Jaron “Boots” Ennis fights have entertained previously by simply showcasing the Philadelphia fighter who has elevated himself to IBF welterweight champion.

Now, as the time has arrived for him to test his superb skill and fight IQ against the best opposition available, the competition is nowhere to be found.

“The welterweight division has kind of become barren,” former division champion Paulie Malignaggi said on Thursday’s episode of Pro Box TV’s “Deep Waters.”

This week, Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) signed a promotional contract with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Reports emerged on Thursday that Ennis, 26, appears headed to a summer mandatory title defense against a barely known challenger from Canada, Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs).

The pair have a purse bid session set for April 23.

In the months since Terence Crawford became undisputed welterweight champion by defeating former three-belt champion Errol Spence Jr. in late July, Crawford and Spence have expressed interest in moving up to junior middleweight, as have former welterweight titleholders Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.

That leaves a cast of replacement champions including Ennis, Eimantas Stanionis and potentially the May 4 Mario Barrios-Fabian Maidana winner.

“Jaron Ennis has had to wait his turn. He wasn’t given a shot when the moment was right for him,” Malignaggi said. “Now, he’s sort of in a position where his career’s been mismanaged. He doesn’t really have anywhere to turn to, as far as [receiving] the direct credit he deserves and getting the big fights in his prime.

“It’s one of the sad stories in boxing. The chance to achieve greatness has been robbed of Jaron Ennis. And now he’s [in] a weight class where he can win titles, but I don’t know how much credibility is there.”

Malignaggi said the biggest welterweight bout he can foresee for Ennis is one against Matchroom fighter Conor Benn, who is currently struggling to regain eligibility to fight in the U.K. after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

“Comparing the welterweight division now to what it was just a couple of years ago, I feel Ennis should’ve already been involved,” Malignaggi said, “but he was not allowed to enter the fray because of the political side of boxing.”

Ennis was promoted by longtime manager Cameron Dunkin before Dunkin’s death earlier this year. Although Ennis has fought previously on Showtime, like those elite welterweights fighting for Premier Boxing Champions did, he wasn’t fully allowed into that group.

And now he’s with Hearn, who, with streaming partner DAZN, lacks the ideal types of opponents for a fighter who has been likened to Roy Jones Jr.

“It’s a shame, but does [Ennis] really have a choice?” Malignaggi said. “It must be real frustrating to be Jaron Ennis and his team.”

Another former welterweight champion, Shawn Porter, said on “Deep Waters” that Ennis is currently experiencing what Jones dealt with as an uber-gifted light heavyweight in a division devoid of major talent.

“He’s not going to have anyone challenge him for a number of years,” Porter said. “He can become a star, but he won’t have the dance partners to become that star.

“The best thing he can do is move up to 154 pounds. It’s unfortunate, because he has all of the talent to just bust out of the TV.”