Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis won’t get shot at Crawford or Spence says Stephen Edwards

By Boxing News - 01/02/2023 - Comments

By Adam Baskin: Trainer Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards says Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis won’t get a shot at the welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford because their promoters & managers won’t want to take the risk of them fighting him & losing.

Moreover, they don’t want to help turn Boots Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs) into a star at their fighter’s expense because he’s not signed with them.

For that reason, the management for the 25-year-old Ennis is going to need to find another way to turn him into a big star because they won’t get help from Crawford, Spence, or any of the other small number of A-list fighters at 147.

Edwards suggests that Ennis can become mandatory for all the belts to help increase his chances of getting a title shot at one of the welterweight titles. However, that doesn’t mean he will get a chance to fight IBF, WBA & WBC, or WBO champion Crawford for their belts because they’ll vacate and move up to 154, leaving Boots fighting for a vacant title against one of the obscure contenders in the welterweight rankings.

Boots can do what former welterweight champion Paul Williams did when he was frozen out by the top fighters in the 147-lb division. Williams moved up to 154 and could fight the top guys in that weight class, but unfortunately for him with less success than he’d enjoyed at 147.

“Probably not,” said Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards to Fighthype when asked if Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis will ever get an A-level opponent at the rate his career is going.

“The eyeball test. None of the managers or promoters have seen enough weakness for it to be really worth it to them to fight, and then you let him beat a guy, and you turn him into a star. If you don’t have a piece of him, why would you turn him into a star?

“They got the same kind of ability as Mark ‘Too Sharp’ Johnson and Roy Jones kind of guy. Roy Jones was an Olympian. He had the HBO backing, so it was a little different because he got his opportunity versus Bernard Hopkins and James Toney. But probably not [Ennis getting a shot against an A-level star], not in today’s boxing.

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“If you were managing a guy or if you were a promoter of a guy would you let your guy go into a fight with Ennis where your guy is probably going to be an underdog, and if he’s not the underdog, there are only two fighters in the world that I believe will be the favorite or even with him, and that’s Errol Spence and Terence Crawford.

“They’re both way older than him. So would you let your guy go near him? That’s where the business part of boxing gets everybody upset. I don’t think Terence or Errol are scared of him.

“I just think the powers that be are like, ‘Why would we fight this kid?’ He’s  [Boots Ennis] that good and that much younger than him, and then you’ve got someone that is going to be a star for the next ten years. He’s only 25 years old. His fights are only going for 30 seconds. He’s not getting any wear & tear on him.

“So, it’s not really worth it to them. It’s not a fear thing. That’s the business part of it. I’m sure they would fight him if they had to fight him, but I don’t think the kid is going to get his shot. Not against an A-list name to be honest with you.

“I think he’ll win a title. Eventually, he’ll fight for a vacant title, but I don’t think he’ll get his shot. It’ll be tough. I think they will all be even money fights,” said Edwards when asked if he would favor Spence over Boots Ennis.

“I think him and Errol would be even money, and I think that him and Terence will be even money. I do. The oddsmakers know better, and they know what they’re seeing. They know he’s [Boots Ennis] unproven.

“They’re not going to make him no three or four to one underdog against nobody and have the whole Philly, all the drug dealers.

“Everybody in the hood is going to come out and bet millions of dollars for this kid, and he wins the fight as a four-to-one underdog against one of those guys, and they’re seven to ten years older than him,” said Edwards referring to 32-year-old Spence & 35-year-old Crawford being considerably older than the 25-year-old Boots Ennis.

“I’m not saying they’re going to win because I’ve got too much respect for Bud and Errol, and just say that Jaron is guaranteed to beat them. But what I’m saying is that the oddsmakers that make these odds, they’re not going to do that.

“I’m saying that if Boots were to ever fight those guys based on their recent form right now, they’re not going to be big favorites to beat him because they can’t afford to lose the money if he wins because he’s too [good].

“He’s looked at like, ‘Damn, is he that good?’ So they don’t know enough yet. As time goes on, we’re going to find out everything that he is and isn’t. But right now, with the way he’s looked, and he hasn’t shown any vulnerability.

