Fight the best and see who comes out on top

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Jaron Ennis is 29-0 with 27 KOs and is aiming to fight all the elite in boxing's welterweight division.  (AP Photo/David Becker)

Jaron Ennis is 29-0 with 27 KOs and is aiming to fight all the elite in boxing’s welterweight division. (AP Photo/David Becker)

There isn’t much room at the top of boxing’s welterweight division. WBO champion Terence Crawford is widely recognized as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Unified champion Errol Spence Jr. far behind him. They are elite fighters, possibly Hall of Famers, and they draw much of the oxygen when it comes to discussing what has long been one of the sport’s most glamorous divisions.

There is another welterweight, however, that makes them slip over to form the “Big Three” in the division.

In a different place and time, where the best fought regularly, Jaron Ennis would already be a household name and regarded in the same way as Crawford and Spence are now.

However, Ennis has yet to get the fights he wants because of how this sport works. Despite that, however, it is difficult to miss. He is 29-0 with 27 knockouts and on Saturday at the Capital One Center in Washington, DC, he will fight Karen Chukhadzhian for the interim IBF welterweight title in the co-main event of the Showtime pay-per-view card entitled Gervonta. Davis.

Don’t bother asking Ennis who he wants to fight, because it’s simple.

“I want to be a legend in this sport and be remembered for taking on the top guys,” he told Yahoo Sports. “You want to know who’s the best? There is one way: Get in the ring and fight. That’s the way to find out. And that’s what I want to do. I want to fight everyone. Anyone you ask me, if he is an elite man, I want [to fight] it.”

Spence and Crawford have had long discussions about fighting each other, which so far have gone nowhere. And if Ennis keeps his undefeated streak alive on Saturday, he will hold the interim version of one of Spence’s belts and be ready to face him.

Jaron Ennis, left, looks back after knocking out Custio Clayton, right, during a welterweight boxing match Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Carson, California.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Jaron Ennis (left) is one of the greatest punchers in boxing. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In fact, that’s what he wants. But with the good news, he is not the only one. Vergil Ortiz is 19-0 with 19 KOs and is also looking to get into that spot with Crawford and Spence. The WBA has ordered Ortiz to fight Eimantas Stanionis for a version of his welterweight title. That fight is expected to take place in the Spring.

Ennis and Ortiz have similar records and talent levels, as well as ambitions. Ortiz’s manager, Rick Mirigian, told Yahoo Sports that Ortiz is not fighting at the end of 2022 because he doesn’t want tunes and only wants important fights.

It makes things crowded at the top, but as they say, the bigger the merrier.

As for Ennis, it makes little difference who else is angling for a shot at the title.

“Ortiz is a great fighter,” Ennis said. “They’re all good fighters. That’s what makes this exciting. We all have to go in there and handle things and see how this turns out.”

The first order of business is handling Chukhadzhian, who is 21-1 with 11 KOs but will be fighting outside of Europe for the first time when he meets Ennis. Chukhadzhian is confident despite the long odds against him.

At BetMGM, Ennis is not only -5000 to win, but he is -900 to win by knockout. Despite Ennis’ incredible power, Chukhadzhian insists he’s willing to stand in the pocket and trade punches if that’s what it takes to win.

“I’m coming here to win,” Chukhadzhian said at Wednesday’s press day. “If he wants to avoid it, I’ll be ready to box. If it’s a battle on the inside that he wants, I know I can win that way. I know it’s Ennis is a good fighter, but my focus is on my abilities and what I can do in the ring. I’m very confident. I have everything I need to win this fight .”

He could fight a great fight and still get knocked down because of Ennis’ talent. Ennis is a puncher, but he has the kind of boxing ability that is rare and allows him to fight any way he needs to win.

Ennis sees the Chukhadzhian bout as another step on the road to greatness, and he hopes to be able to steal the show from Davis, who will meet Hector Garcia in the main event.

“Not to take anything away from Tank, who is a great fighter, but when this is over, my goal is to have everyone talking about my fight,” Ennis said. “I’m not taking away from what they’re doing in the main event, but I promise you, our fight is going to be explosive. Very explosive.”

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 16: Errol Spence Jr.  enters the ring against Yordenis Ugas at AT&T Stadium on April 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Jaron Ennis hopes to catch unification welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. soon. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

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