Terence Crawford got some bad news on Thursday with the IBF stripping him of his 147-lb title, removing his undisputed welterweight championship status, and elevating Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis to the new champion.
The IBF wanted Crawford to defend against his mandatory Boots, but because of his contract obligations to Errol Spence Jr., he couldn’t.
Crawford’s fans are furious about the demotion, as they think he should have been able to keep the IBF title for as long as he’d like, even though he had no plans of defending it.
He’d already said that he only wanted the big fights, so clearly had no plans on defending his IBF 147-lb belt against Boots. If the IBF hadn’t made this move, Crawford would have likely kept the belt without making any defenses. In other words, the IBF strap would be like a status thing.
Crawford hasn’t made a statement about whether he’ll choose to fight Jaron Ennis to attempt to regain his IBF title after his rematch with Spence.
It’s a safe bet that Crawford won’t take the fight with Ennis because that’s hard work, and the money likely wouldn’t be as good as he’d get fighting Jermell Charlo or Canelo Alvarez.
The 36-year-old Crawford had been informed after his win over Errol Spence Jr. last July that he would need to defend the IBF belt against mandatory Boots Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs). The International Boxing Federation doesn’t acknowledge rematch clauses as an excuse to bypass mandatory commitments, so Crawford had no choice in the matter.
If Crawford wants to recapture his IBF belt, he can return to the 147-lb division to face champion Boots Ennis after he faces Spence in their rematch in early 2024. Assuming Crawford doesn’t wish to go in that direction, he and his fans will have to accept that he’s an ex-IBF champion.
This is a good move for the IBF to have the 26-year-old Boots Ennis take over as their new champion because he’ll likely defend it two to three times a year against welterweight contenders.
“Congratulations to Team Ennis and everybody. It’s about f***ing time,” said strength & conditioning coach Rob Acosta to YSM Sports Media, reacting to Crawford being stripped of his IBF title and Boots Ennis being elevated to new champion.
“It was bound to happen. Crawford wasn’t going to fight Boots. He already said it was a lose-lose situation. So, in his head already, he wasn’t going to do it. So give it up, let the man [Ennis] take over, and welcome to the new face of boxing.
“At 147 should be where he wants to be. Now, he [Boots Ennis] gets all the real fights that he wants and everything that he’s looking for. We’ll see how that should go.
“F**k them,” said Acosta when asked about his reaction to fans saying that Crawford shouldn’t have been stripped and that Boots is an ’email champion.’ “Y’all didn’t say that about Lomachenko when that happened to him.
“Y’all didn’t say it to other world champions. They just have this animosity towards Boots because of Crawford’s recent performance. You know how they always that you’re only as good as your last performance?
“You’ll never hear nobody bring up any of his [Crawford] past fights. It’s only with Spence because he did such a great performance. That’s what the rules are, and that’s what happened. He got moved up to world champion, and now he’s currently the IBF world title holder. Now if you’re really feeling froggy, jump and try to take the belt from him [Boots Ennis].
“It’s pretty cool,” said Acostra about the maturation process about Ennis. “What thing I can say about the team? It was a great experience to see Boots progress from a teenager up until who he is now. The transition was amazing, and his maturity was amazing his chemistry, IQ.
“The kid was bound to be a world champion. Back when Boots and I was in Puerto Rico in 2014, we talked about it, and look now. It’s almost ten years later. He reached a great goal, so it’s a beautiful thing for him, and to see the accomplishment happen is also amazing,” said Acosta about Ennis.