Showtime officially confirmed its Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs Hector Garcia-led pay-per-view on January 7th earlier today, and details of the undercard have also leaked ahead of today’s press conference. Jaron Ennis battles Karen Chukhadzhian for the interim IBF welterweight title in the co-feature, while Rashidi Ellis battles Roiman Villa and Demetrius Andrade returns against Demond Nicholson.
This isn’t the blockbuster showdown Ennis (29-0, 27 KO) was probably hoping for, but it’s not by design. Chukhadzhian (21-1, 11 KO) is the highest-ranked available contender at no. 4, as no. 2 is vacant and no. 3 Vergil Ortiz Jr is gearing up to fight Eimantas Stanionis for the WBA “world” title. The German-based Ukrainian hasn’t lost since a split decision in his second pro bout, with his biggest win coming over Sergei Vorobev in 2020.
“Boots” is probably still going to stomp a mudhole in his behind, but rankings-wise, he’s the best Ennis can get until his turn in the mandatory rotation comes around. Seeing as Keith Thurman and the Stanionis-Ortiz winner are next in line, that could be a while.
“Speedy” Rashidi (24-0, 15 KO) faces his first real test since 2020’s win over Alexis Rocha in Villa (25-1, 24 KO). “Flaca de Oro” has a very Colombian record on paper, but he beat the tar out of Janelson Bocachica on ShoBox last September. This is a really nice, potentially explosive matchup.
Same can’t be said for Andrade (31-0, 19 KO) against Nicholson (26-4-1, 22 KO). “Boo Boo” could have defended his middleweight title against Janibek Alimkhanuly or challenged Zach Parker for the interim super middleweight title and a potential shot at Canelo. Instead, he gets the guy whose biggest accomplishment in years was slightly loosening the wheels on the doomed Edgar Berlanga hype train.