Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is now the IBF welterweight world champion.
A surprise came Thursday afternoon as the new IBF rankings noted Ennis as the welterweight champion, and not the previously undisputed welterweight champion, Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford.
The news means Crawford's reign as the IBF welterweight champion has come to an end, as it appears the 36-year-old world champion has been stripped of one of the four world title belts he won when he stopped Errol Spence Jr in July of this year. Crawford had the opportunity to keep his IBF world title but is currently locked into a rematch with Errol Spence Jr. though public knowledge and updates on that fight are at a standstill.
Many have doubted that Crawford will even compete at welterweight again unless it is to antagonize Spence Jr in a rematch and force Spence to make the welterweight limit again for the fight as Spence Jr has remarked he wants to move up in weight. This news puts a clock on other world title organizations' mandatory title defenses. As we saw with Josh Taylor, who became an undisputed junior welterweight world champion against Jose Ramirez in 2021, injuries and inactivity saw him have all, but one belt after one undisputed title defense due to mandatories he couldn't fulfill for one reason or another.
It is uncertain whether Crawford gave the IBF notice of his intentions to vacate the title, but Ennis has been waiting since January as the IBF interim champion/mandatory challenger and has not been able to secure a fight with the IBF champion. The rematch clause further muddied the situation, as Ennis had to wait for that to be resolved.
Ennis, who is 26-years-old, and boasts one of the most impressive records in the sport of boxing with 31 wins, zero defeats, and 28 wins by way of knockout, now has achieved his lifelong dream of being a world champion. Ennis won the interim title over Karen Chukhadzhian in January and made a defense of his interim world title against Roiman Villa in July.