Philly’s Boots Ennis loads up for another step to stardom
This Saturday is supposed to loom another test for Jaron “Boots” Ennis, like the previous fight for the Philadelphia welterweight was supposed to be, and the fight before that.
In April, Ennis, 24, plowed through former 140-pound titlist Sergey Lipinets with a sixth-round knockout.
On Saturday, Ennis (27-0, 25 knockouts) will take on his most formidable opponent to date, 31-year-old fringe contender Thomas Dulorme in the 10-round co-main event from the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
It will be the co-feature under the Jamal James-Radzhab Butaev 12-round welterweight headliner on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing (10 pm ET/7 p.m. PT).
Dulorme (25-5-1, 16 KOs) has won just one of his previous five fights, coming off consecutive losses to James and Eimantas Stanionis. The sturdy Puerto Rican has been in the ring with Yordenis Ugas and Terence Crawford. He fought Jessie Vargas to a 12-round draw in October 2018.
Ennis will be looking for his 26th knockout in 28 fights. He is one of the rising stars in boxing, thought to be a future pound-for-pound entrant.
In preparing for Dulorme, this has been his most demanding training camp, featuring some of the best sparring he’s received.
“It’s been a great camp, and it’s probably the most sparring I ever got in camp,” Ennis said. “I feel great. It’s helped me feel even sharper, because of all of the sparring. If I can get one more fight in before the end of the year, I will, probably some in December.
“Next year will be a big year for me. No more waiting. I want a shot at any title I can get. I would sleep in the gym if were up to me, and I would fight all of the champions in one night. I feel like I’m one fight away from being a world champion, and stay focused for Dulorme. I’m looking at 2022 for my title shot, and I don’t care who it’s against.
“I don’t care if it’s the Incredible Hulk. I’ll be ready.”
The longest Ennis has gone has been six rounds, which he did twice, stopping Lipinets and another tough out, Juan Carlos Abreu in September 2020. Ennis knows with further steps up come greater challenges.
“I’m ready for that,” he said. “My goal is to show the world my dominance and keep showing the world what I’m able to do, which I’m going to do against Dulorme. I never go into a fight looking for the knockout. I go in without a game plan and we adjust from there.
“I’m not going for the knockout, but I’m going to get the knockout.”
Bozy Ennis, Boots’ father and trainer, feels his son can fight any welterweight in the world right now. Dulorme has been in with top-10 fighters, and it will give Team Boots a gauge to where he is. Boots is gaining some crossover appeal. Some of the Philadelphia local media is finally recognizing him, with a new wave of attention.
Nothing has changed.
“We’re still running the same training camp, we’re still pushing to get better every day,” Bozy said. “Boots sparred with Brian Norman (21-0, 18 KOs) who came up from Atlanta, and Chordale Booker (17-0, 7 KOs) from Connecticut and we got some good work in.
“Elijah Williams came down (from New York). We got good sparring in the past, but not the quality of sparring we got this time. We got different work and the sparring partners gained something from it, too. We got different looks from different people.”
Team Boots left for Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Who knows where 2022 could lead after that?
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.
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