“My Three Sons” All Trained by Their Father “Bozy” Ennis
By: Ken Hissner
It doesn’t happen much when a father trains a son in boxing but Philadelphia’s Derrick “Bozy” Ennis seems to have been an exception to that rule. As a boxer he went 12-1 over a six year period ending in 1984.
“I went to the gym to learn what to do with my left hand. I was a street fighter and knew what to do with my right hand. When my trainer Al Styles, Sr., passed I gave it up,” said “Bozy” Ennis. Little did he know at the time that in the future he would become the best trainer in Philadelphia!
It would be some eighteen years later when his oldest son Derek “Pooh” Ennis, 24-5-1 (13), turned professional. He would win his first nine fights before fighting to a disputed draw in the hometown of Maxwell Taylor, 12-2, in Glen Burnie, MD. He would take a 12-1-1 record into the New Alhambra in South Philly losing to Alphonso Williams, 9-2, by stoppage. That was the first show this writer covered for Boxing Tribune as a “young” writer at age 63! “I told him you are ahead but watch out for that left hook and that is what got him,” said “Bozy” Ennis.
“Pooh” would go onto win his next ten fights first capturing the PA super welterweight title defeating Troy Browning, 20-2-1, in 2008. Then win the vacant USBA title the following year in a war defeating Eromosele Albert, 22-3-1, a Nigerian fighting out of Miami, at none other than the legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia. Albert won his next two fights and actually fought for the IBF middleweight title against Daniel Geale losing a decision. Why it couldn’t have been “Pooh” fighting for that same title instead it wasn’t meant to be. It would be the only time he lost in Philly in some seventeen fights.
In 2010 “Pooh” would fight a classic battle with fellow Philly fighter Gabe “King” Rosado, 14-4, in his first USBA title defense. “Pooh” known for his boxing skills came to fight while Rosado known for his power came to box. The mixture turned out to be one great fight before a packed house at the South Philly Arena (previously the New Alhambra). He would go onto win only two of his next five fights before retiring in 2014. Those three losses were to Cuban southpaw Giorbis Barthelemy 24-8-2, a disputed loss to PR’s 2008 Olympian Jonathan Gonzalez 15-0-1 (retired at 18-0-1) and Caleb Truax 23-1-2, ending his career in 2014.
The second son to box professional was Farah Ennis, 22-2 (12), fighting from 2006 to 2015. He won his first seventeen fights and in 2010 won the vacant NABF super middleweight title stopping Victor Lares, 15-4, and putting him into retirement. In his very next fight he lost for the first time to Alexander “The Great” Johnson, 10-0. “He killed himself making weight,” said “Bozy” Ennis. He would go onto win his next four fights including a win over Anthony “The Tyger” Hanshaw, 23-2-2.
Just over a month after the Hanshaw fight Farah lost a decision to future WBC Super middleweight champion Badou Jack, 14-0, in Las Vegas. “He had too many distractions in that fight,” said “Bozy” Ennis. Farah would be inactive for almost two years before returning to the ring winning which has been his last fight and in Philly though several return to the rings have been rumored. He was 7-0 in Philly rings. He was in camp with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin when he was preparing to fight Philly’s Gabe “King” Rosado. “He has been trying to get his weight down before returning to the ring,” said “Bozy” Ennis.
Both “Pooh” and Farah were co-managed by partners Moz Gonzales and Eddie Woods.
This writer has been in three facilities named “Bozy’s Dungeon” where “Bozy” trains his youngest son now who is the best prospect this writer has seen since Meldrick Taylor then the 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist. Jaron “Boots” Ennis is 15-0 (13) since turning professional in April of 2016
“Boots” is co- managed by his father and Cameron Dunkin while being promoted by Chris Middendorf’s Victory Promotions. The latter also did matchmaking for his two brothers. The youngest Ennis seems to have all the tools his two brothers have shown and then some. He can box orthodox or southpaw and gets in plenty of sparring with southpaw welterweight contender “The New” Ray Robinson whom is also trained by “Bozy” Ennis.
I had the pleasure recently to sit down with “Bozy” in talking about his “Three Son’s!”
