Attention welterweight division: You can run, but you can’t hide.
That’s the message Jaron Ennis sent Saturday night at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Sure, Keith Thurman can pretend like he doesn’t know who Ennis is, and Errol Spence may really believe that Ennis isn’t ready.
But word is getting out that “Boots” Ennis is a problem after his emphatic first-round TKO victory against Thomas Dulorme. The fight was stopped with one minute, 12 seconds left in the first round. Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs) fought orthodox and southpaw and had knockdowns from each stance. A three-punch combination with a straight left hand was the final blow.
“It was a good knockout, but you know me; I want to show my skills and my ability, but I couldn’t,” Ennis said in his post-fight interview.
Ennis has made it clear he wants the top guys. In recent years, it has felt like the 24-year-old Philly native had to pay his dues and wait his turn. He won’t be waiting much longer.
None of his recent opponents will wow critics, but they are all guys who current champions have fought. The fact that Ennis has looked as good or better against those common opponents is a statement.
Dulorme (25-6-1 16 KOs) was stopped by Terence Crawford in the sixth round and went the distance with Jamal James and Yordenis Ugás. James was defeated by Radzhab Butaev via ninth round TKO in Saturday’s main event.
Ennis likes to stay active. He will be back in the gym next week helping out his father, Derrick “Bozy” Ennis, who is also his trainer. Since this was a first-round knockout, don’t expect a long layoff.
A title shot in 2022 has been the goal for Boots. With the way he’s looking, the current champions may not give him that chance until he’s mandatory.
Another fight against a more credible opponent could be next. Kudratillo Abdukakhorov would be the ideal fight for an IBF eliminator on the path to Spence, who Ennis singled out in his post-fight interview. David Avanesyan fought earlier this month and would test out Ennis’ chin like no fighter before. He was hit clean by a overhand right from Dulorme, but it had little impact.
Neither of those names were mentioned by Ennis after his fight. He called out Spence, Crawford, Ugás, Thurman and Shawn Porter.
All signs point toward that chance happening in 2022.
“I been ready two years ago,” Ennis said. “Let’s line them up, the top five guys.”