Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis gave his first words today on being elevated to the new IBF welterweight champion by asking what the excuse of the top fighters in the 147-lb division will be for not wanting to fight him.
The name that pops up as the primary target for Boots Ennis to fight is former unified welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, who has been sitting on the sidelines, aging badly, waiting for a crack at Terence Crawford & Errol Spence.
Now that Ennis has made the IBF 147-lb champion, Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) should have no excuses not to fight him. If you’re the 35-year-old Thurman, it doesn’t get any better than this because there will be a lot more interest in a fight between him and Boots Ennis than there would be if he faces WBA secondary champion Eimantis Stanionis, who doesn’t have a big fan base in the U.S.
Given how long Thurman has been out of the ring, there’s a high probability that he loses to Stanionis if he chooses to go in that direction, and the money that he makes from that fight won’t be as good as it would if he fights Boots. Thurman-Stanionis isn’t a fight that will bring in a lot of PPV buys, no matter what platform it’s put on.
In the past, the contenders at welterweight have shown no interest in fighting Boots Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) because it was high risk with no reward due to him not holding a world title.
Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis reacts to becoming IBF welterweight world champion after Terence Crawford was stripped… pic.twitter.com/bJluEt7AEM
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) November 10, 2023
Now that the 26-year-old Ennis has been elevated to IBF champion, there shouldn’t be any more excuses from the top dogs.
Obvious targets for Boots
Errol Spence Jr
Terence Crawford was relieved of his IBF welterweight title yesterday by the International Boxing Federation due to his inability to abide by the sanctioning body, which wanted him to defend against the mandatory challenger Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
Crawford inherited Spence’s IBF obligations when he defeated him last July, so Boots Ennis became his problem once he won that strap. Unfortunately for Crawford, the IBF wouldn’t give him an exception due to his rematch clause with Spence to put his mandatory obligations to the young Ennis on hold.
If the IBF had allowed Crawford to hold onto their title while taking the rematch with Spence next, he’d be stripped soon after once it was clear that he wouldn’t defend the belt against Boots Ennis. It would have delayed the inevitable by the IBF allowing Crawford to hold onto their belt for a little longer.
Crawford’s fans are all broken up about him being stripped of his IBF belt, as they feel he should have been able to hold onto it for a little bit longer.
Even if you want to go along with Crawford’s fans, it seems stupid because he had already made it known that he ONLY wants the bigger fights with the remainder of his career and wouldn’t have returned to the 147-lb division to fight a young guy like Boots Ennis, who isn’t well known to the casual boxing fans in the sport.
The IBF belt must have felt like a hot potato for Crawford because to hold onto it; he would have needed to delay the lucrative Spence and take on the young 26-year-old phenom, Boots Ennis, in a fight that many boxing fans believe would be a 50-50 affair.
Crawford couldn’t count on Boots Ennis being weight-drained or depleted from two car crashes, one of which involved a horrifying 100 mph wreck that mangled Errol’s expensive Ferrari Spider beyond recognition.
“They put the belt where it’s supposed to be because now somebody got to fight. Everybody says they want to be a champion. Here’s your chance,” said trainer Greg Hackett to YSM Sports Media, reacting to Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis being made the new IBF welterweight champion.
“He [Ennis] worked for it, did what he had to do, and now we’re going to see who steps up. Now it makes it interesting because now he has something to offer for those who say, ‘He ain’t got nothing to offer.’
“Fighters always want who got the crown, and he [Ennis] got one of the crowns, so they’re going to have to fight him. You can’t try and run around him. It’s not a situation like, ‘Oh, it’s not going to be enough money’ or ‘Oh, no, I ain’t f*** with it because he ain’t got no belts or nothing, so why would I fight him?’ No, you got to fight him now. That’s what I love about it.
“It’s crazy because we were talking about how to end up getting him a belt. I love it because now you got to fight him, and now he’s going to get more crazy.
“You can call him what you want. Now, you got to fight him,” said Hackett, reacting to boxing fans calling Jaron Ennis an ’email champion.’ “Whoever the first victim is going to be, what are you going to call him now? It don’t matter,” said Hackett.