Liam’s Prospect Watch #4 – Akeem Ennis-Brown
By Liam Lawer
You’d be forgiven for never having heard of Akeem Ennis-Brown. You’re unlikely to have seen him on your TV, and he goes about his business in a respectable, assured manner that doesn’t cultivate those big, horrible headlines. In boxing, as we are sadly so aware, good publicity is rare publicity.
Despite holding minor straps for two major sanctioning bodies, you also won’t see him inexplicably ranked in, let’s see, the top 6 or 7 in the world. Make no mistake though, he already has a handful of significant wins on his unblemished, twelve-fight record. The 23-year-old light-welterweight has come up the hard way, yet at times has made it look almost uncannily easy.
Starting conventionally, by building his professional foundations against a few rugged journeymen, Ennis-Brown then found himself facing 11(6)-0-0 Freddie Kiwitt in just his 7th fight. He took the decision over 10 rounds, an eliminator for the English title. Kiwitt has since proven his worth, dropping and outpunching the talented Paddy Gallagher this past weekend. Two fights later and Akeem found himself opposite the relentless Glenn Foot.
Now, put your ordinary 8-0 domestic prospect in with the Prizefighter champion, and you’d be watching through your fingers. A prolonged drubbing at the hands of an experienced, battle-hardened veteran could take years off a career. Ennis-Brown, on the other hand, went to Sunderland and came back with the English title proudly draped over his shoulder. The man they call ‘Riiddy’ walked into the lion’s den and showed a grit and class beyond what could be expected.
Since then, the Gloucester based fighter has compounded these great performances with victories over British title challenger Chris Jenkins, and Australia-based Irish contender, Darragh Foley. Not bad at all.
With only the one knockout however, you’d also be forgiven for thinking Riiddy would struggle to keep opponents off at a higher level. Even that stoppage came after five rounds, against a man other prospects have finished in just the one. But his style doesn’t depend on explosive power to get him through, it’s a combination of technicality and awkwardness that bewilders rather than bludgeons. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s been training with Ben Davidson at the MGM Marbella, and we all know a big lad out there who can twitch and trick all the way to the very top.
Anyway, those who follow the domestic scene already know all this, but if you don’t, no need to take it from me. Handily, he’s fighting very soon, taking on the undefeated Bilal Rehman this Friday, March 1st. It’s a tantalising contest, so go and see for yourself.
And if I’m wrong, well Rehman was most definitely going to be featured next. Promise!