Jaron Ennis plans to start new knockout streak against Roiman Villa

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Jaron Ennis is doing what many of the top contenders are doing: He’s waiting.

The 147-pound knockout artist is beating every second-tier opponent placed in front of him and waiting for his big opportunity, a showdown with one of the titleholders (the Terence Crawford-Errol Spence Jr. winner?) or another top welterweight.

If playing that game bothers him, he doesn’t show it.

“It’s not really difficult,” he told Boxing Junkie. “… I have to patient, stay focused, get better every single day. When the time comes, I’ll be more than ready.”

Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) is scheduled to face one of those second-tier opponents, Roiman Villa, on Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey (Showtime). And, of course, he must win to even think about taking part in a major event.

That might not be easy. Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) is a solid boxer with elite punching power, although he earned the meeting with Ennis by outpointing his toughest opponents in his last two fights, previously unbeaten contenders Janelson Bocachica and Rashidi Ellis.

Ennis compared Villa to a previous opponent of his, Sergey Lipinets, a clever, rugged boxer. Ennis stopped Lipinets in six rounds.

One more thing about Villa: Ennis won’t have to chase him down when the opening bell rings, as he did against the capable, but reluctant Karen Chukhadzhian. The Ukrainian survived but lost every round, which snapped Ennis’ knockout streak at 19 (not counting a no-contest).

Ennis would like to start a new streak on Saturday.

“He’ll be right there in front of me,” Ennis said of Villa. “He’s not going to be moving, he’s not going to run. That’s perfect for me. He’s like Lipinets a little bit, although I feel Lipinets is a lot craftier. …

“[A knockout) is the goal. I want to look good, be sharp, beat him up, get that stoppage.”

Then the 26-year-old would go back to waiting.

Of course, a meeting with the winner of the July 29 Crawford-Spence fight for the undisputed championship would be boxing’s equivalent of winning the lottery but there’s no telling what might follow that bout.

A lucrative rematch would make sense if the original is competitive, as it’s expected to be. Or the winner could move up to 154 pounds, which would create vacancies and all kinds of possibilities.

Ennis can only watch with the rest of us to see how it all plays out, assuming things go well for him in Atlantic City.

“I don’t know when I’ll get that shot,” he said. “Hopefully when they do fight each other, Crawford and Spence, hopefully there’ll be no rematch clause. [But] I probably won’t get a title shot until next year.

“May main focus is Villa right now. I’m locked in on him.”