LAS VEGAS – Jaron Ennis’ systematic rise within the welterweight division has left the gifted Philadelphia native in a precarious position.

A six-round demolition of Sergey Lipinets and a first-round destruction of Thomas Dulorme in back-to-back bouts have proven that the 24-year-old contender is ready for a 147-pound title shot. Those two impressive victories have established Ennis – a seemingly generational blend of athleticism, intelligence, power, skill and speed – as about as much of a high-risk, low-reward proposition as possible for welterweight champions campaigning to make as much money as they can during the back ends of their physical primes.

Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs, 1 NC) is ranked high by the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO, but not high enough to ensure that a title shot is either one or two fights away. A patient Ennis understands that he’ll almost certainly have to occupy a number one position and to receive a mandated title shot.

That didn’t stop the usually reserved Ennis from delivering a message to Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr. and Yordenis Ugas following his first-round knockout of Puerto Rico’s Dulorme (25-6-1, 16 KOs) last month at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.

“Either y’all fight me or vacate the belts and get out my way,” Ennis said, “because I’m coming.”

Ennis seems most interested in challenging Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), a powerful southpaw who owns the IBF and WBC belts.

Spence, 31, is recovering from surgery in mid-August to repair a damaged retina. The DeSoto, Texas, native is much more likely to face Ugas next in what could be a welterweight title unification fight.

Cuba’s Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) could be forced by the WBA to make an obligatory defense of his WBA “super” championship against Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs, 1 NC) in his next bout, or risking getting stripped of that title. Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is scheduled to defend his WBO belt against former IBF/WBC champ Shawn Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) on November 20 at Michelob ULTRA Arena (ESPN Pay-Per-View).

Crawford (34), Porter (34) and Ugas (36) all are in the same age range, which, along with the stages they’re at in their careers, could continue making it difficult for Ennis to entice one of them into the ring.

Spence, Porter and Ugas all are affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. The Porter fight is the last bout on Crawford’s contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.

Ennis is not affiliated with PBC, but he has a multi-fight agreement with Showtime, which has televised eight of his past nine fights. Though PBC and Showtime are partners, Haymon might not be willing to give Ennis fights with his higher-profile welterweights unless Ennis and his promoter, Cameron Dunkin, partner with PBC in some capacity.

Meanwhile, Ennis is ranked third by the IBF, fourth by the WBA, fifth by the WBO and sixth by the WBC.

“Whatever belt that I’m ranked the highest in,” Ennis said when asked which title he hopes to pursue. “I think it’s the IBF, so that’s where we going. So, that’s Spence, and he got the WBC and IBF [belts]. If I can get that, that’d be perfect. But if not, I’ll take Ugas. If I can’t get Ugas, I’ll take the other champion, the winner of Crawford and Porter. If I can’t get them, give me Keith Thurman.”

Ennis couldn’t help but laugh as he mentioned the name of Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC), a formidable but perpetually inactive former WBA/WBC champ who hasn’t fought in the more than two years since he lost a 12-round split decision to Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) in July 2019. Nevertheless, Ennis hopes 2022 is the year in which he gets his title shot, one way or another.

“Like I would say before, starting in 2021, that 2021 was the year that I had to get my foot in the door, show these guys my talent, show ‘em what’s up,” Ennis said. “And then, 2022 I’m knocking down that door, I’m climbing to the top and I’m taking over the welterweight division and grabbing all them belts.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.