What’s Next for Boots? – A Look at Potential Superstar Jaron Ennis

Jaron Boots Ennis celebrating

A fair amount of time has passed since Jaron “Boots” Ennis(31-0) defeated Roiman Villa(26-2) in imposing fashion. It wasn’t just that he got the win that was impressive. Nor was it just because he was able to send Villa to the canvas. The entire performance was a sight to behold. In almost every aspect of the game a person can see, Boots showed his capabilities, and in many cases spectacularities. But as with every prize fighter that captures the public’s eye, the moment their job is done, speculation will begin as to what the next one will be.

Jaron "Boots" Ennis vs Roiman Villa Photos

We already know exactly what the top 2 guys in the division, Bud and Spence, are going to be up to. For anyone who doesn’t, welcome back to the surface, and they’ll be deciding who becomes the first male undisputed welterweight in the 4 belt era on July 29th. There being a rematch clause has been no secret, so they’ll likely be tied up with each other for a good while. Boots has already done well for himself in securing the IBF interim world title that secures his spot at the very top of the list of mandatory challengers once undisputed has been decided.

There is another undefeated contender waiting at the top of that list. Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis (14-0) defeated Rhadzab Butaev(14-1) to acquire the WBA world title in early 2022. Since then he has been thrice scheduled and unscheduled to fight mandatory, Virgil Ortiz jr. (19-0). The last time being scheduled for the same night as Ennis’ victory over Villa, July 8th, but was pulled for safety reasons as Ortiz had feinted in the days before the fight was to take place. In the aftermath of the cancellation, the WBA dropped Ortiz as the mandatory, thus giving Stanionis an opportunity to search for his next opponent. Asking anyone to voluntarily reckon with a fighter like Boots is a tall order, but it would appear that Eimantas doesn’t need to be asked at all. In multiple interviews both have stated explicitly their desire to meet each other in the ring. Two young, undefeated, and aggressive contenders jockeying for the better position in the weight class is always going to be an interesting match-up. The stakes are high as losing your spot in the rankings could set you back quite a ways from being a champion, as well as taking your first defeat could, at least temporarily, derail your careers trajectory.


Another option for Ennis could be the winner of the recently announced bout between Keith Thurman(30-1) and Yordenis Ugas(27-5). This is a great match-up in and of itself and is no doubt going to be worthy of excitement. In regard to Boots, both Thurman and Ugas are former champions at welterweight. Both have shared the ring with the best the division has had to offer, even sharing some opponents including Manny Pacquiao and Shawn Porter. Either name would look great on a resume and likely thrust the young star, Boots, further into the spotlight. The only difficulty is that he would have to beat them. While neither Thurman nor Ugas are widely considered to be in their physical primes, I don’t believe there to be a single welterweight that would have an easy time getting a win over either of them. Of course things could always change depending on how things go between them.

Of course there is a litany of other fights to choose from. Alexis Rocha(23-1) has been on a 7 fight win-streak since his only loss to Rashidi Ellis(24-1), another viable and interesting opponent, in 2020. Cody Crowley(22-0) is yet another young and undefeated welterweight who has been making a name for himself with a string of good wins. Blair Cobbs(16-1) has proven to be a fun match for anyone. “Mean Machine” Egidijus Kavaliauskas(23-2) is a game and dangerous opponent, having only lost to Crawford and Ortiz. Newcomer to the division and former 140 lb title-holder, Mario Barrios(27-2) has never been in a boring fight.

Any of these boxers, as well as many others I have failed to name thus far, would make a good opponent for Boots Ennis’ next outing. Some could thrust him even closer to his goal of being a belt holder, some could garner him even more attention and fans. And because the electricity of Jaron “Boots” Ennis would be in the ring across from them, all would be a virtual guarantee of fun and fireworks for the spectator. However, we have to recognize that his career is his own to manage. The fighters and people we admire don’t owe us anything for that admiration. That was earned with what they have already given us. It’s an entertaining exercise to speculate on the future, especially for someone so young and so obviously talented. That’s exactly what this is though, an entertaining exercise. Not much more. Not much less.




Dallas Owens

More Fight News