Ennis: Crawford and Spence held everyone back at 147lbs

Jaron “Boots” Ennis has revealed the extent to which the delay making the fight between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence held up the careers of their rival welterweights.

Ennis, on Saturday at The Ballroom at the Boardwalk Hall of Atlantic City, fights Colombia’s Roiman Villa in what represents his second fight of 2023, but having fought only once throughout 2022 when the sought-after fight between Crawford and Spence again didn’t come to fruition.

If on Saturday he can make a statement and vindicate those who see him as the successor to Crawford and Spence at the top of the welterweight division he might even move into contention to eventually fight those involved in the biggest fight of the year.

Crawford and Spence are to finally fight on July 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, likely bringing the end to the present era at 147lbs, and Ennis, 26 and who in January outpointed Karen Chukhadzhian, said: “Last year there was just a lot of things going on. Crawford and Spence was holding everything up. 

“That’s why I was not active – because we didn’t know what was going on. We were trying to fight [Eimantas] Stanionis, and it was just a lot of things going on, and we just had to wait and be patient. Then I wound up getting a fight in January. Things just fall right into place. I can’t be dwelling on these guys. I’m just gonna keep progressing; keep going forward.

“It was a little frustrating because I wanted to at least get two fights in last year, but it is what it is. Hopefully, I get three fights this year. Hopefully I get one more – maybe in like November. That way I get three quick fights, and I stay active. That’s how you get better and sharper – staying active.”

Also on Saturday and at welterweight, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Eimantas Stanionis fights Vergil Ortiz.

“It doesn’t really feel too different for me,” Ennis said. “iI’s the game. I’m always in the gym – even if I get a call for a fight in four weeks I’m still gonna be ready, because I stay in the gym. 

“That’s how you get better too – just staying in the gym. Working on things you need to get better at. I’m always in the gym, so it really didn’t bother me too much.”