Showtime will be home to a tripleheader on Saturday featuring top prospect Jaron Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs) facing his biggest test in former titleholder Sergey Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs). Former European amateur champion Eimantas Stanionis (12-0, 9 KOs) takes on Thomas Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) in the co-main, while Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs) defends his IBF super-flyweight belt against Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (22-1, 16 KOs).
Ennis came within a fight to represent the US at the 2016 Olympics but lost a box off to Gary Antuanne Russell at the Olympic trials. Ennis turned pro four months after the trials at just 19 years old and went 26-0 against an increasing level of competition. He has looked fantastic so far and stopped the vast majority of his fights in under three rounds. He is very comfortable in both stances, though he favors the southpaw stance in which he is a devastating counter puncher. He will switch to orthodox when he wants to go for the finish but his bread and butter is to let the opponent come to him make him miss or catch his shots on the glove and immediately counter.
Lipinets came to boxing after a kickboxing career and won the vacant IBF super-lightweight title against Akihiro Kondo but immediately lost it to Mikey Garcia. He moved up to welterweight after the loss and notably retired former titleholder Lamont Peterson. Lipinets is no technical jewel but he is a tough, aggressive and durable pressure fighter. I do not think he has the talent to triumph over Ennis, who looks like the next big thing at welterweight but he should be able him go rounds and provide some answers about how Ennis reacts when he has to go deep into a fight.
Unlike Ennis, Eimantas Stanionis did make the 2016 Olympics for Lithuania but fell in the round of 16 to eventual silver medalist Shakhram Giyasov. He turned pro after the games and his patient pressure fighting style has looked much better suited to the pro game. He doesn’t keep a particularly high pace up but he is constantly walking down his opponents behind a very tight guard and using a stiff jab to set up short combos and break down the opposition over the course of the fight. He will be faced with veteran Thomas Dulorme a former title challenger that a couple of losses to Yordenis Ugas and Jamal James have relegated to a gatekeeper role at welterweight.
Like Stanionis, Dulorme tends to fight on the front foot which should make for a good fight but he prefers to trade 1-2s at mid range than to linger on the inside. Dulorme should be competitive early but I don’t see him being mobile enough to keep Stanionis off of him or tight enough defensively to be able to avoid being broken down late by Stanionis’ constant workrate and accurate strike selection.
At super-flyweight Jerwin Ancajas defends his IBF belt against Jonathan Javier Rodriguez. Ancajas has held on to the belt since 2016 and defended it 8 times. But disappointingly, in a stacked division that has seen top fighters like Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Chocolatito Gonzalez all fight each other, Ancajas has been content to just rack up meaningless defenses against sub-par competition. As he has been inactive for over a year, his opponent isn’t particularly threatening one. Rodriguez has been decent at domestic level in Mexico but looks far from world level. This should be a relatively easy night at the office for the Filipino champion, hopefully he chooses to challenge himself against elite competition in the near future because he has the potential to be more than a stat-padding title holder and at nearly thirty the clock is starting to tick.
Ennis vs Lipinets airs on Showtime on Saturday April 10th at 9:00pm ET / 6:00pm PT