By Keith Idec
Jaron Ennis realizes there are many boxing fans that don’t know him.
The undefeated Philadelphia fighter plans to introduce himself to them as impressively as possible Friday night. The 21-year-old Ennis is scheduled to battle another unbeaten boxer, Armando Alvarez, in the main event of Showtime’s three-fight “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecast from WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa.
“This means a lot to me,” Ennis told BoxingScene.com. “I’m ready to show the world my talent and who Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is. I just can’t wait to show the world what I can do. I want them to think, ‘Wow! Who is this kid? In the 147-pound division, there’s a young killer on the loose.’ ”
Ennis has been very busy since making his pro debut in April 2016. The 2015 national Golden Gloves champion already has a 20-0 record, including 18 knockouts.
The 28-year-old Alvarez (18-0, 12 KOs), of Key West, Florida, appears to be the toughest opponent Ennis has agreed to face since he turned pro. Alvarez has built his record mostly against journeymen or worse, thus Ennis also represents his most difficult foe.
“On paper, it looks like it’s my toughest test,” said Ennis, the younger brother of retired middleweight Derek Ennis and retired super middleweight Farah Ennis. “But come July 20th, I’m gonna make it as easy as possible. “Hopefully, this skyrockets my career after I put on a great performance on Friday night.”
Ennis is confident his activity has helped prepare him for this next step in his career.
“That’s the most important thing,” Ennis said. “That’s how you stay sharp. I wasn’t getting hit or getting hurt or anything like that. And I didn’t have no cuts or nothing, so I was just getting right back in the ring.
“It helped a lot because the guys I’ve fought have had a lot of experience. I learned a lot. The veterans were stepping on my toes, hitting me on my hip. I saw a lot of stuff, so whatever [Alvarez] brings to the table, I’m ready.”
Showtime will air two bouts before Ennis-Alvarez as part of a tripleheader that’ll start at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
In the opener, Cleveland’s Montana Love (11-0, 5 KOs) and Chicago’s Kenneth Sims Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) will meet in an eight-round junior welterweight match. After Love-Sims, Cleveland’s Thomas Mattice (12-0, 10 KOs) and Armenia’s Zhora Hamazaryan (9-0, 6 KOs) will square off in an eight-round lightweight fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.