The Philadelphia welterweight will again challenge for the IBO welterweight title, this time against a cagey Kazakhstani.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger was the first to report the bout that would pit Jaron “Boots” Ennis (26-0-0 24KOs) against Sergey Lipinets (16-1-1 12KOs) in a matchup featuring top welterweight contenders. The fight will be on a Showtime card tentatively scheduled for April 10th. Most likely the fight card will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut where the majority of the Showtime fights have taken place during COVID protocols. It is unlikely at this time that fans will be permitted. The IBO is not one of the “major” sanctioning bodies and not considered in unification bouts but is still a recognizable title.
Ennis continues his rise up the ranks and will face his toughest test in Lipinets. In his last bout, Ennis was posied to battle with Chris van Heerden in a fight that many expected Ennis to win but to perhaps be tested. That fight was stopped in the first round after a clash of heads caused a terrible cut to van Heerden. The fight was ruled a no contest. Previously Ennis was coming off of a streak of 16 straight stoppages, the last being of Juan Carlos Abreu, a former contender known for his durability. Ennis dispatched him in 6 rounds in near-flawless fashion.
Lipinets has only lost once in his career, to a former super lightweight champion and pound for pound ranked Mikey Garcia by decision. After that fight, he moved up to welterweight and has gone winning his first 3 fights and stopping former multi-time world titlist Lamont Peterson. In his 4th fight, he was set to fight for the IBF interim title against Kudratillo Abdukakhorov and a shot at being the #1 contender for Errol Spence’s title. Instead, visa issues changed that fight into a short-notice matchup with Custio Clayton, another undefeated contender. They fought to a majority draw.
The winner of this fight would put themselves in a position that any of the big names in the division. If Ennis were to win then bouts with fighters like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, and Yordenis Ugas would be well within reach, and challenges to Spence, Terence Crawford, and Manny Pacquiao would not be far behind.
Philadelphia boxing had a big win already this month with Stephen Fulton claiming the WBO super bantamweight belt, and Ennis, at just 23 years old, could join him as the boxing torchbearers for the next generation of fans for this legendary boxing city and community.
Header photo credit Amanda Westcott / Showtime