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Jaron Ennis confident Errol Spence Jr will fight him next after interim title bout

Jaron “Boots” Ennis returns Jan. 7, and is hoping to face Errol Spence Jr after that.

Jaron “Boots” Ennis returns to the ring on January 7
Jaron “Boots” Ennis returns to the ring on January 7
Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Jaron “Boots” Ennis has big plans for 2023, as the undefeated contender will look to get things going on Jan. 7, and then target a major title fight immediately after.

Ennis (29-0, 27 KO) has felt sort of stuck in place for the last year or so, constantly impressing every time he fights, but without big bouts coming his way. He believes that will change with a win over Karen Chukhadzhian on the Davis vs Garcia PPV undercard, which would give him the interim IBF title and, in theory, a shot at Errol Spence Jr.

“I feel like Errol Spence Jr would fight me,” Ennis said from his media workout. “I’m going in there with the intention of winning the interim title, then fighting Errol next. I think we can make it happen.”

Spence (28-0, 22 KO) is, of course, one of two big fish at 147 lbs, along with Terence “Bud” Crawford. Spence has held the IBF title since beating Kell Brook in 2017, and along the way has added the WBC and WBA belts to his collection. Crawford has the WBO title.

The biggest fight of all at welterweight is still Spence vs Crawford, and by a lot. But if that fight simply isn’t going to happen, it’s unlikely too many people would balk at Spence vs Ennis, either.

For now, though, “Boots” is staying focused on Chukhadzhian (21-1, 11 KO), a 26-year-old Ukrainian who will be a huge underdog, and is frankly a sideways step at best on paper.

“I haven’t watched any footage of my opponent but my team has been watching him,” Ennis said. “We have a game plan for what he does well.”

That team is led by his father and trainer, Bozy Ennis, who said, “We don’t change up the preparation much fight-by-fight. We just keep trying to work harder and harder. We’re just putting in the work.

“I don’t watch the opponents, I let Jaron’s brothers do that. I watch the first round of the fight and then I go from there. If you start looking at one fighter too much, you can get into a bad situation if they get hurt and have to be replaced. We train to face any kind of style.”

Bozy is also adamant that they’re done being patient. Jaron has technically been in IBF mandatory position, and they want to get that fight now and stay active.

“We took our time. We’ve waited around,” Bozy added. “The only thing holding us up is that we knew Spence was [our] mandatory [option], but we knew he was working on the fight with Terence Crawford. We’re definitely looking to fight three times next year now.”

Jaron also says that training over the holidays — something fighters generally avoid, which is why January tends to be a barren wasteland on the boxing schedule — has not been an issue.

“I’m training all year round. The holidays don’t affect the schedule. I eat good, my weight is on point and everything is good,” he said.

“My last day off was on Christmas, but that’s only because Sunday is my normal day off. If it was on a Saturday, I would have trained.”

And the fighter is once again looking to impress, as he always does.

“I’ve just been watching a lot of Mike Tyson myself. He put a lot of punches together. Triple, doubles, same hands, lots of knockouts. He didn’t see too many late rounds. I’ve been watching him a lot this camp.

“It’s safe to say we’re looking to have a short night on January 7.”

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