By: Hans Themistode
When discussing the best fighters at 147 pounds, both Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford’s names usually protrude to the top of the welterweight list.
With Spence Jr. in possession of both the WBC and IBF world titles and Crawford holding firm to his WBO crown, many have pegged them as pound-for-pound stars. Yet, despite those beliefs, Jaron Ennis continues to back himself as the division’s best fighter.
The 24-year-old from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has slowly but assuredly worked his way up the welterweight rankings. In 2021, Ennis had his most productive year yet. During the first half of his fight calendar, Ennis violently stopped former 140-pound titlist Sergey Lipinets in the sixth round. Before the year came to a close, Ennis made quick work of well-respected journeymen, Thomas Dulorme, needing only a minute and a half to dispose of him.
Considering his ability to dissect his opponents from the outside, as well as his stellar inside work and concussive knockout power, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has taken notice. Not only is Roach firmly of the belief that Ennis is ready to showcase his talents on the grandest of stages but when asked to choose the best 147 pounder in the world, Roach didn’t hesitate to give his answer.
“He’s a very good fighter,” said Roach when describing Ennis during an interview with FightHype.com. “I think he’s the best guy in the weight division.”
In the coming months, Roach’s words could prove to be prophetic. With Ennis set to take on Custio Clayton sometime this Spring in an IBF final eliminator, the dynamic young star could find himself standing across the ring from Spence Jr. sooner rather than later.
First things first, however, even if Ennis walks through Clayton, Spence Jr. has his eyes set on adding even more gold to his championship mantle. On April 16th, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Spence Jr. will take on WBA belt holder, Yordenis Ugas. Should Spence Jr. snag his third-world title, he’ll turn his attention toward Crawford in an effort to become an undisputed champion.
While Ennis may ultimately be forced to play the waiting game, no matter who he faces in the ring, Roach is convinced that he’ll always have the upper hand.
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