Ennis hails new dawn with Crawford-Spence in sight

Jaron “Boots” Ennis plans to usher in a new era in the welterweight division when on Saturday he fights Roiman Villa.

Ennis and Villa fight at The Ballroom at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, and do so in the knowledge that at San Antonio’s AT&T Center on the same evening Eimantas Stanionis confronts Vergil Ortiz.

Ennis, even more so than Ortiz, has long widely been recognised as the coming leader of the 147lbs division. Even more relevantly, later this month in Las Vegas, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence will finally fight.

After years of Crawford-Spence being considered the most essential fight at any weight their date of July 29 will lead to one being crowned as the division’s number one and contribute to the conclusion of a rivalry that has long held back other fighters.

The 26-year-old Ennis is among those whose opportunities had been limited while Crawford and Spence struggled to agree terms, but ahead of his second fight of 2023 – he defeated Karen Chukhadzhian in January after fighting only once in 2022 – he said: “These guys are on their way out – Spence and Crawford. 

“I feel like after they fight, they’re gonna fight each other again, but it’s probably gonna be at a different weight. Or they can come to me – the younger era. I’m ready to make my statement, and take over this welterweight division. Whatever comes, y’know?

“Me; Vergil Ortiz; [Eimantas] Stanionis. I know I’m probably missing a few you guys out there, but it’s the next reign of the welterweight division. Hopefully, we all can make these fights happen.”

“[Ortiz is] a great fighter. He comes forward – I love those styles. It’s perfect for me. Hopefully he does his thing July 8th; same night as me. He’s fighting Stanionis – I’d love the winner of that. I’d love the winner from Spence-Crawford. I know I’m missing a few other guys; Keith Thurman; fight him too. [Yordenis] Ugas – still a great name, even though he’s older. He got good talent too.”

Ortiz, 25, is expected to become Ennis’ greatest rival, in the same way Crawford and Spence have long been considered to represent each other’s greatest threats.

“That’s a great fight,” Ennis continued of the fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “It’s a 50-50 fight. You can’t really pick a winner until fight night. It’s gonna come down to who’s in the best shape, and who’s the meanest. Who got more of the dog, and who prepared the best.

“That fight is really 50-50. It’s gonna come down to who’s in the best shape – whoever’s the meanest, and who can take the best shot, and whoever’s the smartest. I feel like a lot of people are doubting Spence, but you can’t count nobody out. Spence’s got three belts, and he been through a lot. So, I don’t know, maybe he can get through that.

“I’m just glad they’re fighting. Hopefully, they fight each other, and they don’t fight each other again, so that I can fight the winner. If they fight each other again, so be it. Hopefully I see those guys soon.”