This weekend while Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño rematch to crown the undisputed champion at 154lbs, the co-main event features boxing’s newest sensation, Jaron “Boots” Ennis.
Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs, 1 NC) is a Philadelphia native that hails from the Germantown section and a family of fighters, namely his father and two brothers. Now the top welterweight prospect is looking to get one step closer this weekend to his dream of becoming a world champion and then a multi-weight class world champion, similar to Canelo Alvarez, but starting in boxing’s elite welterweight division.
Who Is “Boots”?
“I feel like it’s going to happen very, very soon,” Ennis said exclusively during the “PRITTY Left Hook” podcast. “I feel like I’m going to get all the belts at 147 [pounds], then go to 154 [pounds], then 160 [pounds] and maybe 175 [pounds], if I can get up there. I been saying it though, so it’s kind of my own route, he [Alvarez] just got there before me.”
Ennis recently signed a multi-fight deal directly with boxing premium cable network Showtime. Although he has been featured on cards for Premier Boxing Champions on the network, Ennis is the rare prospect that has an individual television deal for his combat services.
In short, the network feels he can become a future pay-per-view darling and is getting in the “Boots” business early. It follows a trend of other young fighters like Devin “The Dream” Haney. They are sidestepping the traditional promoter shepherding and establishing their brand directly with broadcast distributors.
The New Boxer-Businessman
“I feel like we definitely making our own lane doing our own thing. Everybody got their own way, everybody got there own paths and we’re all doing our thing right now.”
Ennis faces Canadian Custio Clayton (19-0-1), who shares a past opponent in former world champion Sergey Lipinets with Ennis. However, for “Boots,” it’s just another chance to display his particular brand of boxing magic.
“I let my team, my dad and my brothers and the rest of my team do all that. I don’t watch tape at all on the people that I fight. I just know we have a common opponent, we both fought Sergey Lipinets, and that’s about it.
“I feel like I’m getting better each and every day, and I feel like May 14th I’m going to show something special. They just got to tune in on May 14th. I can’t wait, I’m excited.”
Meet The Boogeyman
Ennis is in a rare position as a young boogeyman in a division where undisputed matchups are beginning to manifest often. With unified welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford circling each other in hopes of a showdown, Ennis is patiently waiting on the other end.
Boots is not feeling the narrative that his style is similar to Crawford’s. However, both fighters can switch from orthodox to southpaw.
“It’s a great fight [between] two great fighters. 50-50 fight for me,” said Ennis. “I feel like we don’t know who’s going to win until they step in the ring. We are going to see who’s the better man on fight night, and we all will be waiting for that night.
“I feel like I got my own style. I feel like people only say that because we can both switch back and forth, but when I switch, I’m naturally gifted on both sides, and I really can stay right-handed for a whole fight and be comfortable, and I feel like my abilities are different.
“My skill sets is different. I feel like i’m smarter, stronger, faster, but people compare us I guess because we switch but I feel like our styles are not similar at all.”
However, both Crawford and Spence have floated the idea of going up to 154 pounds. The question remains whether Boots will be able to see them at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds or be in a different landscape after they finally fight each other.
“Nine times out of ten it’s probably going to be a vacant belt but I rather take a belt from somebody,” said Ennis. “It feels better when you take it from somebody. So whoever win out of them — and hopefully one of them stays — if not, I guess I’ll be one of the vacant belt [holders]. But if they stay I’ll be taking all the belts. It don’t matter, they both good fighters, but it don’t matter who it is, I’m ready. I’ve been ready.”
Ennis is part of boxing’s newest generation with different options for success like streaming services, social media campaigning, and more. However, Ennis is still taking his career cues from the past greats. He knows it will take a marquee opponent to increase the angle of his upward trajectory.
“I’d say Floyd [Mayweather Jr.] and Roy [Jones Jr.] mixed together because, you know, Roy jumped all them weight classes, and Floyd [did] too. The way they came up, jumping weight classes and winning all the belts.
“After we handle business on May 14th and I do my thing and come home victorious, I definitely feel like it’s a big name next. I feel like the only way is up, and it’s definitely going to be a big name next; I just don’t know who.
“I feel like its coming. Once I get one of these big names in here, then I can see. Right now I wouldn’t get no credt fighting the guys that I’m fighting now. We’ll see when I get one of those names like Keith Thurman, Errol Spence or Terence Crawford, the top guys.”
Just Another Step
Boots is already the name at the top of everyone’s list of who has next in the spotlight. As the co-main event this weekend, it is another steppingstone for Ennis to recharge a sport that is feeling the blessing of a hungry new roster and audience.
“May 14th I will be successful because I’m just ready. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, having fun putting on a beautiful show and getting that knockout at the end of the night. Being smart and pulling out some new tricks for this fight.”