What is next for Boots Ennis? Keith Thurman or Stanionis?

We haven’t been this excited about a young welterweight in some time, as Jaron “Boots” Ennis looks to be boxing’s next breakout star. A flashy-style combined with highlight reel knockout performances have Ennis as one of the emerging stars in the sport of boxing. 

This past weekend, Jaron Ennis stopped Roiman Villa, who earned a shot at Ennis’ IBF interim welterweight title by defeating Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis but quickly made the fight look like a mismatch. Ennis was even willing to fight Villa on the inside, which seemed counterintuitive to what might be his best path to victory. That seemed to be to prove a point. Ennis wanted the world to know he will beat someone at their own game. 

With all four world titles being contested on July 29th, when the WBO welterweight world champion, Terence Crawford faces the WBA, WBC, and IBF welterweight world champion, Errol Spence Jr., it is quite clear that Ennis is the leader of the next wave of welterweight at this point. 

So what is next?

Keith Thurman. 

The quick answer is we are hearing some rumblings that despite a strong rumor that Keith Thurman could fight Yordenis Ugas, Ennis might be able to leverage that fight if things work out the right way. Thurman was eight years ago the best welterweight after Floyd Mayweather, the issue with Thurman has been injuries and inactivity. After beating Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, Thurman didn’t fight much. Add to it, that he lost to Manny Pacquiao - and then took another hiatus before facing Mario Barrios. 

Thurman’s career should be that of a hall-of-famer, but he simply took such long breaks that the sport of boxing dramatically changed with each fight he had. To make matters worse…Thurman’s match-ups are not always the most compelling, case and point when he returned against Josesito Lopez. 

Ennis has been calling out Thurman for some time, and this would be an interesting fight as Thurman truly has yet to face the younger generation since finding himself at the top of the welterweight division. Given Thurman’s inactivity, he is also very underrated for where he sits in the division, as Thurman has good movement and a ton of power hence his nickname, ‘One-Time’, which references his ability to land one punch and stop his opponent. 

Other options

Eimantas Stanionis 

Stanionis just lost out on a big fight with Vergil Ortiz Jr., so why not make the fight between Boots Ennis and Stanionis as it would be a big fight for both fighters and an opportunity for one to make a statement on the world level. 

Stanionis is one of the most underrated fighters in the world right now and if Ennis could beat him in a definitive manner - it would further the excitement and expectation around his career. 

The fight makes perfect sense. 

Cody Crowley

Crowley is coming off an exciting fight with Abel Ramos and has said that he wants to fight a lot. Sadly for Crowley, the fight dates have not been plentiful for him. Crowley is a blue-collar grinder who can outwork just about anyone in the sport of boxing. 

Though not as sexy on paper as a Thurman or Stanionis fight - it is a good one. Crowley is a fighter who comes to fight and is never going down without a fight.