In the boxing world, if you are a fighter coming out of Philadelphia, PA, there is a certain level of pride that comes with that, and you can see and hear it within the fighters.
Legendary fighters like the great Joe Frazier and in recent years Bernard Hopkins, paved the way for these young men and women to continue to have that sense of pride coming out of Philly.
The welterweight division has a ton of talent, there are the top of the heap guys, the acknowledged A siders who've been getting it done in main events. And there are a few fighters looking to get to that place, and getting real close to that level; one of them is 23 year old Jaron “Boots” Ennis (25-0 with 23 KOs), from Philly.
Ennis had an impressive amateur career which saw him win a silver and gold medal at the U. S National Golden Gloves in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Ennis ended up debuting as a pro in 2016 and had an impressive eight fights that year. The following year, he would get in the ring nine times and continue to impress his local fan base while hitting the radar of the boxing media.
While 2018 only saw him fight five times, the quality and experience of his opponents kept increasing as his promoter, Cameron Dunkin for Now Boxing Promotions, wanted to see what he really had with Jaron.
Last year, the buzz started to pick up steam and Jaron was only able to get in the ring twice, as fighters were alerted to his skill set, and he had a harder time getting fights. Also, management/contractual matters presented themselves to Ennis, so he spent some time dealing with those matters. Ennis started fighting higher and higher on Showtime cards, though, and fans started to understand his progression and how much of a problem he was going to be in the future.
2020 was going to be the year that Jaron Ennis crossed over and hit all radars. Showtime started the year off by placing Ennis in the co-main event slot to test the waters and see if he could appeal to a wider main-stream audience.
Let's take a quick look at some pros and cons when discussing the young fighter out of Philly.
Pros: When it comes to Jaron “Boots” Ennis, it’s all about one word–that’s speed.
Speed kills and in the case of Ennis, it has led to plenty of knockout victories. He has cobra-like reflexes and reminds me of a young Roy Jones Jr. and how Jones was able to create opportunities because of his hand speed. Along with that, Ennis has big punching power and will give plenty of welterweights a ton of problems for years to come. He also has the ability to switch from orthodox to southpaw throughout a fight, which makes it hard for his opponents to prepare for a fight.
Cons: There isn’t much you can say that Ennis does wrong in the ring other than that he tends to leave his lead hands too low at times. Although that isn’t an huge issue right now, when he starts fighting those next-level guys who have the ability to counter and time him, that has the potential of making things problematic for the young Philly native. The biggest question is going to be whether he can take those punches from the next level guys when they do time him with counters.
Leading up to a Saturday scrap, against 33 year old Juan Carlos Abreu (23-5-1 with 21 KOs; from Dominican Republic), Ennis had this to say: “I'm getting better every single day, sharper every single day, and smarter every single day during training camp.”
When asked about his opponent, Ennis then said, “I don't know much about my opponent, but not too many guys have been able to withstand my power and I don't expect this to be any different. I'm just focused on myself, preparing so I can go into the ring, have fun, look phenomenal for everybody tuning in on SHOWTIME and come out victorious.”
My Three Cents: Jaron “Boots” Ennis has everything you are looking for when you are searching for boxing’s next potential star in the welterweight division. His speed and talent will springboard him to the top five for every title in 2021 and maybe by the end of next year, we see him in a title eliminator. So when the question is asked whether he is overhyped or the real deal, I would answer that by saying he is the latter and Saturday night, the boxing world will say the same.