The boxing community continues to twiddle their thumbs and wait patiently for the mouthwatering showdown between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. But while their patience is beginning to draw thin, Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Jaron “Boots” Ennis are slowly but surely making their way up the ranks.
With both Spence and Crawford well into their 30s, most have pegged Ennis and Ortiz as the next great welterweight luminaries. But, in spite of their ever-growing notoriety, Ennis’s star appears to be shining just a tad bit brighter.
According to Robert Garcia, the former trainer of Ortiz, Ennis, 25, has proven his worth as one of the division’s must-see fighters. However, while Ennis continues to enjoy the perpetual praise that’s being heaped upon his shoulders, Garcia admits that if the Philadelphia switch-hitter were to take on Ortiz in his next ring outing, most would side with team Ennis.
“Right now, if you ask the boxing world, everybody is going to say Boots Ennis because of his skills, he’s got power,” said Garcia to Young Billionaire Boxing. “He’s shown that he’s the real deal. Skills-wise he boxes great, he punches very, very hard so, 90% are probably going to pick Boots Ennis.”
In an effort to force one of the current titleholders to face him in the ring, Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs) made quick work of Custio Clayton earlier this year, punishing his man to the tune of a second-round knockout victory. Still, while Ennis successfully nabbed the 27th stoppage win of his young career in his 29th appearance, Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) has yet to enlist the help of the three judges sitting ringside.
Most recently, the bloodthirsty 24-year-old became the first man to sully the record of Michael McKinson, stopping the fringe contender in the ninth round of their bout earlier this year.
Though he’s well aware of Ennis’s overall skills and overarching star power, Garcia isn’t willing to summarily dismiss Ortiz’s chances at pulling off the victory in their hypothetical matchup. While Ennis may seemingly hold the edge from a talent perspective, Garcia is convinced that the 24-year-old from Dallas, Texas, would not only present Ennis with a bevy of issues but has all of the tools to defeat him and the rest of the welterweight division’s elite.
“Vergil has that power and that heart and that chin that you’re going to have to kill him to beat him. Boots Ennis is going to have trouble with Vergil. Crawford, Spence, you name any welterweight, will have trouble with Vergil because of his style.”