Ennis targets welterweight beasts

Philadelphia’s prodigiously talented Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is aiming for the beasts of the welterweight division in 2021. 

The 23-year-old Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs) will first sharpen his skills against South African stalwart Chris van Heerden at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, on a PBC event broadcast by Showtime in the US (9pm ET/6pm PT).

But the Philly phenom believes he is ready for the likes of Errol Spence, Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao, having put together a 16-fight knockout streak in an impressive rise through the welterweight ranks.

“I just want to fight the world champions,” said southpaw Ennis, who is trained by his father Bozy at Bozy’s Dungeon gym in Philadelphia. “I want to fight the top five guys. I’m ready and I’ve been ready to make a big statement. I just have to stay focused and do what I have to do and handle my business and then it’s on to bigger and better things.

“People are seeing that it’s not my fault I’m not getting these big fights. These guys are hopping around me and don’t want to fight me. I can only fight who they put in front of me. I definitely think I need to make a big statement on December 19 so that in 2021 I can start getting the big fights. I will be a world champion in 2021!”

Ennis is not perturbed by facing a fellow southpaw in van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KOs) whose only defeat in the last 10 years came against Errol Spence (LTKO8) in September 2015.

“Everybody knows I love to fight southpaws. Early in my career I fought four or five southpaws back-to-back. I love it,” he said. “It’s easy for me and they don’t give me any problems. I know southpaws don’t like fighting other southpaws, but I love fighting them.”

Main image: Amanda Westcott/Showtime.