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Who is the Best at 147? Crawford, Spence, Ortiz or Ennis?

Image: Who is the Best at 147? Crawford, Spence, Ortiz or Ennis?

By Ken Hissner: Let’s take a look at the welterweight division, starting with WBO champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and IBF, WBA, and WBC champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr.

Also, let’s take a look at the No. 1 ranked contenders in WBO’s Vergil Ortiz, Jr. and IBF’s Jaron “Boots” Ennis.

WBO champ Terence “Bud” Crawford and IBF, WBA, and WBC champ Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. recently couldn’t get together for a unification bout after months of negotiating.

Since then, the former unified super lightweight champion Crawford of Omaha, Nebraska, now 39-0 with 28 stoppages who hadn’t fought in thirteen months this month stopped his No. 6 ranked contender David “Ava” Avanesyan, 29-2-1 instead of his No. 1 contender.

Crawford’s No.1 contender is WBO International champion Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 19-0 with 19 stoppages from Grand Prairie, Texas. His biggest win was over former WBO Light Welterweight champion Maurice “Mighty Moe” Hooker, then 27-1-3. Ortiz also held the WBA Gold title. He has nothing scheduled at this time.

Spence, Jr. is from Desoto, Texas, and last defended his title in April, stopping WBA Super Welterweight champion Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas, 27-4. Since recovering from a serious auto accident, it seems he hasn’t missed a beat talent-wise, though not as active as he should be and has nothing scheduled.

Spence’s No. 1 contender is Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, 29-0 with 27 stoppages, who continues to wait for his title chance ducking no one. He is co-managed by Cameron Dunkin, who once managed Crawford.

Ennis, in his last fight in May, stopped previously unbeaten contender Custio ‘War Machine’ Clayton, now 19-1-1. Ennis in his last twenty fights, has nineteen stoppages, with the one no-contest that being with Chris “The Heat” Van Heerden, 28-2-1, when a clash of heads caused a NC-ND in the first round for the vacant IBO World title, which the IBO still has vacant.

Instead of a rematch or Ennis matched with the next highest contender Van Heerden went on to be stopped by Conor Benn, 20-0. Benn’s people have made it clear they are not interested in fighting Ennis. Ennis is orthodox but has fought southpaw for an entire fight as long as it lasted.

Ennis has been the most avoided boxer in the division. The management of Ortiz turned down a fight with him in the past by his trainer Robert Garcia per the trainer, co-manager, and father of Ennis that being Derek ‘Bozy’ Ennis.

‘Boots’ is ranked WBA and WBO No. 2 and WBC No. 3. His biggest win was stopping former IBF Light Welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets, who since returned to the lower weight winning the WBC Silver Super Lightweight title.

Ennis has been trying to get a match with WBA World champion Eimantes Stanionis, 14-0-1nc, with nine stoppages from Lithuania. He won the title in April and hasn’t fought since. Vergil Ortiz Jr is rumored to be fighting him.

Former WBA and WBC champion and current No. 1 WBC and WBA No. 3 ranked contender Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, 30-1 with 22 stoppages, went two and a half years without fighting due to an injury.

In Thurman’s last bout in February, he defeated Mario ‘El Azteca’ Barrios, 26-1 but didn’t look like the fighter he once was. He is still a top IBF contender though he hasn’t fought in ten months and isn’t scheduled to fight anyone at this time, while Ennis is No. 2 ranked behind him and has tried to meet him without success.

Ennis is scheduled to fight for the IBF interim title against No. 4 ranked IBF Inter-Continental champion Ukraine’s Karen Chukhadzhian, 21-1, with 11 stoppages fighting out of Germany on January 7th in Washington, DC, on Showtime of which Ennis has been a regular on Showtime. He is confident he is the best and willing to fight anyone.

Ennis and Ortiz, Jr. shouldn’t have to meet in an elimination match, but both should get title fights. Ennis with Spence for his IBF title and Ortiz with Terence Crawford for his WBO title with the two winners meeting, which both surely, unlike Crawford and Spence, Jr., seem have not been able to do.

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