Who Next For Jaron Ennis?

01/08/2023 - By James Slater - Comments

Unbeaten welterweight Jaron Ennis went 12 rounds for the first time in his career with last night’s shut out decision win over a very defensive-minded Karen Chukhadzhian. “Boots” might not have been involved in an exciting fight the way he has always entertained in prior bouts of his, but the plus side, as he and his father/trainer Bozy Ennis said, is the fact that Ennis has now notched up the full 12 rounds. Also, both guys said, the two main targets on Ennis’ radar – Terence Crawford and Errol Spence – might be more willing to fight the 25 year old now.

Ennis, who won the interim IBF welterweight belt with last night’s win and is Spence’s mandatory challenger, spoke at the post-fight press conference, stating how the plan is to fight three times this year. Ennis, 30-0(27) wants Spence and/or Crawford, yet he says he will fight “anyone.” It was reported yesterday how Vergil Ortiz Junior’s scheduled fight with Eimantas Stanionis, which was done for March 18, has been postponed due to Stanionis undergoing surgery for an appendectomy.

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Ennis was asked if he’d like to fight the 19-0(19) Ortiz Jr next.

“The goal is to get three fights this year, and we’d definitely take Vergil Ortiz – it don’t matter who it is,” Ennis said. “It could be Vergil Ortiz, Errol Spence, Bud [Crawford], Keith Thurman, [Yordenis] Ugas. I just want to fight all the top guys, to show the world my talent.”

It will be very interesting to see who “Boots” does fight next. Obviously, the world welterweight titles are Ennis’s main goal, but will either champ, Spence or Crawford, agree to fight him next? An Ennis-Ortiz fight would be a great fight to see, yet what a risky match-up this one would be, for both unbeaten contenders.

It would make more sense for Ennis and Ortiz – for some fans/experts the two future stars of the 147 pound division – to wait until one or both of them has won a legit world title, and then got it on in what could be a massive fight. But Ennis has made it clear he is not looking to dodge anyone, that he wants the top guys as much as he wants to stay active. As has been said before, Ennis is very much an old-school guy in as much as he wants nothing but tough (or potentially tough) fights. Ortiz Jr is pretty much the same way.

In time, it seems Ennis and Ortiz WILL fight, and it could be a classic. But the fight should be allowed to build, or to marinate, as one Hall of Fame promoter might say.

So, who will we see “Boots” step into the ring with next? Personally, if it’s not Crawford, Spence or Ortiz Jr next, I’d like to see Ennis fight Thurman. How about you guys?