Jaron “Boots” Ennis fights this Saturday on the Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Showtime PPV undercard at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
If you don’t know who the 25-year-old welterweight “Boots” Ennis is, you need to start paying attention, quick.
Ranked no. 1 by the IBF and in the top 3 of the other sanctioning bodies, the Philadelphia native is on the verge of making the whole “who’s the best– Spence or Crawford?” debate null and void. Ennis just may be better than both. He’s certainly making a solid case for himself as he tears through second-tier challenges on his way to the top.
Big, quick, and strong, Ennis has delivered first-time knockout losses to three of his last four opponents (Juan Carlos Abreu, Sergey Lipinets, and Custio Clayton) and tore right through the usually durable Thomas Dulorme in one round. His blend of speed and power is impressive, even to the most jaded of boxing cynics.
The rising star will be meeting Karen Chukhadzhian for the interim IBF welterweight title this Saturday. And, yeah, you’re probably not the only one asking “Karen, who?”
Chukhadzhian is a native of the Ukraine, currently fighting out of Germany and he’s somehow managed to become the IBF’s no. 4 contender despite fighting no one of real note.
But, really, that doesn’t even matter right now.
Ennis is worth watching, just for his own abilities. His brutal virtuoso performances have enough entertainment value to be considered “Must See TV,” no matter who’s lined up against him. Of course, that acceptance of blowouts will change if we don’t see the young fighter matched against top 5 or 7 guys soon. For now, though, Boots gets a pass.
In a recent media workout to hype Saturday’s bout, Ennis held court with reporters and showed the eager, “I want all the smoke” attitude that has endeared him to fans.
“In 2023, I want at least three fights…This fight coming up, and then Errol [Spence] next or Bud [Crawford] next or Keith Thurman. Anybody, I don’t care. Vergil Ortiz, Stanionis, it don’t matter. Bring them on.”
And what if the top dogs don’t want a piece of him or are occupied elsewhere?
“I could go to 154 easily,” Ennis affirmed. “Whatever way I go, I’ll be fighting, no matter where it’s at. If I got to go to 154 and come back down to 147 to grab them belts, that’s cool too.
“[Unified champ 154 lb. champ Jermell] Charlo is a great fighter. It’s definitely a good fight. Like I said, it doesn’t matter who they put in front of me. I’ll take them on. Anybody at 154 or 147.”
As for Karen Chukhadzhian this Saturday? He doesn’t seem all that concerned.
“Whatever he brings, I’m going to adjust,” Ennis told media. “I read stuff fast, pick up stuff fast, and break down guys fast. So it really doesn’t matter what he brings. I feel like he’s going to be on his bike…If he comes forward, that’s even better. My team tells me what to do, certain things to do, and we’ve got something for it.”
Despite this upcoming bout being little more than a showcase squash en route to bigger things, it’s a big one for Boots. He needs to look like the “next big thing” that many believe he is and he needs to make the case that he belongs in the same class as Spence and Crawford. It won’t be easy to wrangle a bout with any of the top dogs in the division (or the next division), but a continued run of eye-catching performances will make it harder for them to ignore his presence.