KEN HISSNER: I gather you have trained all three of your son’s the same way. Is that right?
BOZY ENNIS: I trained them all to be smart boxers. I want them to work as hard as I do. I even get into the ring to spar with them.
KEN HISSNER: Let’s start with your oldest son “Pooh”. How would you evaluate his career and how workable was he to train?
BOZY ENNIS: He was good and worked hard but when he got older he felt he could cut back on making the weight but couldn’t without weakening himself.
KEN HISSNER: Your middle son Farah has been rumored to come back since his last fight in 2015. Please talk about that and his career.
BOZY ENNIS: He’s back in the gym trying to get his weight back down in order for that to happen.
KEN HISSNER: Now you have possibly one of the youngest talents in the country in your son “Boots”. He has had quite a few fights (15 in 18 months) in a short period of time. How would you compare his young career to his two brothers and what does the future have in store for him in your humble opinion?
BOZY ENNIS: He is always in the gym, even days after a fight.
KEN HISSNER: I know you have worked with such boxers as Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson, Coy Evans, Milton Santiago, Jr., the Pizzaro brothers and currently with “The New” Ray Robinson. Is there anyone else?
BOZY ENNIS: Buddy Osborn has brought me Manny “Major Pain” Folly (At 10-0 a Super bantamweight).
KEN HISSNER: You obviously stay in great shape so is this something you insist all of your boxers work hard to do the same?
BOZY ENNIS: I work hard to stay in shape and get into the ring and show them how to box.
KEN HISSNER: What is “Boots” next fight?
BOZY ENNIS: October 14th in Springfield, VA, against an opponent 25-12.
KEN HISSNER: You recently in “Boots” last bout were scheduled to fight in western PA but several days before fight time were re-scheduled for a bout in Indiana. How difficult was that to adjust to on such short notice?
BOZY ENNIS: It was the problem with the matchmaker in PA so Chris (Middendorf) was able to get us one in Indiana the same day.
KEN HISSNER: “Boots” has fought seven of his fifteen fights so far in Philly. Is that an advantage fighting at home for you?
BOZY ENNIS: No, I would rather them fight away where there are fewer distractions.
KEN HISSNER: I know you have told me “Boots” deservingly split in a pair of amateur bouts with Gary Antuanne Russell but in the Olympic Trials you felt he should have gotten the decision in their third meeting.
BOZY ENNIS: He had him down and should have gotten the decision.
KEN HISSNER: You have always been available to talk to me and I appreciate it immensely. I feel you are the best trainer in Philly and after having two sons with successful pro careers now have a third son who has all the potential in the world to becoming a world champion. How much input do you have in being suggested or asked for the opponents for “Boots”?
BOZY ENNIS: I leave that up to Cameron (Dunkin) and Chris (Middendorf)
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time from your busy scheduled to answer these questions and wish you all the success in the future.
BOZY ENNIS: Thanks for what you do.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Smith, Bradley, Chisora, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Smith, Bradley, Chisora, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 16th to August 23rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions
Promo Video Released for Canelo vs. Smith
Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith are set to face each other on HBO PPV on Saturday, September 17th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. A promo video has been released for this fight and can be viewed below:
Canelo vs. Smith Undercard Announced, to Include Rosado vs. Monroe
Most boxing fans wanted to see Canelo Alvarez box Gennady Golovkin in his next face, but instead have to wait for Canelo to fight Liam Smith before he steps into the ring with Golovkin. However, fight fans will get a chance to see two opponents that Golovkin was able to beat, handedly, in the co-main event of the upcoming HBO Pay Per View.
Golden Boy Promotions recently announced that Gabriel Rosado will step into the ring to face Willie Monroe Jr. on September 17th. Two other undercard bouts have also been announced, and they include Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Andrew Cancio and Diego De La Hoya vs. Luis Orlando del Valle.
Timothy Bradley Jr. Resigns with Top Rank Promotions
ESPN’s Dan Rafael has reported that Timothy Bradley Jr., a former two division champion, has resigned with Top Rank Promotions for a two year extension. Timothy Bradley has been in some big fights with Top Rank Promotions, including three fights with Manny Pacquiao and one fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Top Rank’s stable includes rising stars such as Terence Crawford and Jesse Vargas and Top Rank is even willing to do business with Al Haymon fighters. Plenty of options remain for Tim Bradley that does not include Manny Pacquiao.
