Instead of celebrating his 26th professional win which he hopes to do ideally in August, Jaron Ennis will be commemorating his 23rd birthday today.

The established amateur who hails out of Philadelphia has been setting off alarm bells to his welterweight division ever since he debuted in April of 2016. Having now broken into the top 15, “Boots” radiates an unshakeable confidence and looks like he’s only just getting started.

Regarding high-level competition, Jaron Ennis is in fact only just getting started, as he has been displaying on Showtime’s main events why he was the 2015 Golden Gloves Gold Medallist against subpar opponents.

The step-up in opposition is likely to come soon though, as long as he maintains his ambition to fight the best which has been apparent since his verbal demolition job of the Welterweight champions in interviews. Ennis has made a name for himself and has his fans pleading for matchups with top contenders such as fellow prospect Vergil Ortiz jr and veteran Yordenis Ugas.

Ennis’ preeminent manager Cameron Dunkin believes he will go all the way and could beat current WBO champion Terence Crawford. “He’s the best fighter I’ve ever signed – bar none,” Dunkin said on Ennis. “Including Crawford, including [Nonito] Donaire, including [Mikey] Garcia, Diego Corrales, Timothy Bradley. I can go on and on. I’ve had 35 world champions, but no one like this, not even close.”

Boots is surrounded by a boxing-oriented family who can give him direction as a pro thanks to his two retired brothers who both won regional titles before their younger sibling. His father, Derek ‘Bozy’ Ennis is at the forefront of the team as his trainer. They are yet to get a breakthrough fight that puts the prodigy in the eye of the ‘casual’ boxing fan. But he has a whole career ahead of him so it is pointless to move so hastily in his fourth year as a pro.

One thing the Philly born boxer does with urgency though is finishing his opponents. His last 15 outings haven’t even made it to half the distance as his sharpness and precision which was well-tuned throughout the amateur levels have been used to drop his rivals and get him the victory early on.

Ennis’ amateur career was very decorated. He went from strength to strength, finishing as a Silver Medallist in the 2014 Golden Gloves competition to a four-time national champion the following year. This impressive streak had him selected as an alternate for the 2016 U.S Olympic squad. But, as an 18-year-old, he opted to roll the dice and enter the paid game instead.

There was a bogeyman in Ennis’ way during his time as a novice though as his only three losses came at the hands of Gary Antuanne Russell, the younger yet bigger brother of the WBC featherweight champion who shares his same name.

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This was but a scratch on a highly respectable career and since becoming a top welterweight prospect he seems to have shrugged the losses off and stayed on track to being recognized as a serious world title contender.

What brings him on this path and sells him to even the hardest of buyers in hardcore fans is his slick and successful style of boxing. While heavy on his lead leg, Jaron Ennis is forever light on his feet allowing him to jump in and out of exchanges with his opponents successively. He contains ridiculous power in both hands hence his 92% knockout percentage. His defensive grace is reminiscent of one of the best in Pernell Whittaker as his ring awareness is something to behold.

The now 23-year-old is highly regarded in other departments of his game too such as his combination work to the body and head in addition to his advancing ability of switch-hitting – which the WBO champion of his division, Terence Crawford, has proved is a useful tool to have in your arsenal.

Ennis is keen to fight the best in the division but acknowledged he is the avoided man, “I know it’s gonna be hard to get the fights I want because a lot of guys don’t wanna fight me. It’s because of my style. I fight from both sides. I’m strong. I’m fast. I’ve got a good defense. I’ve got everything. So, it’s gonna be hard for them to find a way to beat me. It’s gonna hard to get the fights, but it’s gonna happen. I’m gonna keep winning until there’s a point where they have to fight me because I’ll be right there.”

The average age of retirement for a boxer is 37. Going off of this, Boots has another 14 years and undoubtedly in that time, he will put his skills on show to the whole world and let them know who he is.

Happy Birthday, Champ!


Max Taylor articles
Photography – Rosie Cohe


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