Just how good is Philadelphia’s unbeaten 22 year-old welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis? Time will tell! Articles by this writer such as “The Can’t Miss Kid” when he first turned professional are among those I’ve written in the past. Opinions seem to be from “he’s the best at 147 to whose he ever fought?”
Ennis was an Olympic alternate losing to Gary Antuanne Russell in the Olympic trials final. Ennis beat Russell one of the four times they fought. Russell is now 14-0 with all stoppages at Super Lightweight. In viewing their final meeting it wasn’t pretty but the decision was fair. Ennis fought Russell’s inside fight instead of using his size and reach by boxing more instead of staying inside causing numerous clinches. I approached Russell after one of his two Pennsylvania bouts asking “when he’s going to fight Ennis” he said “anytime!”
Ennis is currently 27-0 with 25 stoppages and one no decision. Sixteen of his opponents plus the no decision opponent had winning records. He claims to have had a 58-3 amateur record.
Ennis turned professional in April of 2016. He is the third brother to turn professional following USBA Super Welterweight champ Derek “Pooh” Ennis, and NABF Super Middleweight champ Farah Ennis, all trained by their father Derrick “Bozy” Ennis who was 4-2 as a professional.
This writer had the pleasure of nominated both “Pooh” and “Bozy” for the PAB HOF where they will be inducted on October 3rd in Philadelphia at the Bridgeman’s Ballroom, 11600 Norcom Road along with twenty-one others from 4 to 8pm.
Ennis is currently ranked No. 5 by the WBO, No. 4 by the IBF and No. 8 by the WBC and No. 5 by the IBO. In fighting for the vacant IBO title ranked No. 7 a clash of heads caused his opponent ranked No. 11 South Africa’s Chris van Heerden, 28-2-1, not to be able to continue after the first round due to a severe cut. How they even qualified for the vacant title considering their rankings is a wonder. It was the twelfth straight opponent with a winning record Ennis has faced. IBO announced there will be no rematch nor another shot for Ennis. Ahead of Ennis in the IBO rankings is Russian out of the UK David Avanesyan, 27-3-1 with 15 by stoppages ranked No. 3. October 2nd he meets Liam “Dynamo” Taylor, 23-1-1, of the UK in a EBU title defense.
Some of those whom Ennis defeated prior to the van Heerden bout were Demian Fernandez, 12-1, Bakhtiyar Eyubov, 14-1-1 and Juan Carlos Abreu, 23-5-1, all by stoppage. Ennis had his sixteen straight stoppage streak broken in the van Heerden bout. Back in July of 2018 Ennis won his only title, the vacant WBC (USNBC) Silver title stopping Armando “Macho” Alvarez, then 18-0, but never defending it.
In his last fight Ennis defeated former world IBF Super Lightweight champion Sergey Lipinets, 16-1-1 by knockout in six. Lipinets was coming off a draw with Custio Clayton, 18-0. The Lipinets fight was the first world contender Ennis has fought up to this point.
Next up for Ennis is October 30th on Showtime and Sho Box his opponent is Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme, 25-5-1, with 16 knockouts. Only problem he is 1-3-1 in his last five fights. We are told 15 boxers turned him down but no names are ever mentioned. Ennis will be the co-feature to WBA interim Welterweight champion Jamal “Shango” James who defends against Radzhab ‘The Phython’ Butaev, 13-0 with 10 by knockout, from Russia living in Brooklyn, NY.
One of Ennis’ co-manager Cameron Dunkin once managed current WBO champ Terence Crawford. The person no longer in their group promoter Chris Middendorf seems to have been responsible to getting him on Showtime and there for all but his last three fights due to a split from the group settled in court recently.
“Working with “Bozy” and “Boots” Ennis for three years was a great experience. I believed in them from the beginning and although I am no longer involved as “Boots” promoter, I think he has the potential to be a generational talent and win championships at 147, 154 and 160. My only regret is that I wanted to be there to promote him in a world championship in Philadelphia. Maybe they will give me a ringside seat,” said Chris Middendorf.
The father-trainer who wants to be known as “teacher” is the other co-manager who is a top trainer but little experience as a manager. So “who” offered fifteen opponents to Ennis and who are they? No one knows.
Considering the lack of good opponents Ennis has moved up the rankings well except for the WBA who hasn’t ranked him as of yet. His performances have been outstanding whether orthodox or southpaw he seems to have it all but needs to fight like he says “any of the contenders!”
Generally speaking Ennis is a humble yet confident young man. On the other hand his father seems to may have forgotten who his friends are not answering one of my last three phone calls though always returning them previously. Last time I saw him he told me Middensorf was out and I questioned why? The look on his face was one of “betrayal” by me. Why break up a successful team? When mentioning this to others who know “Bozy” I have gotten responses like “you just finding that out about him?” Or, “whose he ever trained but his sons?”
When Middendorf was involved he let it be known such contenders like Lamont Peterson turned down Ennis. Now, no one knows who these so-called fifteen who rejected the opportunity to fight him are or who is making his matches.
Two of the obvious boxers who seem to get as much recognition as Ennis are WBA interim champ Jamal ”Shango” James, 27-1 with 12 stoppages including Dulorme and WBO No. 1, WBC and WBA No. 2 ranked Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 18-0 with 18 stoppages.
Former WBC World Welterweight champ Danny “Swift” Garcia, 36-3 with 21 stoppages, is only ranked in the WBC and that at No. 6. Garcia once years ago told this writer pertaining to Ennis “Boots is something isn’t he?” What a Philadelphia event that would be between the two. Ennis not being ranked in the WBA would disqualify him from a James fight unless it was a non-title one for James.
This writer has seen Ennis in the past sparring with “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-3-1, whom “Bozy” also trains and Samuel “Tsunami” Teah, 18-4-1. Ennis has fought in his hometown ten times along with such places as Virginia 4, New Jersey 2, Connecticut 2, and North Carolina, New Mexico, DC, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma and Utah once. Needless to say he has fought throughout the country and since his first appearance and since on Showtime’s ShoBox the world has seen just how impressive he has been with the exception of the short lived van Heerden bout.
This writer wishes Jaron “Boots” Ennis the best in the future and hopefully a world championship fight in 2022!