Dereck Chisora Back in the Ring on September 10th
Dereck Chisora (25-6, 17 KOs) returns to the ring on September 10 with an eight-round contest against Drazan Janjanin (13-7, 12 KOs) at the Hovet in Stockholm.
The former British, Commonwealth and European Champion is the latest addition to a stacked card in the Swedish capital topped by the female grudge match between domestic rivals Mikaela Laurén and Klara Svensson.
Chisora missed out on a second reign as European Champion in May, losing via split decision to Pulev, but having regrouped, the British boxer and his team will attempt to launch another title assault, starting with a keep-busy contest against the big punching Bosnian Janjanin.
‘’This is the fight game,’’ said Chisora. ‘’If you lose, you have to rebuild and come back. I lost a close fight to Pulev, but I’m still in a good position. I want a rematch, but let’s see if they give it to me. Either way, there are a lot big fights out there for me, and I’m ready to fight anyone.’’
The 32 year-old says he is looking forward to fighting in Stockholm, having never visited the city before, and will be ringside supporting local fighter Anthony Yigit and watching the main event unfold as Laurén and Svensson battle it out for the interim WBC Female World Welterweight title.
‘’I’m excited to be fighting to Sweden,’’ he says. ‘’This will be my first time in Stockholm, but I’ve heard it’s a great place. That is one of the good things about working with a big promoter like Team Sauerland – you get to fight all over Europe, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to sign with them.
Sullivan Barrera Frustrated with Inactivity, Wants a Top Contender
Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera has been diligently working on his craft in the hot Florida summer under the guidance of trainer Derik Santos.
The former Cuban amateur standout has inexplicably been out of the ring since coming up short against Andre Ward on March 26th in the top pound-for-pound fighter’s backyard. The loss was Barrera’s first and after producing knockout victories in his prior six fights, he is surprised that he hasn’t been back in action.
“I don’t understand it. I’ve been putting on great fights. People have seen my knockouts on ESPN and on HBO Latino. I thought I would have fought again in the summer or at least had a fight lined up by now,” said Barrera.
With a number #4 ranking by the WBA, #8 by the IBF and #12 by the WBC, Barrera is a worthy rival for any upper level opponent.
“Over the past few months there have been talks to face Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal and Slava Shabranskyy but when it comes down to signing a contract, nothing ever happens. I am willing to fight any of these guys. I went to Ward’s backyard. I am not afraid of anything or anyone. Ward and Kovalev isn’t official. Maybe he can give me my rematch. One of these guys needs to step up so we can give the fans a war!” Barrera stated.
Barrera has been very active, fighting 9 times since December, 2013 and he doesn’t see why he doesn’t have a fight scheduled. His frustration stems from his inactivity. He is used to fighting often.
“I don’t have any problems with my manager or my promoter which is usually why a lot of guys aren’t fighting. Everyone knows I am willing to go to Canada to fight Pascal and I am ready to fight Hopkins anywhere! I heard he is looking to have a final fight and I have no problem sending a legend out with a loss! There were talks of both of these fights. One of these guys needs to sign a contract! Seanie Monaghan hasn’t fought in a while. Artur Beterbiev, Eleider Alvarrez – I would take their ‘0’s’ away too. Just give me a fight!”
Kenneth Sims Jr. Signs with GH3 Promotions
GH3 Promotions is proud to announce the signing of undefeated junior welterweight prospect, Kenneth Sims Jr. to promotional contract.
GH3 Promotions will co-promote Sims with Antonio Leonard Productions.
Sims of Chicago is perfect as a professional, as he sports a record of 7-0 with two knockouts.
Sims was a highly acclaimed amateur, who amassed over 200 fights who became a 2-time National PAL Champion, Sims Jr. was also the 2013 USA National Champion, a Silver Gloves Champion, a Junior Olympic Bronze Medalist, a 3-time Ringside World Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials Semifinalist.
