Terence Crawford has been stripped of his IBF welterweight title, and interim champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis has been upgraded to the full 147-lb champ with the sanctioning body today.
Crawford couldn’t have defended his IBF title, even if he wanted to, because of his rematch clause with Errol Spence.
However, Crawford had already said he was more interested in being involved in the biggest fights with the remaining time he has in his career, so he wasn’t expected to defend against Boots Ennis or any of his other mandatory challengers for his other three remaining belts at 147.
‘Boots’ Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) had been the IBF mandatory even before Crawford captured the belt from Spence, but he was put on hold.
When Crawford beat Spence last July, he inherited his IBF mandatory obligation of needing to defend against Ennis next. Although Crawford would rather still have the IBF title in his possession for status & negotiating purposes, he’s not expected to defend any of them because he’s moving up to 154 for the likely rematch with Spence and then potential fights against IBF/WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo and WBO champ Tim Bradley.
Fans have been critical of the IBF for stripping Crawford just four months after he captured the belt, but once it was known that he had no intention of defending it against his mandatory Boots Ennis next, they had no choice but to strip him.
In the long run, it’s a better deal for the IBF to have Boots Ennis as their champion than Crawford because he’s younger, fights often, and isn’t just looking to get the biggest possible fights. Boots wants to fight his mandatory challengers and be involved in indication fights.
“I already knew about that from the get-go, but I was waiting for them to put it out to know for sure,” said Derek ‘Bozy’ Ennis to YSM Sports Media, reacting to the news of his son Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis being televised to full IBF welterweight champion status after Terence Crawford was stripped of his belt.
“If they want to fight for the title, they got to get in the ring now, or they’re going to move up. I don’t know what they’re going to do,” said Bozy about whether ‘Boots’ Ennis will be able to get the important fights that have been eluding him.
“But if everybody told me they want to fight for a world title. Now is the time. We got the title now. So you got to fight us now. The logical next step is to defend the title.
“So whoever is next in line, and once we do that, we’re going to move on down and try to get the WBC, try to get the WBA, and try to move on down and clean the division out.
“It’s great because that’s what we wanted to do, but we wanted to fight for it, though. We didn’t want to have someone give it to us, but we got to take it the way we can get it since nobody wanted to fight us for it. So we had to take it.
“I don’t care about them,” said Bozy when asked about the fans who are criticizing Boots Ennis with the way he was upgraded from interim to full IBF welterweight champion outside of the ring without fighting for the belt.
“If you look at our record and see who we’ve been asking to fight, they shouldn’t have anything to say about it, though, because we’ve been wanting to fight Spence for the title when Boots was his mandatory, and the same with Crawford.
“Like I said, they’re [Crawford & Spence] are both great fighters, but they’re doing their thing. They can do what they want to do, but now we’ve got the title. We’re going to defend it against whoever is next.