ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – After what Sampson Lewkowicz witnessed Saturday night, he is more convinced than ever that there isn’t a welterweight in the world who can beat Jaron Ennis.
Roiman Villa’s promoter predicted that neither Errol Spence Jr. nor Terence Crawford will face Ennis for that very reason. Lewkowicz expects both the winner and loser of Spence-Crawford to move up from the welterweight division to the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds following what will likely be two bouts between the unbeaten 147-pound champions.
Ennis defended his IBF interim welterweight title by knocking out Venezuela’s Villa in the 10th round Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Theater. The Philadelphia native is next in line for a shot at Spence’s IBF belt, but Lewkowicz doesn’t think that will matter once Spence and Crawford are done with each other.
“I knew [Villa] was coming to fight, but nobody can beat this kid, Jaron Ennis, in that division – nobody,” Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com. “That’s including the champions [Spence and Crawford]. He would beat both of them. Neither one of them will fight him. Both of them will go to ’54. Nobody wants a piece of this kid, I can tell you that much.
“The only one who wanted to fight him was Villa. He was really hungry. He took the punches and he hurt [Ennis] a couple of times. But this kid is something else. Ennis is the best [welterweight] I’ve seen in 20 years.”
The 26-year-old Ennis brutally knocked out Villa (26-2, 24 KOs) with a left-right combination in the 10th round. Referee David Fields stopped their 12-round fight at 1:27 of the 10th round, as soon as a battered, bloodied Villa went down from those two punishing punches.
Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs, 1 NC) became the first fighter to stop Villa inside the distance since Villa made his pro debut eight years ago.
Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) and Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) have rematch clauses in their contracts for their 147-pound title unification fight July 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The loser has 30 days from the night of their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event to exercise his contractual right to an immediate rematch.
Ennis expressed great interest yet again after his knockout of Villa in facing the Spence-Crawford winner.
“Most definitely, I’mma be there,” Ennis said during his post-fight press conference early Sunday morning. “I’mma be in the building and, you know, we gonna see what they do. You know, hopefully it’s a one-sided fight, nobody get a rematch. And I’ll be next, you know?”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.