Welterweight Jaron Ennis finds himself in a predicament Errol Spence Jr. once was in as a fast-rising prospect — nobody is calling him out, or demanding to fight him.
The WBC and IBF welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOS) can relate to the gifted 23-year-old Philadelphia fighter who’s fastly climbing up the ranks in the same division he’s dominated thus far.
“Jaron can fight. He’s sharp as hell. I like him. Flashy. Got charisma,” Spence told Barbershop Conversations. “He should fight anybody that will give him an opportunity. The best name to fight, especially at this stage of his career.
“A lot of guys right now are not lining up to fight him. He’s going to have to fight his way up the ladder. A lot of guys are making excuses saying he’s not ready or the time is not right. He’s a young hungry lion. He should fight [Yordenis] Ugas. Him and Shawn [Porter] would be a good fight, too. Shawn will make it a dog fight. I don’t know if Jarron can take a shot but if his chin holds up, he can beat Porter in a rough, tough fight.”
Spence expounded on the subject of Porter and said he’s not interested in a rematch after scoring a split decision over the former WBC champion in 2019.
“Man, I like Shawn, but there is no reason to fight Shawn. It’s not like Shawn is a big-ticket seller … If Shawn has a belt, then we can fight.”
Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs) is coming off a dominant destruction of former junior lightweight world titlist Sergey Lipinets. Ennis cruised through the first five rounds to set-up a sixth-round KO of the California-based Kazakh fighter.
In a development outside of the ring that could perhaps present better opportunities inside of it, Ennis reached a settlement with promoter Chris Middendorf and Victory Boxing Promotions in May and ended a two-year-long lawsuit that at several points had derailed his career.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com