Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis can now move forward with his career free of conflict among his past and present team members.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Philadelphia’s Ennis agreed to a settlement with estranged promoter Chris Middendorf which brought resolution to a lengthy lawsuit dating back to 2019. The matter was settled in mid-May to the satisfaction of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa, hours before a scheduled trial to have otherwise sorted out the differences between the fighter, promoter and other entities involved.
Pending litigation has since been resolved on June 9, with the case outright dismissed along with providing clarity to Ennis’ promotional status. The unbeaten welterweight contender will continue to fight under the D&D Boxing banner run by longtime boxing manager and talent scout Cameron Dunkin and his brother Joe Dunkin, per an agreement reached June 9 between all involved parties.
"I wish Boots nothing but the best," Middendorf offered in an official statement. "I look forward to him becoming a world champion."
Ennis previously signed to Middendorf’s Victory Boxing Promotions upon turning pro in April 2016, spending his first 21 fights under the banner. The last fight under that relationship came in November 2018, when Ennis (27-0, 25KOs) scored a blistering 2nd round knockout of Raymond Serrano on a ShoBox card from his Philly hometown. The year-ending performance should have set the stage for an explosive 2019 campaign.
Instead came the discovery of moves being made without the knowledge of all parties involved in Ennis’ career.
According to the initial lawsuit filed in March 2019, Middendorf learned that moves were being made in Ennis’ career without his knowledge. Such claims were made on the heels of a press release distributed by Dunkin’s Now Boxing Promotions (having since started up D&D Boxing), in which Ennis publicly declared that he was moving forward with Dunkin and no longer had any contractual ties to Middendorf.
The claim made by Ennis at the time was that his relationship with Middendorf was through Dunkin, and that he was prepared to follow the latter out the door following the split between former business partners. Middendorf argued—in private and through the legal system—that a binding contract remained in place, with the dispute threatening to put Ennis’ promising career on hold.
An agreement was reached external to the ongoing court case, allowing for Ennis to return to the ring in August 2019 and with Dunkin as the active promoter negotiating fights on the fighter’s behalf. Six fights have since transpired, including Ennis’ most recent start, a sensational 6th round stoppage of former junior welterweight titlist and current welterweight contender Sergey Lipinets this past April at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The 23-year-old Ennis has advanced from prospect to red-hot contender through Showtime, rising on the prospect-based ShoBox series before graduating to the network’s flagship Showtime Championship Boxing series. He will now do so moving forward free of litigation, at least as it relates to previous promotional status.
Ennis’ next fight is still being worked on as this goes to publish.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox