UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Jaron Ennis hopes to become a world champion by the end of this year or the beginning of 2022.
The emerging welterweight contender understands, of course, that the champions in his division probably won’t fight him voluntarily. If anything, the unbeaten Ennis’ superb performance against Sergey Lipinets on Saturday night will probably prolong his wait for a world title shot.
In fact, Ennis suspects that he might have to force a 147-pound champion into giving him a chance.
“I think I might have to be a mandatory challenger for one of the world champions for them to pick me,” Ennis said following his sixth-round knockout of Lipinets at Mohegan Sun Arena. “But until then, I’m gonna keep working my way up to the world title and, you know, keep trying to fight the best fighters that’s out, or that’s available at the moment.”
Welterweight champions Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr. and Yordenis Ugas likely look at the 23-year-old Ennis as a high-risk, low-reward type of challenger. None of them have mentioned Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs, 1 NC) as a potential opponent.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), the IBF and WBC champion, and Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs), the WBA champ, are expected to meet in a title unification fight FOX Sports Pay-Per-View will offer on an undetermined date this summer. Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), the WBO champ, doesn’t have an opponent for his next bout, but his handlers are trying to arrange a lucrative, high-profile fight against Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), the Filipino legend who hasn’t fought in nearly two years.
Philadelphia’s Ennis figures to move up in the rankings based on his dominant performance against Kazakhstan’s Lipinets (16-2-1, 12 KOs), a former IBF junior welterweight champion whose only previous loss came against four-division champ Mikey Garcia.
Ennis, who became the first fighter to knock out Lipinets, is ranked seventh by the WBO, ninth by the IBF and 12th by the WBC. Ennis isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the WBA.
Ennis, who is promoted by Cameron Dunkin, isn’t affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions or Bob Arum’s Top Rank, either, which will make getting an optional title shot more difficult. Spence and Ugas are advised by Haymon and Crawford is promoted by Arum’s company.
“As long as I keep fighting top guys,” Ennis said, “you know, keep, you know, coming up the rankings and keep getting better and better each and every fight, that’s the goal, to be world champion. And I feel like I will be world champion by the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022. Patience is the key, though.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.