“The worst thing you can say is [Thomas] Dulorme hit him with two right hands, and he got put to sleep. That’s the biggest thing you can say about him.

“[Sergey] Lipinets him with a shot. Alright. I think the kid [Ennis] may have lost two rounds in his whole career. I was there when he lost a couple of rounds. He fought a little four or six-rounder in Philly.

“It’s going to be tough. I don’t think he’s going to get the fights to be honest with you. Nobody has proven that they’re better than him. I don’t know if he’s the best welterweight in the world.  He’s definitely not the most accomplished.

“Bud & Errol are more accomplished than him, but nobody has proven that he’s not. Go beat the kid up, and then prove that he’s too young or he’s not. He’s saying he’s the best; he’s saying he wants the work, and nobody is proving he’s wrong.

“I think he’s more accomplished than Boots,” Edwards said when asked if Spence is “better than Boots.” “Better and more accomplished are two separate things,” Edwards continued.

“Who can beat who and who did more are two different things. Errol is older, and he’s had the opportunity to do more. There’s not nobody that Errol has beat that I can look at and be like, ‘Boots can’t beat him.’

“So being more accomplished that was like the Anthony Dirrell and Caleb Plant thing when they fought. Anthony said, ‘My resume is so much better.’ Well,  you’re older. You have the opportunity to do more. That doesn’t mean you’re better.

“It means you had the opportunity to do more. So you’re a two-time world champion. You’ve got more things you did because you got the opportunity to do more. That doesn’t mean you’re better.

“It’s a little bit of a difference. There are a lot of guys that have done more than [heavyweight contender] Jared Anderson, but how many can actually beat him, though? So Boots is kind of in that situation, so you’ve got to be careful with your terminology.

“They’ve got to prove that they’re better than him [Ennis]. Not just Crawford & Spence. The whole welterweight division. You don’t even see any veterans or ex-world champions going there. Why?

“He counts, he’s an ex-world champion, he’s a fighter,” Edwards said when told that former light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets fought Jaron Ennis. “He’s a real fighter. Lipinets is a real fighter. I’m not going to discredit him, but he’s not an A-list name.

“You don’t see A-list names going in there with him [Boots Ennis]. You know what their teams are saying? We’re not going to help catapult their career and let them piggyback off of us.

“When you’re that talented, the business side kicks in. Unfortunately for Boots, his team has got to figure out how to earn him money. They’ve got to figure out how to turn him into the kind of star where he’s worth these guys fighting.

“They’ve got to put him in a position where he’s the mandatory for all the belts. They’ve got to let him corner the market where people don’t have an excuse not to fight him. His team has got to work there. They’ve got to figure it out.

“They’ve got to figure out how to offer guys more money than what they’re normally making in order to fight him. I can’t get into that because I don’t know what the conversations were with the sanctioning bodies,” said Edwards when asked if it would have been easier for Boots Ennis to go the WBO route after Crawford rather than the IBF route because Spence is talking about moving up in weight.

“Maybe the WBO had their own ideas about who they wanted to be. Maybe he couldn’t skip over them. The kid [Boots] has been a pro for six or seven years now. He’s getting what he can get.

“The IBF is here in Jersey. They enforce their rules, so maybe that’s what he was thinking about. I don’t know how that went down with each of the sanctioning bodies.

“Sometimes the sanctioning bodies don’t enforce mandatory’s. We’ve seen guys be #1 contenders for years and not get it. Boots is ready now. 25 is not too young. That’s a myth that people put out there so that they don’t have to give young guys title shots.

“That’s bull s**t. In other areas, you were great when you were 25 already. Ray Leonard was 25, and Tommy [Hearns] was a month away from being 23.  Ray Leonard won his title at 23 against [Wilfredo] Benitez, who was 21.

“Ali was 22 when he fought Sonny Liston. It is just this era that does that. ‘Oh my God, he’s 22.’ This is just this era. Would you rather be 22 or 32? Floyd Mayweather was 21 when he fought Genaro Hernandez.

“Tito Trinidad was 20 when he won a world title. That’s just stuff that they say in this era. Boots could have fought for a world title two or three years ago. That’s stuff that they say to slow guys down,” said Edwards.