Jaron Ennis’ trainer reacts to Boots’ elevation to IBF welterweight champion: “It’s in the right hands now”

By Chris Williams - 11/10/2023 - Comments

Trainer Lawrence Smalls says his fighter Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis will be bringing “old school boxing” back now that he’s been elevated to the full IBF welterweight champion status after Terence Crawford was stripped yesterday.

If Crawford had given Errol Spence Jr. a step aside in order to defend against Boots, he could have kept his IBF title, but it’s unlikely he made an attempt.

Crawford could have easily kept his IBF title if he’d let Spence wet his beak on some of that green to get him out of the way temporarily so he could get in the trenches to defend against Boots Ennis.

That would have been hard work for the 36-year-old Crawford, and he’d be risking his hide against the young killer Boots. Getting beaten by Boots would have spoiled Crawford’s vision of being blessed by Canelo Alvarez big money fight.

Did Crawford offer Spence a step aside deal?

Assuming Crawford didn’t even try to arrange a step-aside deal with Spence, he deserved to be stripped of his IBF belt. He obviously didn’t want that hard work. Of course, this information went over Crawford’s fans’ heads.

They probably felt that Terence should be able to keep his IBF title for as long as he’d like and use it as a negotiating prop and something to carry around when marching into the ring for his fights at 154, 160, or 168.

The IBF belt wouldn’t be defended. It would be there, hanging around, as a tool. Crawford has said nothing about wanting to fight Ennis, so he would have been stripped anyway at some point by the IBF because it would look silly if he’s still holding onto the title years from now, not defending it.

The title would be reduced to that of a souvenir or keepsake to remind Crawford of his victory over the weight-drained, car-crash-ruined Spence. It’ll be kind of like a soldier picking up some scrap from a battlefield during the war and just holding onto it to pass down as a trophy.

Boots will still be avoided

Small says the IBF title is “in the right hands” now, and there won’t be the “money s**t, high-risk, low-reward” junk that kept Boots Ennis from getting a world title.

Now that Boots holds the IBF belt, the excuses that fighters had won’t fly because he’s got something that they need. If Crawford is pining away for his old IBF belt, he can call out Boots Ennis after he faces Errol Spence Jr. in a rematch if he wins.

Unfortunately, Boots Ennis holding the IBF title likely won’t change anything, as he’ll still be high-risk, low-reward until he becomes a big pay-per-view attraction.

Boots Ennis not a big enough name to lure these fighters:

Terence Crawford
Errol Spence Jr
Keith Thurman
Eimantis Stanionis

“It’s a long time coming. It’s time to bring back the real s**t. It’s time to bring back old school boxing,” said trainer Lawrence Smalls to YSM Sports Media when asked about his thoughts on Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis being elevated to full IBF welterweight champion after Terence Crawford was stripped.

It’s in the right hands now, and he’s going to do what he needs to do,” said Smalls about Boots Ennis. “Ain’t no running, ain’t no ducking, and ain’t no hiding. He’s waiting for all the smoke, and everybody already knows that,” said Smalls.

Crawford’s fans will eventually recognize that the IBF made the right move by stripping Terence and elevating Boots Ennis to champion because he’ll be a far better champ in the long run, defending three times a year against all comers.

The IBF and fans don’t need a champion who sits inactive for long stretches because he’s just waiting patiently for the biggest payday fight to fall into his lap.

In the meantime, the IBF title collects dust, and the contenders languish and age without being given the opportunity to further their careers. It’s bad for the sport to have inactive champions who are just looking for the biggest money fights and just holding the titles hostage for years.

“It’s [the IBF welterweight belt] is in the hands of the rightful owner, and he’s going to do what he needs to do,” said Smalls. “He’s going to bring back that old time boxing back. Anyone that wants it, come get it.

“He [Boots Ennis] ain’t ducking, and he ain’t talking about that money s**t and all that kind of goofy s**t, and ‘ain’t worth it’ and the ‘high risk & low reward. They should bring their a**.”

Smalls must understand that if he thinks anything will change, as far as Boots Ennis being avoided, he’s deluded. Nothing will change. It won’t matter if Boots isn’t counting on getting nice paydays against Keith Thurman, Eimantis Stanionis, Spence, or Crawford.

If Boots is going to be old school, that means defending the IBF title against the best available contender and not sitting and waiting for a particular fighter.

Realistic options for Boots’ next title defense:

Giovani Santillan
Alexis Rocha
Rashi Ellis
Devin Haney

Those are perfectly serviceable contenders that Ennis can use for his first and even second defend of his IBF title. Really, he should assume that guys like Thurman won’t fight him for another five to six years, and then, it would be pointless. Thurman will be too old and faded to be worth fighting.

“You already know how he feels. Now, we want to see what’s the excuse now. You got Thurman, low-risk, high reward, and you got everybody that talk that s**t. So now with the [IBF] belt there.

“He’s a world champion, so now what’s your excuse? Y’all want it. That’s what you’re chasing, world champions. We’re world champs. Come chase him [Ennis]. He ain’t going nowhere. He ain’t hard to find.

“All y’all got to do is call him and sign the paper. It’s in the hands of the rightful owner. How is he going to get it if they [Crawford] ain’t willing to fight him for it [IBF 147-lb title]?

“Like I said. Now that he’s got it, if y’all feel like that, call somebody out that they want to fight because he ain’t ducking. So tell the fans the name that you want. I guarantee that he’s [Ennis] able to oblige them and just bring it on,” said Smalls.

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