Jaron “Boots” Ennis moved a step closer to a place of higher prominence and profile in holding on to his interim IBF Welterweight Title, scoring a 10th-round TKO victory over Venezuela’s Roiman Villa in the SHOWTIME main event Saturday night from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. in an event offered by Premier Boxing Champions.
Check out the left-right combo courtesy Ennis on Villa which ended the fight.
Boots graded himself after. “My performance was good, I could have listened to my corner a little more,” said Ennis.
The stoppage came 1:27 into the 10th round.
“My dad wanted me to throw more body shots and give him more angles and not stand in front of him. I was getting hit with shots I wasn’t supposed to get hit with. I appreciate Villa taking this fight. Hats off to him and his family. I appreciate him for coming in and being a warrior,” the winner said.
The Philly native is now 31-0, 28 KOs.
Villa (26-2, 24 KOs) showed grit, but his skill set isn’t in Boots’ league.
“I was breaking him down and I came out victorious,” said Ennis. “I knew he was a tough kid. I just had to be smart and take my time and keep touching and touching and eventually I was going to get him. I was setting him up.” He was; officials looked hard at the loser after he absorbed punishment in 7 and 8.
Ennis closed the show in round 10, landing a nasty one-two that prompted referee David Fields to end it.
“I hit him with a big left hand and I knew he was going down,” said Ennis. “So I was waiting for the left shot and I threw a hook and I knew he was going so I just threw one more and that was it. I knew they were going to stop it.”
Ennis dominated the CompuBox stats, ahead 164 to 57 edge in power shots.
“I want the winner of Errol Spence and Terence Crawford,” said Ennis. “Let’s make it happen. I’ll take on Eimantas Stanionis in a heartbeat. I want to get into the ring one more time before the end of the year to make it three fights. Stanionis, Keith Thurman, Yordenis Ugas, all the top guys out there. Let’s make these fights happen.”
In the co-main middleweight Marquis Taylor (15-1-2, 1 KO) nabbed a unanimous decision (99-90, 96-93 twice) over Cuba’s Yoelvis Gomez (6-1, 5 KOs).
“This is what I wanted to do my whole life,” said Taylor. It took me a long time and a lot of battles to make it here. But it was all worth it. I proved to myself that I can be in here with anyone and overcome and prevail. This is my second weight class in nine months. I proved it to myself. It’s not about the weight. It’s about skill and hard work and trusting my team.”
“I was working inside and staying close and boom,” said Taylor. “Luckily when he threw his shot he kind of fell off balance and I helped him.”
“I lost my balance when I hit the canvas,” said Gomez. “He threw his punch trying to see if it landed and I got caught. I hurt him too, but I couldn’t take him down.”
“At first I’m not going to lie, at the beginning of the fight it was hard because he’s really strong,” said Taylor. “He was doing what he’s supposed to do and that’s use his weight and push me down, so I had to get into his midsection and break him down, so I started tapping that belly and pushing in.”
“I’m frustrated,” said Gomez. “The ref kept getting in the way and wouldn’t let me work in the range I wanted, which was short distance and making Taylor feel me. This is professional boxing, it’s not too much to ask for him to let me go do my job. I’m gonna keep working hard and come back even better. You can count on that.”
Taylor held a 160 to 120 advantage in punches landed over the course of the fray.
“We’re fighting at 154 and 160 to keep the window of opportunity as wide as possible,” said Taylor. “Right now we’re calling myself a two-weight division fighter. I’d fight Tim Tszyu because he’s not getting that Jermell Charlo fight. I would like to fight him or anyone in the top five or top 10. It’s time for me to fight the best.”
In the opener, lightweight Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) earned a UD over Joseph Adorno (17-3-2, 14 KOs) after 10 rounds.
The scores: 100-90 twice and 99-91.
“We came prepared to show our boxing skills in this fight tonight and that’s exactly what we did,” said De Los Santos. “The game plan was to keep him at bay and to box him all night and to counter him when he pressed the attack. I wanted to show the boxing world that I have boxing ability. I’m not just a big puncher. I’m a boxer also.”
“The strategy was to box him, but he's a southpaw and he was hard to figure out,” said Adorno. “He's the best southpaw I've faced. He was well-prepared and knew how to manage the ring.”
The Dominican Republican spoke after.
“I can’t tell you all the tricks we did in training,” said De Los Santos. “But we did a lot of hills, climbing, swimming, a lot of boxing, sparring. Again, I don’t want to reveal all of the secrets but that’s some of what was done for this fight.”
“Moving down in weight did play into my performance a little, but I really don't want to make any excuses,” said Adorno, who’s previous four fights came at 140-pounds. “I shouldn't have taken this fight right away, I should have fought at 137-pounds first. It is what it is though, he was the better man. He did his job.”
“I have to just talk to my promoter about what’s next, but I’ll take care of anyone at 135,” said De Los Santos. “I have the potential to be more disciplined and show my boxing skills even more.”
Prior to the telecast, the SHOWTIME BOXING COUNTDOWN streamed live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page. 2020 Dominican Olympian Euri Cedeño (5-0, 5 KOs) beat William Townsel (5-1, 4 KOs) after referee Eric Dali waived off the action 1:41 into the first round. Also, heavyweight Steven “XXL” Torres (6-0-1, 6 KOs) scored a third-round stoppage over James Evans (6-1-1, 6 KOs).
The super welterweight prospect Dwyke Flemmings (4-0, 4 KOs) stopped Henry Rivera (2-1, 1 KO) in round 3.
Brian Custer hosted the telecast, Mauro Ranallo handled the blow-by-blow action with Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares.
Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will replay on SHOWTIME EXTREME® on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET/PT and on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The event was promoted by TGB Promotions. The Ennis vs. Villa fight was promoted in association with D&D Boxing and Sampson Boxing.