Boxing

How good is Jaron Ennis? Will ‘Boots’ become pound-for-pound king?

When you look at Jaron “Boots” Ennis go about his business, you can imagine prospective opponents saying to themselves, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you!” The IBF welterweight champion, who takes on David Avanesyan on Saturday, July 13, in Philadelphia, is too good for his own good.

Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) is the complete fighter. Blessed with speed, power, radar-like defense, exemplary technique, and a high ring IQ, the Philly-born lefty is yet to be tested in an eight-year professional career. The only question hanging over him is if he can take a punch.

WATCH: Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis vs. David Avanesyan, exclusively on DAZN

Boots’ next opponent, Avanesyan, can certainly punch his weight. However, the problem facing the Russian-born Armenian will be finding something to hit. The challenger can’t match Ennis in terms of speed and skill, so he’ll pay a heavy price if he gets too ambitious.

Avanesyan’s limitations were ruthlessly exposed by pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford, who stopped him in six rounds in December 2022. The odds are that Ennis will inflict a similar beatdown on the 35-year-old slugger in this homecoming title defense before moving on to bigger things.

The Sporting News takes a deep dive into Jaron “Boots” Ennis’ career.

What was Jaron “Boots” Ennis’ amateur record?

Ennis was 58-3 in the unpaid ranks. In 2015, he won three national championships, including the National Golden Gloves and the Youth National Championships.

Despite winning the Olympic trials, he suffered a razor-thin loss to vastly more experienced Gary Antuanne Russell that derailed Ennis’ plans to compete at Rio 2016. However, the super-skilled youngster turned professional and never looked back.

Did Terence Crawford duck Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis?

After Crawford became the undisputed welterweight champion by stopping Errol Spence Jr. in a superfight, he was ordered to face Ennis, who was the IBF’s mandatory challenger.

However, Crawford, who was installed as pound-for-pound No. 1 after his career-defining win, was contractually obligated to give Spence a rematch, and he also wanted to secure a dream fight against super middleweight king Canelo Alvarez.

Spence would pull out of the rematch and underwent eye surgery earlier this year. In response, Crawford relinquished the IBF championship, and Ennis outclassed Karen Chukhadzhian to win the vacant title.

Crawford makes his debut at super welterweight against WBA champ Israil Madrimov on August 3 in Los Angeles. While it would be harsh to suggest that “Bud” ducked Ennis, he’s in no rush to face him and likely views taking on the unbeaten southpaw as high risk-low reward.

MORE: SN’s Top-12 best pound-for-pound boxers

Will Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis become pound-for-pound No.1?

In a recent Ring Magazine article, “The Bible of Boxing” predicted that Ennis, 27, would become the pound-for-pound king.

You never know what’s around the corner in this sport, but Ennis has all the tools to become the best fighter in the world. He just needs the opportunity to prove it.

Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis’ record, stats, bio

  • Nationality: American
  • Born: June 26, 1997
  • Height: 5-10
  • Reach: 74 inches
  • Total fights: 31
  • Record: 31-0 (28 knockouts)
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