Jaron Ennis vs. Karen Chukhadzhian is scheduled for 12 rounds in the welterweight division this weekend from the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
This bout will be for the interim IBF title, with the winner expected to be next in line for its recognized champion Errol Spence Jr.
Boxing odds have “Boots” Ennis a dead-to-rights favorite at -3,500 and climbing. Chukhadzhian is undefeated since 2015 but comes in as the underdog at +1,100.
Here are our picks and predictions for Ennis vs. Chukhadzhian from Washington, D.C.
Jaron Ennis vs Karen Chukhadzhian odds
|Method of victory||Jaron Ennis||Karen Chukhadzhian|
|Win by KO/TKO||-850||+3,500|
|Win by points or decision||+650||+3,500|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel as of January 5, 2022.
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Picks made on January 2. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Jaron Ennis vs Karen Chukhadzhian betting preview
As Spence and Terrence Crawford continue their awkward, frustrating dance around each other, “Boots” is waiting in the wings. If Spence and Crawford can’t come to their senses and fight each other naturally, then the prospect of fighting Ennis might make them feel there is no other choice. He is that dangerous and is on the cusp of getting one of them in the ring soon.
Insiders have raved about Ennis’ potential, and he does look like a fighter with the build from a different era. He’s a tall, efficient boxer with excellent power and is emerging as one of the best finishers in the division. Better yet, he’s only 25 and is eager to prove himself against the best the division has to offer him.
Ennis is 29-0 with one no-contest, having stopped 27 opponents for an average fight time of 2.72 rounds. When Ennis lands, he follows through with strafing shots to the head and body and seldom admires his work when hurting his foe. The Philadelphian has some rust to shake off, not having fought since May in a two-round blowout of Custio Clayton.
Chukhadzhian may seem like a fighter that came out of nowhere, but he’s the highest-ranked fighter available who was willing to face Ennis. The Ukrainian has plied his trade in Europe and is a typical fighter of the region with solid conditioning and a good fundamental boxing base. The trip to North America will be his first, and he’s admittedly taking a huge step up in class.
He sports a 21-1 record with 11 knockouts and has been undefeated since losing his second pro fight in 2015. Despite a resume devoid of major talent, Chukhadzhian has stopped four of his last five opponents and has done enough for the IBF to rank him within their Top-5. In his last fight, Chukhadzian pummeled Blake Minto on the way to a sixth-round retirement.
On a card full of longshots, Chukhadzhian has the narrowest path to victory. This fight has the makings of a showcase win for Ennis.
Jaron Ennis vs Karen Chukhadzhian boxing prediction and best bet
Prediction: Ennis ML
Right away, Ennis has all the advantages. Taller, longer, stronger, faster, better competition —he has it all. It would be interesting to see how Chukhadzhian would fare against some of his other opponents, but Ennis fights whoever gets put in front of him.
If fans and insiders consider him among the best welterweights in the division, he won't fall short here. The added pressure of performing well against a ready-to-order foe does hold, yet Ennis is disciplined and eager to force his way into a major fight in 2023.
We expect Ennis to win here and put Spence in an uncomfortable position as his future mandatory challenger. He’ll win, but that moneyline is too big for us to roll with.
Prediction: Ennis moneyline (-3,500 at DraftKings)
Best Bet: Ennis to win in Rounds 1-3
Ennis usually ends his fights within three rounds and is taking a step back in competition here. Chukhadzhian might have a steely demeanor, but that tenseness will shackle him up and cause him to get victimized by a superior opponent.
The call here is that Ennis performs to his average, getting his hands on Chukhadzhian early and stopping him at any point by the end of the third round for a decent +180 score.
Prediction: Ennis to win in Rounds 1-3 (+180 at FanDuel)