. Lipinets lost the IBF super lightweight championship in that fight, but came out as a more respected fighter than he had come in after forcing Garcia into arguably the toughest fight of his career to that point.
Lipinets has gone 3-0-1 since the Garcia loss, most recently battling Custio Clayton, a late replacement for the bout, to a draw. The Clayton fight was a reminder that Lipinets does have limitations as a fighter and is a step below the very strong elite tier at welterweight. Still, he's a capable fighter who has a tendency to force fighters into uncomfortable situations and occasionally into wars that they may not have been expecting.
This card also sees the return of IBF super flyweight champ Jerwin Ancajas. The Filipino will take on Javier Rodriguez in a 12-round title defense to kick off the TV portion of the card on Saturday. Ancajas has been nothing short of dominant since winning the title in 2016 with seven wins and one draw over the last four years. Rodriguez is no slouch himself with a 22-1 record and 16 knockouts, but this will be his first time fighting outside of Mexico and U.S. debut.
PBC on Showtime fight card
- Jarron Ennis vs. Sergey Lipinets, welterweights
- Elmanata Stanionis vs. Thomas Dulorme, welterweights
- Jerwin Ancajas (c) vs. Jonathan Javier Rodriguez, IBF super flyweight title
- Mark Magasayo vs. Pablo Cruz, featherweights
- Evan Holyfield vs. Nicholas Compton, super welterweights
PBC on Showtime viewing information
- Date: April 10 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Mohegan Sun Arena -- Uncasville, Connecticut
- TV Channel: Showtime | Stream: Showtime.com or the Showtime App
For as good as Lipinets is as at what he does, he's a step below the top at 147 pounds. Ennis, meanwhile, possesses true elite skills. Ennis has speed, power, technique and intangibles that set him apart as a potential contender in one of the deepest divisions in boxing right now. Lipinets doesn't have many avenues to victory unless he can somehow make Ennis so uncomfortable that Ennis is unable to utilize all the tools he has at his disposal. That doesn't seem likely and this could be a surprisingly short night of work if Ennis gets rolling quickly, which he very frequently does. Pick: Jaron Ennis via TKO4