On January 8, a boxing evening took place in Washington (USA), during which the American Jaron Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) defeated the Ukrainian Karen Chukhadzhyan (21-2, 11 KOs) and became the holder of the title of “interim” IBF world champion in welterweight (up to 66.7 kg).
However, the fight did not turn out the way the absolute majority of experts and fans predicted. Ennis was unable to extend his impressive streak of 20 straight wins and beat Choukhadjian “only” on points. Moreover, in 36 minutes of the fight, Jaron, despite the patented striking power, could not once thoroughly shake the underdog.
Soon after the fight, we talked with the coach of the Ukrainian boxer, ex-world champion in the same category, Vyacheslav Senchenko, to find out his opinion about the last fight and the vision of Karen’s future prospects.
Report from vRINGe: Ennis-Chukhadjian: He doesn’t bark, he bites!
— First, our congratulations on the successful debut in the US. That’s right, given both how difficult the preparation for the fight was, and the fact that the vast majority of forecasts boiled down to the fact that Ennis would easily record his 20th consecutive knockout victory in the asset, moreover, in the first half of the fight.
But it’s still a private opinion. And how do you assess Karen’s performance, given the circumstances and background?
– The debut cannot be called successful, since we set ourselves the task of winning this fight. Therefore, we can say that the debut is not successful!
At the same time, I evaluate the fight itself positively. First of all, Karen coped psychologically, boxing for the first time in the USA to a packed 20,000-strong arena against one of the most dangerous punchers of this weight, plus he went the entire 12-round distance. So I’m happy with Karen’s performance, but I’m not happy with the result. Because, I repeat, we were going to win!
– Your general impressions of the battle. What worked, and what, perhaps, would you like to work out better?
– It turned out to go to the sides, it turned out to work well in defense. And it would be better to work out in the attack and be more active in the counterattack.
- Karen Chukhadzhyan commented on the fight with Jaron Ennis
– A few days before entering the ring, you told us about the plan for the fight. If you go a little deeper into the details, then according to him, you and Karen were going to pull both Ennis himself and, in particular, his shock arm, and then “punish” Jaron for misses. If the pull was good, then the “punishments” often gave the impression that Karen let go of the American where he could hit, in the end limiting himself to only a successful defensive maneuver. What is the reason – was this the installation or, perhaps, a certain “psychological barrier” of Chukhadzhyan himself played a role?
– Of course, there was no installation just to do protection for the sake of protection. I always tell my fighters that we are defending in order to hit right away. But Ennis is a very punching boxer, and perhaps psychologically it weighed heavily on Karen. Because of this, he was in no hurry to counter, since Ennis, in response to a counterattack, could catch him with his punch. So Karen didn’t always hit after Ennis missed. But this is my opinion.
– Chukhyadzhyan’s tactics were very energy-consuming. How well did its functionality work? And the fact that in the 12th round he began to act more on a collision course – is this evidence of fatigue or a deliberate tactical move?
– Yes, Karen maneuvered around the ring a lot and did it well, there were no problems with the functionality. We understood that we were losing on points, so in the 12th round Karen escalated the fight. Not because he was tired, but because he wanted to escalate the fight and fight.
– Can we say that you expected more from Ennis? Has he confirmed his promises that in the future he will conquer more than one division, in fact?
– Both before and after the fight, I think that Ennis is on the same level with Spence and Crawford. My opinion is that Ennis will definitely conquer the welterweight division. It’s just that people don’t understand and don’t know Karen’s level: believe me, it will be very difficult for any top with him. And in this fight, not Ennis was bad, but Karen was very good. And I can assure you that this is not yet his peak. If there are normal conditions and time for preparation, it will be even better.
- Jaron Ennis: Hats off to Choukhadjian
– One of the main tasks for this fight was to prove myself positively in the USA. Did it succeed? What was the reaction of the “behind the scenes”? Can we expect that Karen’s career in the Mecca of boxing will not end there?
– One of the main tasks was to win, the second was to give a competitive fight to the top boxer Ennis. I think that we had a good debut fight with the undisputed top of the division. I think both in Ukraine and in the US, no one expected that Karen would be able to give Ennis problems. But he did it, and his career will definitely not end in this fight. On the contrary, we hope that there will be many proposals and people wishing to box with Karen. At least in order to understand if they can compete with Ennis.