VAN NUYS, Calif. — Sergey Lipinets wants all the smoke from fast-rising star Jaron Ennis. 

The former IBF super lightweight champion Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) will meet the Philly fighter Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs) in a 12-round Showtime main event April 10 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut with the intent to severely halt the ascension of one of boxing’s best prospects.

“I hope we show a good, action fight. I hope it’s not a 12-round running marathon. We’re ready for everything,” Lipinets told in an interview before a spirited sparring session at Ten Goose Boxing. 

“Preparation is going well. We are training and working hard. He’s strong. He’s a big guy. Young. Hungry. Smart. Fast. He looks like a middleweight and has a good punch and works hard. I don’t think that a lot of guys didn’t want to fight him. It’s about the title and money. We’re not scared. I know we will have a good fight for all boxing fans.” 

The 23-year-old switch-hitting Ennis will encounter by far the toughest test of his five-year career.

The only losing effort of Lipinets’ career was when he dropped his title in a unanimous decision loss to Mikey Garcia in 2018.

In his last fight against undefeated Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton, the 32-year-old Lipinets walked away with a majority decision draw in October. Ennis came away with a No Contest in December after Chris van Heerden suffered a cut from an accidental head butt in the first round. 

The top-10 ranked Lipinets, from Kazakhstan, is not worried about another world title opportunity just yet. 

“I’m not thinking about [WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas or a top-five opponent]. My concentration is only on this fight against Ennis. I need to beat this good fighter and after I can think about a title,” said Lipinets.

Lipinets trainer Joe Goossen is high on Ennis’ talent much like everyone else. 

“When I first saw him before I knew we were even going to fight him, I was like, ‘oh man, this guy is something else.’ And he is,” Goossen told in an interview. “We had to spar a lot of southpaws to prepare for Ennis. Getting the right sparring was critical. We progressed very well with adapting and emulating what he’s going to do. It took a few weeks to get acclimated to that unique style. You don’t find many guys that fight like him. He’s kind of like a jazz player. There are no written notes. He’s not predictable. It’s not easy to pin down and know what he’s going to do. He’s difficult for anybody.”

“We have a plan in strategy in place to make life difficult for him too. They’re both going to have to pass tests. This is Jaron’s most complicated fight. He’s stepping up and fighting a world-class guy. When the lights go on, Sergey is a different fighter. He’s very aggressive. The fight is going to be about who imposes their will and style on the other guy.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on