BoxingFight Previews

Put some respect on Jaron Ennis and Claressa Shields name

Jaron Ennis

Jaron Ennis is a true talent. The Philly welterweight is making noise but is still unknown to a subsection of the boxing public as he isn’t with a big name promoter, yet, and has so far, only fought on ShoBox: The Next Generation, a developmental aspect of Showtime’s boxing entertainment.

Ennis, who lost to Gary Antuanne Russell twice at the Olympic trials in Reno, Nevada, was essentially two decisions away from being a compelling story of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, yet that was not the case. Despite all the talent in the world, a tremendous boxing pedigree, Ennis had a confusing 2019 that saw him out of action for a while.

Yet, in March 2019, Ennis’ father, Derrick Ennis, explained the headline that had made news in this ThaBoxingVoice video done by Nestor Gibbs. 

“We didn’t have any [promotional] contract with Chris Middendof.” said Derrick Ennis. 

“Chris Middendorf was supposed to be just a guy who worked for Cameron Dunkin and he took on being a promoter. We never signed no promotional deal with him [SIC]”. Ennis furthered. 

So in short, it seems as though some behind the scenes politics, gave the talented 22-year-old welterweight some time on the sidelines, but now things are rolling as Ennis will be fighting for the second time in a month and a half. 

Jaron Ennis has spent a lifetime in boxing as a toddler he spent essentially every day at his father’s gym. His nickname “Boots” comes from his father Derrick, best known as Bozy, calling Jaron “Boops” at the gym. The boxers in the gym thought he was saying boots, and hence how the nickname started. 

Ennis has the lineage of a champion with his older brothers being, Derek “Pooh” Ennis and Farah Ennis, both having professional careers. Jaron Ennis has the advantage of time, and see past discretion to learn from his brothers and father, as he approaches his professional career. 

In fact, Jaron Ennis is already 23-0 with 21KOs, this fight will be his 24th professional fight the same as his brother, Farah had for his whole professional career. 

Ennis made waves on the scene by annihilating an undefeated Armando Alvarez on ShoBox for the vacant WBC welterweight silver title, following it up with a through destruction of Raymond Serrano.  Ennis last outing with simply to shake the rust off or that is what he made it look like as he destroyed Franklin Mamani in less than a round. 

Ennis is approaching the contender stage of his career, and in the new open-market of boxing, things are hopeful for a true talent like himself, in the money-rich division of welterweight, that being said the opponents have to come from somewhere. As we know, boxing is a business first, and a sport second and Ennis in the lead-up to this bout, is making it known, the top 15 fighters in his weight class are not answering phone calls. 

On the Showtime Boxing podcast with Eric Raskin and Kieren Mulvaney, Ennis explained his disposition.

“After I do my thing on Saturday night, we are looking for the bigger and better names, but it’s not my fault. We called for everybody in the top 15, the guys with the names and they’re not answering. They’re not taking the fight. They ask for more money; we give it to them and they’re still not taking the fight. I’m just fighting the people put in front of me and I’m going to keep winning until I get to the top.”

In fairness, “Boots” Ennis looks like the goods, and the paycheck to fight the young formidable opponent might not match the reward, just yet. That being said, with the type of performances Ennis is putting on, it is hard to believe he won’t be afforded opportunities as the talent is there, and Ennis’ style in the ring, is what most fans want to see, flashy with a high probability of a knockout. 

You might ask why we haven’t brought up Ennis’ opponent or the match-up on Saturday? Well, in short, rightly or wrongly, we believe that Ennis has the talent at this level to shine, and that you should simply tune in to see his talent on display on October 5th at Dort Federal Event Center, Flint, Michigan, on Showtime. 

Ennis is getting close to emerging as a great American fighter.

Shields, already an ATG

Claressa Sheilds is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, yet you might not be aware of that, and you may not have seen her fight on your television. Both are unfathomable to think, but it is just the truth. As a lot of boxing fans, don’t follow the amateurs nor do they watch boxing weekly, as odd as that may sound.

Shields is one of the most talented women’s boxers ever, and seemingly the most accomplished already at this early point her career has found herself with a smaller promoter, Salita Promotions, and fighting on Showtime, often ShoBox, although this weekend it will be Showtime Championship Boxing, which seems kind of crazy given all that she has done, already. 

When we look at Shields career as a case study early on, we can throw out words like “fairness” and have to start understanding that, not unlike Olympic bronze medalist, Nico Hernandez, despite if you can sell-out in your home market, if you don’t merit big ratings, things will be tough, even if you’re making history and one of the best of your era. 

Shields brought a major bout against Christina Hammer to Showtime, unifying all four major world titles in the middleweight division her ninth professional bout. A feat in recent memory only mirrored by pound-for-pound #1 fighter, Terence Crawford.

Shields, also stopped Nikki Adler in her fourth professional fight to win the WBC super middleweight women’s world title. So, for those keeping score Shields is a two-division world champion, winning every belt at middleweight and moving down in weight when feeling unchallenged by the opposition.

Shields will now face Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO and WBC super welterweight, respectively. Rightly or wrongly, I am not sure any of us are tuning in thinking Habazin will stand a chance, this yet another time to watch Shields make history once again. The big question, is how will Shields do it?

Shields is unapologetic in who she is, and that is the biggest gender gap you see with her and her male peers, as we see a lot of fighters who are abrasive and could care less what you think of them, but Shields tends to get a bigger backlash, especially on social media. Shields is a pioneer and one of the best women’s boxers ever, hopefully, the respect for her achievements on a national level follow at some point.

An old adage says “…the plains are filled with the bodies of pioneers”, and one has to hope, that Shields isn’t simply one of the greats confined to a history book one day, but also one, who gets large ovation at a major arena for all that she has earned at one point.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle