Jaron “Boots” Ennis continues to shine, winning easily on Showtime
It’s art work that a growing number will soon become familiar with and recognize very soon. The beauty of the painter, Jaron “Boots” Ennis, is that the angle of the brush strokes come from everywhere, up-and-down, side-to-side, and in combination like a left uppercut to the body, followed by a left hook.
Boots is fast, accurate, and a quickly burgeoning force in the 147-pound class.
He got his chance to headline Saturday night, by the sudden cancellation of the Claressa Shields-Ivana Habazin junior middleweight title fight, on Showtime Boxing: Special Edition from the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan.
The show was designed to be a Shields’ homecoming.
It may have turned out to be another coming-out party for Ennis, whose career was temporarily put on hold for nine months due to a promotional dispute that’s now been settled.
At 2:10 in the third round of a scheduled 10-round welterweight bout, Ennis (24-0, 22 knockouts) stopped tough 30-year-old Argentinian Demian Fernandez (12-2, 5 KOs) rather easily.
It marked the 13th-straight knockout for Ennis, and it snapped the Fernandez’s nine-fight winning streak.
Punch stats showed Ennis landed 54 of 192 total shots (28%), and amazingly 52 of 121 power shots connected (43%), to Fernandez’s feeble 27 of 129 total shots (21%).
It was that one-sided.
“You can say I switched hands more than I have before, because I was just trying to confuse him,” Boots said. “Tonight told me I’m ready for the next level. I think I can fight anybody in the world. I’m ready.
“I’m going to try to get one more in, in December. We’re not sure where just yet. I was pleased with my pressure. That was the game plan. This fight I wanted to put on the pressure fast.”
Ennis came out fast, putting a lot of pressure on the smaller Fernandez, backing him into a corner. About 40 seconds into the round, Ennis switched to southpaw. With 2:18 left in the first, referee Frank Garza warned Ennis about two low blows—the second came on a break. About 20 seconds later, Ennis hit Fernandez with a possible third low blow.
In the second, Boots opened in an orthodox stance. His pace slowed, but Fernandez couldn’t do anything against Ennis’ handspeed. Once again, Ennis switched to southpaw, which confused Fernandez. He had his way with Fernandez, backing up the Argentinian, cleaving his defense with straight lefts. With less than a minute remaining in the round, Ennis popped Fernandez with a left on the chin that had Fernandez backing into the ropes.
Through two, Ennis was comfortably in charge. He looked smooth and in rhythm.
Still, Bozy Ennis, Boots’ father, manager and trainer, implored his son to keep going to the body.
Boots complied within the first 10 seconds of the third, going to Fernandez’s body.
With 1:50 left in the third, Ennis nailed Fernandez with a left to the chin. Fernandez, to his credit, stayed in there and took the shots. With 1:09 left in the third, Fernandez wisely took a knee under a barrage of Ennis punches.
Fernandez took an even wiser step, and told Garza he couldn’t continue. After the fight, the ringside physician looked at Fernandez’s right eye.
At the time Fernandez opted to end it, Garza was leaning in and taking a serious look at the faltering Argentinian.
“Boots did everything I told him to do, and I told him to walk (Fernandez) down, because he couldn’t fight going backwards,” said Bozy Ennis. “We’re going to try to fight one time, in December, before the end of the year.
“He switches hands, but that’s something he just does. It’s automatic, nothing by design.”
In the co-feature, heavyweight Jermaine Franklin (20-0, 13 KOs) remained undefeated by winning a unanimous 10-round decision over Pavel Sour (11-2, 6 KOs). Franklin knocked down Sour in the sixth and almost knocked him out of the ring in the 10th.
More importantly, Franklin came in at 231½, a nine-pound drop from his previous fight in July and a 14-pound drop from his first fight in 2019 in April. It may say that the 25-year-old from Saginaw, Michigan, may be taking his craft more seriously.
“I feel great,” Franklin said after the fight. “I was trying to get the KO. I wanted it really bad, but it feels great to get the ‘W.’ I wasn’t looking for a knockdown the first time he went down. I was trying to be quick and catch him with a counter and I caught him. It surprised me that he went down because it wasn’t meant to be a power punch.
“I didn’t think I finished him on the second knockdown. I wanted to, but I slowed down and got a little too relaxed instead. I should have stayed on him.
“There are just some minor things I still need to work on, like fighting on the inside, grappling and knowing when to punch on the inside – minor things. Once I get that down, I’ll be doing well.”
“The crowd gave me a burst of energy. It got me fired when they were chanting and it felt good.”
Sour made no excuses afterward.
“I felt physically good, but mentally, I wasn’t there,” he said. “I couldn’t free up my punches and I didn’t let my hands go. I was too tight in there. I was never really hurt by Franklin’s punches. He is very strong, but I could handle it. I was trying to catch him with a strong right hand.
“I’m capable of doing much better than I did tonight. On a good night I could beat him, but I just wasn’t in it mentally tonight.”