Jaron “Boots” Ennis had it pretty much entirely his way tonight in Atlantic City, completely dominating an unbelievably tough Roiman Villa, ultimately scoring a 10th round TKO win.
Ennis (31-0, 28 KO) retained his interim IBF welterweight title with the victory. The game Villa falls to 26-2 (24 KO).
Ennis, 26, had too much speed, power, technique — basically everything was just too much for the 30-year-old Villa, who looked totally overwhelmed in the first couple rounds, but did start throwing his hands as the fight went along, and you cannot take anything away from Villa’s effort. He did everything he could, but it wasn’t close to enough here.
“My performance was good. There were a lot of things I could have done better,” Ennis said. “My dad wanted me to do more body shots and angles, stop standing in front. But at the end of the day, I appreciate Villa for taking this fight. I appreciate him for coming in and being a warrior.”
“Boots” said he wasn’t caught off-guard by Villa’s toughness.
“I wasn’t surprised. I knew he was a tough kid. I just had to be smart, take my time, keep touching and touching. I knew eventually, I was going to get him,” he said.
Ennis, of course, has his eyes on the Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford undisputed fight on July 29, and hopes — perhaps against hope — that he’ll get the winner.
“We’ve got to wait for Errol Spence and Bud to fight, and y’all know I want the winner of that, so let’s make it happen. It’s a great fight, 50/50 fight, may the best man win. I want the winner. Let’s make it happen. The fans want it, I want it.”
Acknowledging that there probably would be a Spence vs Crawford rematch no matter what, he said he’d gladly take a fight with Eimantas Stanionis, a PBC fighter whose bout with Vergil Ortiz Jr fell through for a third and seemingly final time this past week.
“Most definitely, let’s make it happen. I’ll take Stanionis in a heartbeat,” he told Jim Gray. “I’m trying to get back in the ring before the end of the year.”
Ennis vs Villa highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Marquis Taylor UD-10 Yoelvis Gomez (96-93, 96-93, 99-90): A pretty notable upset here, as Taylor (15-1-2, 1 KO) was a clear underdog, a guy who had done well at what you’d call “ShoBox-level,” but with that KO percentage, you generally just don’t see it pay off at higher levels. And now the question will be whether or not Gomez (6-1, 5 KO) was actually a “higher level” at all, despite his reputation.
Taylor won on scores of 96-93, 96-93, and 99-90 here. We also unofficially had it 96-93 for Taylor, but I could have seen swings making it 95-94 Gomez, maybe, and all I really hoped was for reasonable cards. We did get two that, obviously, were exactly correct, because all our unofficial cards are perfect, but I will say I think 99-90 for Taylor is as bonk-nuts as a feared 99-90 for Gomez would have been.
It’s gotta be said that Gomez’s vaunted power has just not been there like hyped against either Taylor or Jorge Cota, his last two opponents, and he had a lot of trouble defensively with Taylor, who has an awkward style and a lot of serious, real craft that he uses very effectively. You have to feel good for Marquis Taylor, a 29-year-old fighter who just wasn’t supposed to win at this level, and now he has. He can fight at 154 or 160 (this was at 160, but if fights are there a move back to 154 wouldn’t bother him), and his ability to operate as a truly effective spoiler, and doing it without clinching, holding, etc., makes him about the most interesting to watch “1 KO in 15 wins” guy you’re gonna find.
It’ll be back to the lab for the 25-year-old Gomez, a Cuban southpaw who struggled really mightily to figure Taylor out early on. This was his first fight with trainer Joe Goossen and it wouldn’t be any shock if it was his last, either, because obviously this didn’t turn out as expected.
- Edwin De Los Santos UD-10 Joseph Adorno (99-91, 100-90, 100-90): Totally one-sided, Adorno was never in this fight. I honestly can’t even figure what round one judge gave to him. Adorno (17-3-2, 14 KO) was a good amateur, but it just isn’t happening as a pro, he doesn’t throw enough punches, he’s not good enough to out-box people at even a mid-high level, and he fought this entire fight like he was a little spooked to let his hands go. He’s 3-3-2 in his last eight and the writing’s on the wall at 24, he’s not untalented and he’s not a bad fighter, but he isn’t losing these fights at top tier, either.
De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KO) actually out-boxed him rather comfortably in this one, as well as throwing more, landing more, landing much better and sharper shots. Basically it was all De Los Santos without ever threatening to get very exciting. He showed more to his game than just being a brawler/slugger here, so that’s something. You still need to see him climb the levels, but at 23, he’s doing what’s in front of him and looking promising.