The undefeated welterweight is ready to make his case for a world title shot when he takes on veteran Thomas Dulorme Saturday night in Las Vegas on PBC on SHOWTIME.
The 1 on 1 Boxing gym (also known as Bozy’s Dungeon) may be only two blocks away from Philadelphia’s busy El train, but it might as well be in a whole different world.
Upon entering, one’s senses register that this quiet hideout is one-half haven and one-half workshop; a safe space where serious fighters on all levels are manufactured by a team of dedicated lifers, including the man who gave it his moniker, trainer Derek “Bozy” Ennis Sr.
The tone of the gym is clear: Boxing is life 365 days of the year. That moniker applies to Bozy’s son, and his most prized pupil, unbeaten welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis. Ennis is widely considered one of the rising stars of the sport. After his sensational knockout victory over former world champion Sergey Lipinets, Ennis is now being viewed as a serious contender on the cusp of a world title.
On Saturday night, October 30, Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs) takes another step toward that goal when he takes on dangerous veteran Thomas Dulorme (25-5-1, 16 KOs) at Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, in a SHOWTIME Championship Boxing event (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The prevailing thought at Bozy’s Dungeon is that victory will lead to a world title shot in 2022.
“He [Boots Ennis] has no problem maintaining focus because he loves what he’s doing and has fun doing it,” said Ennis Sr. “We don’t have a problem waiting because we know for a fact his time is coming. It’s up to us to be ready when we get that call.
“We asked for [Yordenis] Ugas and for [Jamal] James. James knows who ‘Boots’ is and said that he will get his shot, just later down the line.”
It helps Ennis’ case for a title shot that the main event of this Saturday’s show will feature James defending his WBA welterweight strap against the undefeated Razhab Butaev. With a pair of victories by Ennis and James, the two could meet early in 2022.
In past generations, a fighter with Ennis’ pedigree and early professional success would have already fought for a world title and would be clamoring for a super fight. “Boots” is aware that the business of boxing has evolved and that patiently waiting is part of the process.
“It’s not discouraging to me because I’m doing my part and taking it one day at a time, just getting better each day. Honestly, it’s on them [current champions] because by the time one of those guys accepts my challenge, I’ll be better,” said Ennis.
“ You’ll know I arrived because I’m kicking in the door like I was S.W.A.T. ” Undefeated Welterweight Contender - Jaron "Boots" Ennis
As part of Team Ennis for his seventh camp, strength and conditioning coach Rob Acosta has seen constant improvements from Jaron.
“You can definitely see a dramatic change and not just in his physical appearance,” said Acosts. “His speed, his coordination, his foot movements, and even his eye speed. It helps that he’s always in the gym, he never stops.
“I’m lucky I don’t have to worry about him, about what he eats. He’s cautious about everything he puts into his body. Not even something like COVID stopped him. His self-motivation is something I’ve never seen before.”
The Spartan-like regimen, coupled with his natural talent, is why many believe Ennis could be boxing’s next great champion.
“My discipline comes from my dad and watching the mistakes my brothers made outside of the ring during their [pro boxing] careers,” Ennis said. “I’ve always been told to stay in the gym. After this fight, I’ll be back in the gym on Monday helping everyone else get ready for their fights. I’ve been doing this my whole life, but I feel like my body is going to let me do this as long as I want because I live a clean life.”
While other fighters from his generation spend as much time on social media as they do in the gym, Ennis maintains a low profile. He only uses social media as a platform to keep his growing fanbase informed with how training is going.
“I always told him to stay humble when he was younger,” said Ennis Sr. “A lot of people promote themselves and they don’t even know what they are saying because it’s just to get a rise out of [other fighters]. Then look what happens when they get in the ring – nothing.”
The deep connection between father and son is evident while they are training. Both believe their dreams will be realized if they continue to put the work in, no matter who the opponent is.
“All of them and it doesn’t matter in what order,” said “Boots” regarding which welterweight he’s targeting. “My time is coming and you’ll know I arrived because I’m kicking in the door like I was S.W.A.T.”
For a closer look at Ennis vs. Dulorme, check out our fight night page.