The boxing realm is rife with whispers, speculations, and unsaid intentions. In the heart of this storm stands an offer that has captivated enthusiasts and experts alike: a possible face-off between Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis. According to Derek ‘Bozy’ Ennis, this tempting proposition, extended by none other than Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza, went unanswered, sparking a slew of questions.
Thurman, previously a formidable name in the boxing circuit, publicly professed that he’d be willing to step into the ring with Boots Ennis, who boasts a formidable record of 31-0, including 28 KOs. Thurman’s declaration was seen by many as a last-ditch attempt to regain some spotlight, especially after a noticeable void in his title pursuits since his defeat to the legendary Manny Pacquiao four years prior.
Yet, declarations aside, Thurman’s recent actions (or lack thereof) have begun to paint a different picture. Once a warrior in the ring, Thurman seems to be favoring the limelight of interviews over the sweat and grit of the canvas. This shift, subtle yet apparent, has left many wondering about his current ambitions and long-term career trajectory.
Parallelly, Boots Ennis is rapidly ascending the boxing hierarchy, showcasing hunger and passion with each bout. He’s setting his sights not just on individual opponents but on a bigger symbol of victory: the IBF belt currently held by the redoubtable Terence Crawford. For Ennis, the horizon is dotted with potential milestones. Eimantis Stanionis, Yordenis Ugas, and Cody Crowley are all in his crosshairs.
Targeting Stanionis is a tactical maneuver. The WBA secondary welterweight title he holds is not just a belt; it’s an emblem of global recognition. Should Boots wrest this from Stanionis, he would not only further solidify his standing but also earn the coveted tag of a world champion, all at the young age of 26.
However, the IBF needs to tread with caution. A passive stance could allow Crawford to cling to his title for mere prestige, stymying genuine competition and bouts.
In a candid conversation with YSM Sports Media, Bozy pulled back the curtain on the alleged Thurman-Ennis matchup. He stated, “What I make of that is it was just talk. He knows we have been wanting to fight him.” Bozy’s assertion suggests that the ball was squarely in Thurman’s court. Expressing genuine intent could’ve led to the much-anticipated showdown.
The perception of Thurman, especially in recent times, is that of a boxer on standby. Many in the boxing community feel he’s banking on a lucrative bout against big names like Errol Spence Jr. or Crawford without actively pursuing them. This passive posture is eerily reminiscent of Andy Ruiz Jr., another boxer perceived to be waiting for a big payday, sidelining active competition.
Against this backdrop, Boots continues his meteoric rise, brushing off naysayers. Bozy voiced the inconsistent views of critics, stating, “When he fought those other guys…’Oh, this is his hardest test. This is going to be a top-quality guy. This guy is that.’ Then when he [Boots] beats the guy, they say, ‘He hasn’t fought nobody.’”
Ennis’s clash with Thomas Dulorme is illustrative of his prowess. While he dispatched Dulorme in a mere round in 2021, Crawford took six rounds back in 2015 — a statistic often overlooked.
Ennis encapsulates his journey with a clear-headed philosophy, asserting, “We don’t try to please nobody. We just do what we got to do. They either like it or they don’t.” His mission is crystal clear: conquer the best. Names like Ugas, Stanionis, and Crowley are not just opponents; they’re milestones in his journey.
However, for fighters like Stanionis, Ugas, or Crowley, taking on Ennis might seem a high-stakes gamble. Until Ennis captures the IBF title, the risk may overshadow the reward.