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Boots Ennis, Demetrius Andrade Win Before Gervonta Fight

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Boots Ennis, Demetrius Andrade Win Before Gervonta Fight

Jaron Ennis downed Karen Chukhadzhian in the chief support bout to the Gervonta Davis feature attraction Saturday night at Capitol One Arena in Washington, DC, and on Showtime/Premier Boxing Champions pay per view. It was 120-108, times three, which didn’t indicate one bit the skill level of the loser.

Ennis had to work to get this wide UD

The favored Ennis, age 25, has a mean jab and he showed plenty of his arsenal in the first. Lead rights, lefty stance after righty, way above average hand speed, he trotted it out. Ennis stood in between rounds. It didn’t hurt his effort in round two, Ennis stayed patient on his foe, who showed good bounce in his step, and light feet.

The 26 year old Karen, from Ukraine and living in Germany, looked like he wanted to survive, not so much thrive, through three. In the fourth, a double left hook from Chuk had his rooters pleased. His stab jab to the belly button also proved effective. Lefty Ennis pressed closer later in the round, he didn’t want Chuk getting confident. Ennis ended the round righty.

In the fifth, righty Ennis came forward, and his counter right landed real clean at 2:10. But by now, anyone and everyone watching understood that Karen is better than most pundits presumed.

In the sixth, Chuk proved again hard to track down. But he darn sure didn’t look out of his league. It must be said, though, he concentrated primarily on not getting hit. The bell tolled to signal the end of the sixth, the first time Ennis experienced that.

In the seventh, Chuk stated confident, bouncy, but he again lost the session. In the eighth, Chuk pressed but Ennis turned that around, and he surged and turned it up in the second half of the round.

In round nine, Chuk made Ennis miss, in showy fashion, to start the round. He moved more than I figured he could, he truly wanted to go the distance. In the tenth, Chuk slid left, right, left, right, and Ennis wanted to slow him down. He ripped Chuk in center ring, could he get a stop here? Not in this round, maybe the 11th. In the eleventh, Ennis did land power, but saved some energy for the 12th, I think. In the 12th, a counter right by Chuk served notice he was still a threat. They were trading now, as bless his soul Chuk tried for a Hail Mary moment.

Demetrius Andrade took on Demond Nicholson in a super middleweight battle to kick off the pay per view portion of the Gervonta Davis-topped card from Capitol Arena in Washington, DC. In his first super middle outing, “Boo Boo” looked in typical form. He showed real good ring generalship, knocked Nicholson down three times, including in the tenth and final round, and exited with a UD10.

If you want to quibble, you’d have hoped Andrade had showed the fire, fury and volume we saw in round one, maintained that, and delivered a “message” with the superiority he showed. As it was, the outing has to be seen as moderately impressive; the judges saw it 100-88, times three.

The 168 pound tussle featured a 26-4-1 Nicholson, age 29, fighting out of Maryland. Andrade, from Rhode Island, age 34, entered at 31-0.

Demetrius Andrade started out fiery, he had Nicholson in clinching mode in round one. Boo Boo looked peppy to start the second, his hands were active and down went Nicholson, at 1:17 mark. A jab and a push capped a crisp combo, but replay showed it was also a matter of balance. 

In the third, Andrade came from underneath, his hand speed at 34 still high level.

In round four, Demetrius Andrade looked to be in cruise control mode, which is par for his course. He did sit down on some shots, looking like he did want to give fans something to chatter about, but no, not very frequently. In the fifth, Andrade went on his butt, was it off a punch or a slip? Nicholson went aggressive, and Andrade acted with more caution. By the last portion of the round, Andrade looked eyes clear and back in form. Replay showed technically it should have been scored a knockdown, because of a body blow that affected his balance.

In round six, Andrade used distance, popped, moved, and acted in control. Nicholson’s jab, though, did indeed make the New England vet blink twice. In round seven, Andrade knocked Nicholson to the mat, off a hold n hit move.

In the eighth, Nicholson waited and watched too much, as he had every prior round, too often. He’d heard that from his corner, in so many words, in between rounds earlier. In the ninth, the crowd buzzed when Demetrius Andrade flurried to start the round. He got a knockdown in the final frame, to his credit, he showed he wanted to give good bang for the buck.

Andrade is thinking he can get big bouts, with David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo and company doing their thing at 168 on the PBC side of the street.

ELLIS SURVIVES LATE VILLA PUSH, BUT LOSES MD

Speedy Rashidi Ellis took on Roiman Villa in a welterweight title shot eliminator in the second PPV scrap on Saturday night in DC. Ellis started strong and Villa finished better, notching two knockdowns in a dramatic 12th. Ellis had built up a lead, enough so to snare a MD, or so I thought. Nope, with scores of 113-113, 114-112, 114-112, Villa had his hand raised.

Ellis, out of Massachusetts, entered at 24-0, while Villa was 25-1, coming in from Venezuela. Both men are 29 years old.

Ellis started strong but petered out enough late for Villa to make up lots of ground

In the first, Ellis, recently invited into the PBC fold, fired a snappy jab.

In the second, Villa came forward, with high guard, and got a bit busier. But he looked plodding, more so. Ellis’ hand and foot speed separated him from Villa in the third.

In the fourth, Ellis edged closer, he stopped sliding so much and went at the Venezuelan. He mixed punches quite well. In the fifth, Villa looked to land power shots, but Ellis is a slick defender. He stayed that way in round five, six, seven—Ellis acted confident and in total control.

Villa ramped up his pressure in the sixth, maybe, he figured, his pressure could sap Ellis’ energy. A low ish blow, a hit behind the head and yet another low ish blow from Villa signaled his hunger.

The energy held in the seventh, which ended with a bit of trading. In the eighth, Ellis allowed Villa to get closer, because his legs weren’t as fresh. He stayed defensively aware, though. In round nine, Ellis kept his movement up, and Villa kept pressing. Ellis, was he fatiguing?  Villa stabbed a jab on an Ellis whose reflexes had dimmed a half notch.

Villa did very well to stay focused as he got out boxed early

In the tenth, the distance closed more, Ellis couldn’t move laterally. In round 11, Villa’s aggression dimmed, maybe because Ellis stood his ground more. Villa was told he needed a KO.

Then, voila,  down went Ellis in the 12th, the midway point. His legs were bad, he fell from fatigue, after eating left hooks. He did though hold up to hear the final bell, despite being knocked down, into the ropes, which held him up, at 2:59. Ellis beat the count and probably prayed thanks to the heavens, thinking he’d survived the assault but had built up a cushion.

 

Editor/publisher Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the thought to be impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live since 2017. He now does work for PROBOX TV, the first truly global boxing network.