Jaron “Boots” Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs) scored an explosive first-round knockout over former title challenger Thomas Dulorme (25-6-1, 16 KOs), the 12th first-round knockout of Ennis’ young career.
“It was a good knockout,” said Ennis. “You know me, I wanted to show my skills and abilities. I’m just thankful for this opportunity. Now it’s on to the next. Let’s get the big names.”
With the dominating performance, the Philadelphia-native Ennis became the first fighter to stop the durable Dulorme since Terence Crawford accomplished the feat in 2015. Ennis found his opening with a big overhand right that caught Dulorme and sent him down for the first knockdown.
“We got it early, that’s OK by me,” said Ennis. “We don’t get paid for overtime. I knew it was over after that first knockdown. I just had to take my time and not rush anything. Everything I did today we worked on in the gym.
Dulorme was able to get to his feet, and tried to turn the tide throwing big power punches after the knockdown, but was quickly met with a punishing one-two punctuated by a right hook that sent him down again. Dulorme was unable to beat the count as referee Mike Ortega halted the fight just 1:49 into the round.
“I’ve been ready for a world title two years ago,” said Ennis. “I want the top guys: Errol Spence Jr., Yordenis Ugas, Shawn Porter, Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman. I’m ranked No. 3 in the IBF, so Errol Spence Jr. is who I want next.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, lightweight contender Michel Rivera (22-0, 14 KOs) remained unbeaten, cruising to a unanimous decision victory over Argentina’s Matias Romero (24-2, 8 KOs) after 10 rounds of action.
Rivera and Romero train out of the same gym in Miami and share a promoter, bringing an unusual amount of familiarity into the showdown. Despite that, Rivera insisted post fight that his focus was solely on continuing his promising career ascension.
“I really don’t have beef with anybody,” said Rivera. “I’m just fighting to be great in boxing. He took the fight because he knows me and he needs the money. I said no to this fight at first. He took it. It’s finished now and we both move on.”
The 23-year-old Rivera controlled the fight with a dominating jab as he landed 104 to Romero’s 17. Romero looked to circle Rivera in the early rounds as he tried to keep Rivera from planting his feet and landing power punches.
“I just had trouble getting to the right distance,” said Romero. “He was hitting me with the jab and I just couldn’t reach him. I wanted to counter but I couldn’t get there fast enough. I tried to engage but he really didn’t want to. He beat me fair and square. He didn’t bring anything I haven’t seen before but he did a good job.”
As the fight wore on, Rivera was able to find more places for those power punches to land, including 47 body shots that slowed any attack Romero was able to put together. Overall, Rivera out landed Romero 202 to 106, on his way to a unanimous decision by the score of 100-90 three times.
Despite dominating the fight, Rivera believes he has room for improvement in his performance.
“Well, really I did everything I could,” said Rivera. “I don’t feel good about my performance. I know that I can be a lot better than I showed tonight. Of course I can improve and get some more experience. I’m No. 2 in the WBA so I think I’m just waiting for a world title shot.”
Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will replay on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET/PT and Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.
Veteran sportscaster Brian Custer hosted the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast while versatile combat sports voice Mauro Ranallo handles the blow-by-blow action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares. Three Hall of Famers rounded out the telecast team: Emmy-Award winning event announcer Jim Gray, boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial scorer and world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. The executive producer is four-time Emmy® award winner David Dinkins, Jr. Ray Smaltz III is the producer and the director is Bob Dunphy, son of legendary Hall of Famer Don Dunphy. Alejandro Luna and former two-time super bantamweight world champion Israel Vazquez served as expert analysts in Spanish on Secondary Audio Programming (SAP).