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The Big Question: Who’s the best welterweight prospect, Vergil Ortiz Jr or Jaron Ennis?

Two outstanding young talents are emerging at 147 pounds. Who’s got the bigger upside?

Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy and Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Last week’s Big Question dealt with the soon-to-return Adrien Broner, and whether or not a supposedly re-focused “Problem” can become an actual problem again at 140 or 147, whether he can become a “real contender” once more.

The vast majority are not buying it. With just north of 1,000 votes in the poll, 88 percent said no, Broner will not be a serious contender again, with only 12 percent believing he’s got that sort of run in him as he starts trying to rebound at age 31.

Personally, I’m in the majority here, but then I’ve personally never felt Broner was truly as good his hype, even at his peak. That said, listen, what we can see on Instagram and things like that, AB really does look like he’s taking this seriously. If something got through to him, if it clicked for him that you only get so much time as a pro athlete and he’s on the other side of 30 these days — I still wouldn’t bet on him being a real threat to the top fighters at 147 especially, but I think it would be impressive and worthwhile just that he genuinely gives it his honest best shot. I do not think history dictates that will be the case for too long, but that’s just one person’s opinion.

This week, we’ll stick with the welterweights. It’s another simple question, as they usually are, but we’re looking not at a veteran now, but two rising young stars, both of whom are really still prospects, but have obvious big-time talent.

Who’s got the higher upside: Vergil Ortiz Jr or Jaron “Boots” Ennis?

They’re about the same age, Ortiz will turn 23 in March, Ennis will turn 24 in June. Both turned pro in 2016. Ortiz is 16-0 (16 KO), staying perfect as he’s jumped from 140 to 147 under the Golden Boy banner, thrashing some solid veterans and passing each test with flying colors. Ennis (26-0, 24 KO) has done pretty much the same, destroying guys who were meant to be at least something of a test.

These are two prospects with speed, power, boxing skill, and a lot of confidence. Both have said they want the best at 147 as soon as possible. Ortiz has said he’s ready to accept a fight with Terence “Bud” Crawford if it comes his way, and Ennis — who is frankly in a better spot in this division fighting on PBC cards — has said he wants everyone at 147.

So who do you see having the higher upside? Who’s going to have the better career when all is said and done? And how good do you think both of these guys might be?


Who has the higher upside, Vergil Ortiz Jr or Jaron Ennis?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Vergil Ortiz Jr
    (457 votes)
  • 47%
    Jaron Ennis
    (416 votes)
873 votes total Vote Now

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