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Jaron Ennis isn’t fazed by the pressure of the hometown defense, he believes the big fights are coming

As Jaron “Boots” Ennis prepares to defend his first welterweight title on Saturday against David Avanesyan, he feels no pressure to perform.

Although Saturday’s fight will be the first of a multi-fight deal he signed with Matchroom Boxing and a huge event (over 10,000+ tickets sold) at the Wells Fargo Center in his hometown of Philadelphia, Ennis (31-0, 28 knockouts.) ) didn’t concede the size. it was time for it to reach him. In fact, this was the situation he had considered. He believes that events of this type are where they belong. He is sure of his pound-for-pound talent, but it has taken a long time for big opportunities to come his way.

Ennis has every right to feel optimistic about his future. After years of waiting for the big fish in the division like Terence Crawford and Errol Spence to give him a chance, those two seem to have left the division for good, giving Ennis a chance to stamp his name on the division. Although he really wanted those big fights, he now understands that he will have the opportunity, if he wins on Saturday, to face the rest of the losers in this division. As the welterweight division stands right now, there are no bigger starts than Ennis, and no bigger paycheck guarantees than the other top 147 fighters. There are battles that can be fought.

In addition, Ennis also has a clean slate in terms of representation. Saturday will be Ennis’ first fight in over a year, as he no longer has a promotional dispute with his former promoter (the late Cameron Dunkin and Dunkin’s estate). Through Matchroom, Ennis expects to be promoted to a platform (DAZN) that will pay opponents. Although he previously had a multi-fight deal with Showtime, for whatever reason that deal failed to deliver a marquee opponent. After offers from several parties, Ennis liked the idea that Matchroom and Eddie Heard came up with. Hearn believes that Ennis is a star and deserves the big events and that he has the global reach to attract his top rivals Boots.

Saturday will be Ennis’ first fight in Philadelphia in five years. Although he was the darling of the Philly club, his professional career has seen him take his biggest assignments away from home. Part of the appeal of the Matchroom offer was the collective understanding of building Ennis at home. Early benefits have been positive for the partnership. This fight did better than many expected in boxing. The Wells Fargo Center has never been an active player in boxing, but the combination of Boots’ star power and Matchroom’s belief in building the next boxers in the area has led to a successful promotion.

The boots grew around the fist. His two older brothers, Derek (24-5-1) and Farah (22-2) were regarded as the best crop partners of their time. “They taught me a lot of things,” said Boot. “They taught me to always be ready, always in shape. That’s why I am like this today. I’m always in the gym, I’m always ready. I took that knowledge from them and it has helped me get to where I am.”

By all accounts, Boots was a prodigy in the gym, an athletic prodigy who could master martial arts at a young age. Boots can roll, can box, can switch hit and can beat opponents with hand speed, power and accuracy.

Although Ennis is very confident in his abilities and skills, the exercise rat in him appreciates the opportunities he has faced in his career. Ennis failed to stop shortstop Karen Chukhadzhian in the 2023 start. He was criticized for failing to cross the ring and load up on single shots in the contest. Ennis called the experience “a blessing.” He and his father/coach, Derek “Bozy” Ennis, soon got back into the gym and came to a significant realization.

“I went into that fight thinking I was going to get hit, I was going to score,” said “Boots” Ennis. “And it had nothing to do with fun. It was knockout, knockout. That was the whole story. I started and ended up walking to do my job. It was a learning experience. I went 12 laps, and I could have gone 12 more. I was in a wonderful mood that night. That fight was a blessing and I’m glad I had it. That fight made me go back to just having fun and being myself, and not looking to get beat.”

Similarly, when he landed a few right hands earlier in his career against Thomas Dulorme and Sergey Lipinets, he didn’t waste or downplay those moments. He saw them as opportunities for advancement. “Those battles taught me a little patience, I’m sharp,” he said. “Since those fights, I’ve worked to be sharper with my eyes, and to be better in the ring.”

As gifted as Ennis is offensively, Boots said his father’s first point of emphasis is defense. For them it is the foundation of boxing. And Boot has been around tough fighters throughout his career, whether it’s the deceptive style of former welterweight contender Ray Robinson, with whom he won multiple rounds, or Andy Cruz, the talented Cuban lightweight, who has won “punch-and-knock.” ” style of the Cuban School of Boxing. And while Boot remains confident in his abilities, he understands that there is always room for improvement.

Avanesyan (30-4-1, 18 KOs) is a late replacement for Cody Crowley, who pulled out of the fight after failing an eye test. Avanesyan lost his last top-flight fight against Terence Crawford in 2022, but he’ll definitely be looking to put an end to his illustrious career. Despite the stark difference in the rivals’ styles (Crowley is a boxer who relies on angles and movement while Avanesyan is a power puncher), Ennis wasn’t worried about the change and said there were no noticeable changes during training camp.

Naturally, Ennis and Terence Crawford will be compared in terms of how they deal with a common enemy in Avanesyan and we must point out that Ennis became the only complete list of welterweight because Crawford gave up his belt to move to 154 lbs. But even though Ennis has wanted to fight Crawford for years, he understands that his time will come, even if it’s not on his preferred timeline.

“It will come,” Ennis said. “Great wars will come. I have to be patient, continue to beat whoever is stuck in front of me, it will come.”


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