IBF Mandate Throws Wrench Into ‘Boots’ Ennis’ Plans, Ordered to Face Cody Crowley

By Robbie Bannatyne - 02/17/2024 - Comments

The IBF has ordered Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis to defend against his mandatory, Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) next.  That isn’t the fight that Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) hoped to get against Terence Crawford. The Ennis vs. Crowley fight is being eyed for Canelo Alvarez’s undercard on May 4th, per Chris Mannix.

According to BoxingScene, the IBF mandated that the negotiations start on January 31st, with the deadline for the fight by March 28th. That’s not much time, obviously, but not for Ennis. He’s a fighter that is always training.

Crowley’s Big Break

The Canadian Crowley is ranked #3 and hasn’t fought since March of last year. Recent wins over Abel Ramos, Josesito López, and Kudratillo Abdukakhorov. It will be a big step for Crowley to take on the 26-year-old Boots from the guys he’s been facing during his 10-year professional career.

The IBF already ordered a title eliminator between Karen Chukhadzhian and Harry Scarff. If it happens, the winner of that fight will come after Ennis vs. Crowley.

Crowley lacks punching power, and he’ll have a tough time going up against Boots, especially with him coming off a long layoff. It’s not ideal for Crowley, but he’s not getting any younger and can’t afford to say no to the title shot. He’s not ranked high with the other sanctioning bodies, so this might be as good as it gets.

Consequences of Evasion

If Boots Ennis ignores the order by the IBF to face Crowley, he’ll likely be stripped of his title and will return to his former contender status. That’s not good, especially given that the top contenders in the welterweight division are seemingly avoiding him.

Ennis isn’t going to try and avoid defending against Crowley, as he’ll be a huge favorite, and it’ll be another one of his easy mismatch-level fights. The real negative for Ennis fighting a no-name like Crowley is that it won’t interest boxing fans in the U.S. and will do much to increase his popularity.

Ennis and his dad thought that they would have no problems getting into fights once they picked up a world title, but that hasn’t been the case. None of the top fighters want to face Boots, and you can imagine it would be even worse for him if he loses his IBF title.