For quite some time now, Jaron “Boots” Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs, 1 NC) has been pegged as a future champion, but last Saturday, the 23-year-old provided an even clearer picture of just how bright his future might be.
Taking on the toughest test of his career in former 140-pound titleholder Sergey Lipinets, Ennis shined, scoring a vicious sixth-round knockout victory in the Showtime Championship Boxing main event and establishing himself as a legitimate Welterweight contender.
Moving forward, Ennis certainly has his sights set on a world title fight, but the Philadelphia native has also acknowledged the fact that it may not be easy to get the belt holders at 147 pounds to agree to fight him at the moment.
“I think I might have to be a mandatory challenger for one of the world champions for them to pick me,” Ennis said (via Boxing Scene). “But until then, I’m gonna keep working my way up to the world title and, you know, keep trying to fight the best fighters that’s out, or that’s available at the moment.”
Currently, Ennis is ranked seventh by the IBO, ninth by the IBF, and 12th by the WBC. He isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the WBA. Aside from not being a mandatory challenger, the current group of Welterweight champions seem to have their next moves lined up, which could also make it more difficult for Boots to land a title shot.
For example, IBF and WBC champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas are expected to meet later this year. WBO champion Terence Crawford, meanwhile, doesn’t have his next fight booked yet, but he has been rumored to be in discussions with Manny Pacquiao for a potential fight.
That would mean Ennis will likely have to wait for his chance to challenge one of the aforementioned champions. Still, the division’s current landscape hasn’t stopped Ennis from believing he’ll reach the pinnacle sooner rather than later.
“My goal is to keep getting better, sharper, faster and stronger so I can become world champion,” Ennis said. “As long as I keep fighting top guys, I’m happy. I feel like I will be world champion by the end of this year or beginning of next year. Patience is the key though.”
Regardless of when that opportunity comes, there’s no denying that Ennis is ready to take on the best the division has to offer. After all, Lipinets represented a step up in class for Ennis, and he passed that test with flying colors.
Now it’s on to “bigger and better” things for Boots.
“I think I graduated tonight,” he said. “It’s on the up and up now. It’s onto bigger and better fights now.”