Derek “Bozy” Ennis believes Stephen Fulton will beat Naoya Inoue next week by winning the battle of the jabs.
The 30-year-old Inoue moves to super bantamweight for the first time to challenge the WBO and WBC champion in what represents the toughest of his 25 professional fights.
Fulton, 29 and while naturally bigger considerably less proven, is confronting – at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena on July 25 – an even more significant step up in class.
The Philadelphian, along with Ennis’ son Jaron, is leading a potential revival of a once-leading fight city’s proud traditions, and in the event of victory over the revered Inoue will have recorded the finest of any fighter from his city since the great Bernard Hopkins was at his peak.
“Bozy” Ennis, through guiding his son “Boots” and Andy Cruz from his underground gym in the north-east district of the city, has been instrumental to the progress being witnessed, and through observing Fulton has seen enough to be convinced that he will win.
“That’s a good fight – that’s a real good fight,” the trainer told ProBox TV. “I like Stephen Fulton, but Inoue is a puncher; he’s a good old fighter; he’s a good fighter.
“One thing about Stephen Fulton, he finds a way to win. If you look at him, he always finds a way to win. He could be getting hit with it all, but he comes back – he’ll wind up winning the fight.”
In Cuban Cruz’s professional debut, against Juan Carlos Burgos, and “Boots” Ennis’ fight with Roiman Villa, “Bozy” Ennis recently oversaw high-profile victories on successive weeks.
“I think everything is behind jabs,” he continued. “[Fulton can] set his punches up behind the jab; hit him with combinations, and move. Inoue, he’s coming in there to walk you in there behind his jab, and you can’t be complacent with him.
“Sometimes you want to fight a little bit, just to get out and set him back up behind your jab – a couple combinations. Just win the fight. I wasn’t even looking for the knockout – if the knockout comes, you take it, but make the fight easy.”