Sims turned professional on March 7, 2014 with a win over Corey Mudrew and has racked up six wins since, with the latest being a six -round unanimous decision over Tavorus Teague on March 11, 2016 in Tustin, California.
Sims will be back in action on September 15th as part of the televised undercard that will feature Thomas LaManna and Dusty Hernandez-Harrison from Philadelphia on the CBS Sports Network.
“This is another key signing for us,”said GH3 Promotions CEO, Vito Mielnicki. “Kenneth is another young and talented fighter who fits in with the blueprint we have set up for our athletes. Young, good amateur career and guys who are looking to fight often and are willing to step up. I am happy to be partnering with Antonio Leonard Productions and working with Kenneth’s manager James Prince and I will be looking to work with them more in the future with other fighters.”
“I am excited to be back boxing and getting back to work,” said Sims. “I am looking forward to being on television. This fight will get me the exposure and people who will know me.”
Like other GH3 Promotions fighters, look for Sims to be fighting regularly. That is a schedule that Sims will relish.
“I am looking forward to staying busy. I had only two fights last year and staying busy will help me make my way up the ladder to winning championships.”
At just 22 years-old, Sims has a good attitude and wants carve out an identity, not only in the boxing world, but be known in his hometown.
“I am trying to make a name for myself and do the best and do something for my city..
Sims is known for his boxing ability, who likes to work the body.
“It has been seven months since I fought and I am ready to put on a show. Philly is a great fight town and I am so excited to fight there.”
Said Sims father, Kenneth Sims Sr., “I am so happy to get back to doing what we love to do. We are happy GH3 Promotions picked us up, and those who didn’t will regret it. On September 15, business will be taken care of.”
Sims co-promoter Antonio Leonard has been by his side since he turned professional and had his eye on an emerging talent since his amateur days.
“I have always felt that Kenneth was a tremendous fighter. He has been in Colorado Springs helping with the U.S. Olympic team. The sparring sessions with him and (2016 Silver Medal winner) Shakur Stevenson were amazing.”
“He has the potential to be a great star. He is a grounded kid and with the help of Vito Mielnicki and GH3 Promotions, there is a good chance he could fight for a world title.”
Sims has been the main sparring partner at different times for the sport’s two biggest names and has performed well and gained incredible experience by working with Floyd Mayweather as he prepared for Andre Berto and with Manny Pacquiao as he was getting ready for Mayweather.
Dee Lee Promotions Presents “Heroes on the Sand” for a Tribute to Our Military
Presented by Vans for a special Tribute to our Military, Thursday, August 25th, 2016 on the beach at the 54th Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship, Virginia Beach, VA. Super middleweight Frank “THE FREIGHT TRAIN” Filippone (21-5-1/7 ko’s) of Virginia Beach, VA will headline this exciting card of knockout artists. Filippone, a Virginia Beach Police officer and former WBA-NABA Light Heavyweight Champion is set to take on, Timothy “The Boss” Hall (9-22-0/5 ko’s) of Athens, GA, in the 6 round Main Event on the Beautiful Beach in Virginia.
The Exciting Co-Main features another local favorite, Portsmouth, VA lightweight Dorin Spivey (46-7-0/33 ko’s). Spivey has fought 7 times for carious portions of the lightweight belts and has actually fought for, captured, defended and relinquished the WBA-NABA Lightweight Championship Crown 5 different times!! Spivey, is matched up against Larry Darnell Ventus (6-10-1/3 ko’s) of Detroit, MI.
Also featured on the Professional portion of this fight card is Jerry “SLUGGER” Forrest (13-2-0/12 ko’s) of Newport News, VA vs. Willis “The Prophet” Lockett (14-18-5/5 ko’s) Takoma Park, MD; First Class Petty Officer Carlos Moore (2-1-1/2 ko’s) of Virginia Beach, VA vs. William Lorenzo (3-19-1/1 ko’s) of Columbia, SC; and Defense Department Diver Roger Belch III (6-0-0/6 ko’s) vs Anthony Dave (0-12-1) of Canton, OH round out the professional end of this mixed Pro/Am fight card.