Jaron Ennis being held back by Spence-Crawford logjam says Paulie Malignaggi

By Boxing News - 01/09/2023 - Comments

By Adam Baskin: Paulie Malignaggi says Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is being held back by the politics of boxing, being stopped from progressing to the throne due to the logjam at the top created by champions Terence Crawford & Errol Spence Jr.

Those two champions haven’t shown any interest in risking their crowns against the heir apparent, Boots Ennis, who is being held back.¬† Ennis is being held back along with Vergil Ortiz, Eimantas Stanionis and Roiman Villa.

Fans argue that if Spence & Crawford aren’t going to fight each other, then one or both should then face Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs), so he can bring some new blood to the top of the 147-lb division.

From the way Boots Ennis talks, he’ll be a different type of champion from what we’ve seen from Spence and Crawford, both of which have played it safe once they captured their belts and have fought largely no one of interest.

Spence won’t even fight Keith Thurman, preferring instead to defend his belts against the likes of faded old veterans Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Yordenis Ugas.

Last Saturday night, Boots Ennis defeated Karen Chukhadzhian (21-2, 11 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the interim IBF welterweight title at the Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C.

As Malignaggi points out, the reason Boots is forced to fight for interim titles is that he can’t get title shots against Spence or Crawford. If Ennis could fight those guys, he wouldn’t need to waste his time facing obscure runners like Chukhadzhian and could focus on fighting the best of the best, such as Roiman Villa, Eimantas Stanionis, and Vergil Ortiz.

“He’s a good fighter. I thought he fought a really crafty guy, a runner essentially, but I thought he won the fight,” said Paulie Malignaggi to ESNEWS about Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis’ win over¬†Karen Chukhadzhian last Saturday night.

“It was a good learning fight for Boots. I thought he could have done some things better like cut off the ring, maybe with his footwork, instead of crossing his feet and walking this guy down, shimming his feet forward to close the gap a little bit quicker, and shooting off the gun when you get there instead of walking and crossing your feet and having to reset yourself.

“Overall, I thought he won the fight easily,” Malignaggi said about Boots Ennis. “I think that guy is a tough guy to look good against, honestly.

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“I’d like to see that guy against other welterweights. He’s a capable guy. I don’t think the fight was ever in doubt that Jaron was going to win. I think it was a learning fight for Jaron. Another thing to put in perspective is that when you don’t give Jaron a title fight, it’s hard for him to get motivated for these kinds of fights.

“This guy [Boots Ennis] is 30-0. I was fighting for a world title when I was 21-0, and I was not as ready as Jaron Ennis was. Jaron Ennis has been ready to fight for a world title.

Because of the politics of the game, they keep holding him back, holding him back. They just made an interim title for him. Come on, bro.

“They’re just Mickey Mousing it along because of the Crawford – Spence logjam at the top. It’s not fair to guys like Jaron. It’s not fair to Vergil [Ortiz] and the rest of the welterweight division in general. It’s not fair.

“You have to keep in mind is Jaron getting up for these fights. We know he’s trained for them, but is he getting up for these fights as he would otherwise if they were more important?” said Malignaggi.