With a potential bout versus the Spence-Crawford winner next, two of the hardest hitting welterweights in the world will lay it all on the line Saturday night in a PBC main event on SHOWTIME.
This Saturday, July 8, live on SHOWTIME, undefeated rising star Jaron “Boots” Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) defends his Interim IBF Welterweight World Title against heavy-handed Roiman Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) atop a Premier Boxing Champions event from Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT) will also showcase rising Cuban talent Yoelvis Gomez against middleweight contender Marquis Taylor in the 10-round co-main event. Opening the show, hard-hitting lightweight KO artist Edwin De Los Santos takes on former amateur standout Joseph Adorno in a 10-round clash.
Jaron Ennis is on the verge of next-level stardom and, some will say, is just waiting on his opportunity to take the top spot in the welterweight division. His last fight, however, was regarded by many as a bit of a letdown as he took a one-sided, but less-than-explosive unanimous decision win over the mobile, awkward Karen Chukhadzhian in January, on the Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Garcia undercard.
Prior to the showing against Chukhadzhian, though, the Philadelphia native was on fire. He crushed the undefeated Custio Clayton in two rounds in May 2022. In October 2021, he blew away the usually durable Thomas Dulorme in the first round. In April 2021, he was the first to stop former world titlist Sergey Lipinets. In September 2020, he was also the first to stop gatekeeper Juan Carlos Abreu.
This Saturday, Ennis looks to reinforce his reputation as a master of war and his status as the next big thing in boxing.
Roiman Villa is looking to parlay the biggest win of his career into a lucrative run at the top of the welterweight division. Also on the Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Garcia undercard (and underneath Ennis-Chukhadzhian), the native of Rosario, Venezuela upset rising welterweight contender Rashidi Ellis, dropping the heavily-favored speedster twice in the twelfth round en route to a majority decision victory.
Prior to the Ellis win, Villa was a blip on the boxing world’s radar, with a reputation as a tough, heavy-handed battler, but with no world stage experience. In his first U.S. appearance, four months before the Rashidi breakthrough, he scored the biggest win of his career at the time with an eight-round unanimous decision over Janelson Bocachica.
At stake is Ennis’ Interim IBF Welterweight World Title. The victor also sets himself up for a bigger prize: A possible shot at the winner of the upcoming Errol Spence-Terence Crawford mega-fight which headlines a blockbuster PBC card Saturday, July 29, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View.
The 26-year-old Ennis is a multifaceted boxer and one of the very best offensive fighters in the sport. A switch-hitter with high-end power from both orthodox and southpaw stances, he fights as well on the inside as he does from the outside. His game is centered around a sharp jab, stellar hand speed, and a varied arsenal of punches at his disposal.
Although everything he throws is heavy and meaningful, his best weapons in recent fights have been an overhand right, a straight left and the uppercut thrown with either hand. He also works the body well, dedicating as much as a third of his offense to work downstairs.
On defense, Ennis is intuitive and efficient, although his outstanding offensive abilities have kept him from being truly tested in that area.
“ My time is now! ” Undefeated Interim IBF Welterweight World Champion - Jaron "Boots" Ennis
Villa’s offensive game is simple and, thus far, effective. A come-forward fighter who applies steady pressure throughout a bout, the 30-year-old fights with the quiet confidence of a man blessed with a pair of truly heavy hands.
His best weapons are a thudding overhand right and a strong left hook. Fancying himself a bit of a Mexican-style battler, he also works the body well.
Defensively, Villa tries to keep a high guard, but is all-around basic. His constant forward push tends to keep opposition on their back feet and unable to launch sustained attacks.
"I'm excited to be fighting in the main event and I can’t wait to get in the ring. I know Villa is a straightforward fighter and that’s tailor-made for me. All my hard work will show on fight night. I’m ready to shine and make a big statement on July 8. My time is now!"
“I’m very thankful to my team for this life-changing opportunity. Rashidi Ellis underestimated me before our last fight, so I knew I was going to win and go on to face Ennis. On July 8, I’m going to score another upset and ruin another undefeated record.”
With Ennis and Villa sporting a combined knockout rate of just under 90%, it’s reasonable to assume that this one won’t be going the distance.
Ennis has the more well-rounded skill set and is clearly the more talented fighter, but offense is his game and he will be coming for the kill in this high-profile “must impress” outing. That plays to Villa’s strengths as a heavy-handed banger and provides the Venezuelan with an opportunity to score a second straight upset.
Pulling off that upset, however, won’t be easy. Villa, who can be a bit of a plodder, struggled with the hand speed of Rashidi Ellis and, most likely, will struggle with Ennis’ hand speed as well. The difference between Ennis and Rashidi, though, is the explosive power Ennis possesses, as evidenced by his eleven first-round knockouts.
If Villa can deal with the speed disadvantage and survive the early barrages of a usually quick-starting “Boots,” he’ll get a chance to try and grind his way to a rough, physical victory.
That’s a big “if” against an opponent with so many advantages and one who is a half-step away from his ultimate goals in the sport.
Jaron Ennis vs. Roiman Villa this Saturday is going to produce fireworks. There’s no way it doesn’t. When the smoke clears, either Villa will have emerged as the most unlikely of blue collar spoilers or Ennis will have made an emphatic case for a shot at the winner of Spence-Crawford.
For a closer look at Ennis vs Villa, check out our fight night page.