Newly elevated IBF welterweight champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis says would still like to fight Terence Crawford, and he wants him & his legions of fans to know that it was “out of my hands” for the Nebraska native being stripped.
Ennis should forget about Crawford and focus on realistic options for motivated fighters willing to risk losing.
Boots says he wants only the best fighters for the first title defense of his IBF belt, and he’s complied this list of who he wants next:
Of those fighters, the only guy who would likely be interested in fighting Boots Ennis is Mario Barrios, and that’s only because he’s got zero chances of getting a title shot.
Terence’s lovesick fans believe that Ennis will only hold the IBF belt for as long as he wishes, and once wants it back, he’ll return to snatch it from him.
That’s a naive view because they don’t realize that the 36-year-old Crawford is getting older by the day, and he can’t just swing by two or three years from now and recapture the title.
He’ll be ready for retirement by then and no longer capable of competing with the young phenom Boots.
Crawford can’t put himself in a state of cryosleep to halt his aging and then return later to rip his cherished IBF title from Boots Ennis.
Even if Crawford could do that, Ennis would be a nightmare for him at his current advanced age. This isn’t the type of opponent that a fighter like Crawford would want, especially with him focusing on business rather than sport for his remaining fights.
Fighting Boots right now wouldn’t earn Crawford the money he would want to take that risk.
Ennis welcomes Crawford to come try and win his IBF 147-lb title back if he wants it bad enough. If not, then he’ll have to live with the label of ex-IBF champ label.
Boots Ennis says the IBF “abided” by their rules in choosing to strip the 36-year-old Crawford of his belt, as don’t recognize rematch clauses as exceptions to swerve mandatory challengers, which is actually a good thing.
Rematch clauses are poison, hurting the careers of the mandatory challengers because they’re forced to sit & rot while waiting for a champion to face the same guy repeatedly, regardless of whether the fight was competitive.
Boots Ennis ready for stampede
“It is what it is. They abided by the rules,” said Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis to YSM Sports Media when asked about his reaction to his being elevated to IBF welterweight champion after Terence Crawford was stripped.
“It was out of my hands. It was in the IBF’s hands. I’m the world champion now, and I’m ready to make these big fights happen and fight all those top guys. I’m ready to make my mark in this boxing game,” said Ennis.
It would have happened anyway because Crawford wouldn’t have fought Ennis, even if the IBF hadn’t stripped him. They would have had to do it after Crawford fought Spence in the rematch and still chose not to fight Ennis.
“Like I said. If I get my hands on one of these belts, it’s over with. It’s over now. They might as well pack it up. They got to. You got to get in the ring with me,” said Boots Ennis when asked if the top fighters will have to fight him now that he’s a world champion at 147.
“What’s going to be their excuse now? I’ve got the belt. Come get the belt. What, the belts not important now? We got to see what they’re going to do,” said Ennis.
The fighters that Ennis wants to face, guys like Thurman, Stanionis, Spence, and Crawford, aren’t going to suddenly want to fight him just because he’s holding the IBF title.
Ennis’ best chance of getting fights now that he’s the IBF belt holder is fighters like Giovani Santillan, Alexis Rocha, Barrios, and Rashi Ellis. Those guys aren’t big names, though, so it’s actually not a big deal that Boots is a world champion.
Jaron Ennis reveals his shortlist
“What’s the first fight that is going to matter? It depends on what these guys are going to do. I heard something about [Mario] Barrios. I think they’re trying to throw Barrios at me,” said Ennis.
Considering that Barrios was beaten by the washed Thurman last year, it takes away a lot of the interest there would be from fans in seeing Boots Ennis fight him now.
The only way Ennis would be credited for beating Barrios is if he knocked him out, and even then, fans wouldn’t be impressed because he was stopped by the tiny 5’5″ lightweight Gervonta Davis.
Fans would respect Boots if he went up to 154 & 160 and faced these fighters:
“Anybody. Keith Thurman, Barrios, Stanionis. He’s another guy. Buds [Crawford] still another guy. Spence is another guy, even though Spence is going to 154 or whatever.
“I want to fight the best. I don’t want to fight mediocre competition. I want to fight great guys, people with names. People with names that you know.
“Definitely,” said Boots Ennis when asked if he’s still interested in fighting Crawford despite him getting stripped of his IBF title. “It’s not the way that we wanted it to get the belt. We’d rather take the belt from somebody. It feels better when you take the belt from somebody.”
Crawford might show interest in fighting Boots Ennis in a year or two if he fails to get the mega-money fights against Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo, as those are the two guys that he’s clearly hoping to face.
If Crawford can’t get those guys, he’ll probably turn his attention to Boots if his popularity has increased enough by then to be a viable option.
“The IBF abided by the rules. It was out of my hands,” said Ennis, letting Crawford & his fans know that it’s not his fault that he was elevated to the new champion.