Jaron “Boots” Ennis apparently hopes his next fight will offer the stiffest test of his burgeoning career.
The rising, 25-year-old welterweight contender from Philadelphia was recently asked about whom he plans to fight for his next ring outing in the fall, and two names popped up.
One is former titlist 33-year-old Keith Thurman, a longtime denizen of the welterweight class. The other is Eimantas Stanionis, who, like Ennis, is regarded as one of the better up-and-coming contenders at 147. The 27-year-old Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) is coming off a spirited split decision win over Radzhab Butaev in April.
Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs) insisted that his top priority is to land a fight with either one of the two beltholders at 147—WBA, WBC, and IBF 147-pound champion Errol Spence Jr. or WBO titlist Terence Crawford—but the likelihood of those fights materializing for the Philadelphian or low, since both Crawford and Spence are reportedly in talks to face each other later this year.
“For me, I should be back in the ring by October or November,” Ennis told Tha Boxing Voice. “I don’t know. Probably Keith Thurman or Stanionis.
“I don’t know. I don’t really care. If it ain’t Errol Spence or Bud, It’s probably Keith Thurman or Stanionis. Anybody in the top five right there, or [anyone] with a belt. I don’t really care who it is.”
Ennis, who was last seen in the ring in May stopping Custio Clayton inside two rounds, was asked about his thoughts on Thurman’s last performance.
Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) returned from a nearly three-year lay-off from the ring to fight Mario Barrio in February. Thurman won a 12-round unanimous decision in what was a mostly dominant, if not exactly spectacular, performance.
“He ain’t fight in a while,” Ennis said of Thurman. “He was trying to get that ring rust off. I think he did good. For him being off that long and fighting a guy like that, yeah, I think he did good. He had a good performance.
“If he looking for another opponent, I’m here.”
“I don’t think he has nothing to give me any problems,” Ennis added.