Monday, September 25, 2023  |


Jaron Ennis knocks out determined Roiman Villa in ten rounds as he awaits title opportunity

Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

It was never a secret that Jaron Ennis was a supremely skilled boxer with power in both hands. What people wanted to see is what he had inside his chest.

“Boots” Ennis gave a little glimpse under the hood on Saturday night against Roiman Villa, outfighting him as much as he outboxed him en route to a tenth round knockout win at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The official time of the knockout was 1:27 in what was Ennis’ first knockout past the sixth round. The fight headlined a tripleheader on Showtime Championship Boxing.

Ennis (31-0, 28 knockouts) of Philadelphia, Pa. put Villa (26-2, 24 KOs) of Rosario, Venezuela down with a left cross and right hook from the southpaw stance, sending Villa collapsing into the ropes. Referee David Fields, who had warned Villa’s corner after the ninth round that he would stop the fight if he didn’t show him something, stopped the fight without a count.

Even with his dominant performance, Ennis found something he could have improved on.

“My performance was good. I could have listened to my corner a little more. My dad [trainer Derek “Bozy” Ennis Sr.] wanted me to do more body shots and more angles and not stand in front of him. I was getting hit with shots I wasn’t supposed to get hit with,” said the 26-year-old Ennis, who is rated no. 3 by The Ring at 147 pounds.

The fight was the most competitive of Ennis’ recent career as Villa pressed forward against the faster, more elusive fighter. After spending the first two rounds on the defensive, Villa began to trade punches with Ennis, landing an overhand right and an uppercut in an attempt to earn some respect.

Ennis’ power began to impact Villa in round six, when an overhand right froze him in place momentarily, nearly leading to a knockdown. Ennis showed Villa the following round that he could do damage as a southpaw as well, as a left uppercut stunned Villa and once again nearly led to the stoppage.

Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Ennis remains in a holding pattern as he awaits his shot at a major world title as Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, the holders of the four major welterweight titles, get ready to unify the belts on July 29.

“We got to wait for Errol Spence and Bud to fight and you know I want the winner of that fight,” said Ennis.

In the meantime, Ennis says he wouldn’t mind facing Eimantas Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs), the unbeaten Lithuanian contender who holds a secondary WBA title. Stanionis has been inactive since his split decision win in April of 2022 against Radzhab Butaev, due mostly to three separate cancellations of his fight with Vergil Ortiz Jr. Stanionis and Ortiz were supposed to fight tonight on a card promoted by Golden Boy Promotions before it was canceled once again due to a fight week affliction.

“I’ll take Stanionis. Virgil Ortiz fell out so I’ll take Stanionis in a heartbeat. I want to get into the ring one more time before the end of the year to make it three. Stanionis, Keith Thurman, [former WBA titleholder Yordenis] Ugas, Bud, Spence, all the top guys out there. Let’s make these fights happen,” said Ennis.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].