By Chris Williams: Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis did a great job of dispatching the hardest puncher in the welterweight division with his tenth round knockout win over Roiman Villa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Boots Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) wants the top guys in the 147-lb division, and he’s coming after all of them.
Ideally, Ennis says he wants Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford winner, but those are expected to quit the welterweight division and head north to 154 after they complete their two fights this year. They won’t stay around at 147 just to fight the young lion Boots.
Many top dogs that Boots Ennis wants are either busy with other fights or wouldn’t agree to face him because the money wouldn’t be worth the high probability of a loss.
Unfortunately, the 26-year-old Ennis’ popularity hasn’t yet risen to the level of a Canelo Alvarez or Gervonta Davis-type fighter, where the huge dough that his opponents would make from fighting him would make it worthwhile for them to face him and lose.
Boots Ennis’ shortlist of options for his next fight:
– Keith Thurman
– Yordenis Ugas
– Errol Spence Jr
– Eimantas Stanionis
– Terence Crawford
WBA ‘regular’ 147-lb champion Eimantas Stanionis is easily the best option out of the bunch, given that he doesn’t have a fight planned afteer his opponent for last Saturday, Vergil Ortiz Jr, pulled out of their headliner due to a medical problem.
Showtime president Stephen Espinoza said last Saturday night that the only possible issue with Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) accepting a fight with Boots Ennis is the Lithuanian fighter hasn’t fought in over a year.
That’s a tough fight for Stanionis to take, with him coming off what would likely be a year-and-a-half layoff.
It’s one thing for Stanionis to be fighting the ring-rusty 25-year-old Vergil Ortiz coming off a 15-month layoff, but it would be asking a little too much for him to battle Bootss Ennis off of a likely 19 to 20-month layoff.
If Ennis were to fight Stanionis, it wouldn’t happen until at least fourth to five months from now, in November or December. By that time, Stanionis will have been out of the ring for 19 to 20 months. Again, that’s too much time out of the ring to be taking on a talent like Ennis.
Boots wants Thurman
“I’m super serious about the Keith Thurman fight. I was trying to fight him in June, but things fell through. Hopefully, he does fight, but if not, we still got a lot of great options out here,” said Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night following his knockout win over Roiman Villa in Atlantic City.
It’s safe to say that you can immediately scratch old ‘One Time’ Keith Thurman off the list for Boots Ennis’ next fight because the former WBA & WBC welterweight champion, who rarely fights nowadays, said this week that he would only fight Jaron if that was his best option for putting food on the table. Thurman made it clear that Boots Ennis isn’t a big enough name for him to fight.
It might take the jaws of life tool to pull Thurman off the couch to get him to fight with Boots Ennis, and even then, he would likely need to be dragged kicking & screaming into the ring to fight the young killer.
Whatever hair is still left on Thurman’s balding pate will have left him by that point due to the worry. They would need to rip that flute out of Thurman’s hands. The old gatekeeper, Thurman, would need serious intervention to get him to square off with Ennis.
In the post-fight press conference, the 26-year-old Ennis said he wanted to fight the winner of the July 29th fight between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, but given that those two are signed for two fights and expected to meet in an immediate rematch later this year, it’s improbable that Boots will get an opportunity to face either.
“We still got [Yordenis] Ugas. He’s a nice former world champion. You got [Eimantas] Stanionis,” said Ennis. “You got a lot of other guys besides Bud & Spence. Everyone knows I want the main guys,” said Ennis.
Out of all of them, the 36-year-old Yordenis Ugas is the best candidate for Boots Ennis’ next fight, and it’s hard to see where the gain is from fighting that old guy, given his inactivity and the beating he took in his last fight 15 months ago in his 10th round knockout loss to Spence in April 2022.
How does Ennis come out ahead, beating an older, inactive guy like Ugas? He won’t get any credit whatsoever.