By Allan Fox: Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs) intends to make a statement by knocking out Custio Clayton (19-0-1, 12 KOs) in their scheduled 12-round IBF welterweight title eliminator in the co-feature spot on the Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano card on Showtime.
The winner of Saturday’s Ennis vs. Clayton fight will be the mandatory challenger for IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence.
With that said, it’s unlikely Spence will wait around to fight either of them, as he’s planning on attempting to put an undisputed clash together with WBO champion Terence Crawford.
Regardless of whether Spence is successful, he’ll move up to 154. The same applies to Crawford. Boots Ennis says he doesn’t care if Crawford & Spence move up to junior middleweight. Eventually, he’ll fight them because they’d only be one division above welterweight.
This means for the young talent ‘Boots’ Ennis, 24, that he’ll almost surely be fighting for the vacant IBF 147-lb title next if he gets by the 2012 Olympian Clayton on Saturday.
Ennis might fight one of these highly ranked contenders for the vacant IBF 147-lb title later this year: Vergil Ortiz, Conor Benn, Ivan Golub, or David Avanesyan.
Of that bunch, it will likely be either Golub or Avanesyan that winds up agreeing to fight Boots Ennis. It’s improbable that Conor Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn will choose to throw him in with Ennis because he’s not ready for that opponent.
“It doesn’t matter to me if Spence and Crawford decide to stay in the division and face me,” Jaron Ennis said. “I’d love to take the belts away from the champion, but if I have to fight for a vacant belt, I’ll see Spence and Crawford at 154 lbs. They can’t go too far.”
Ennis should make easy work of 34-year-old Canadian Clayton on Saturday, as this is not one of the major talents in the division.
Although Clayton fought in the 2012 Olympics for Canada, he looked unimpressive in his fight against Sergey Lipinets last year, laboring to a 12-round draw. In comparison, Ennis destroyed Lipinets in six rounds last year in April.
Custio Clayton’s last six opponents
Cameron Krael – UD 10 win
Sergey Lipinets – Draw 12
Diego Ramirez – KO 8
Johan Perez – UD 10
DeMarcus Corley – KO 6
Stephan Danyo – UD 12
For some reason, Clayton’s management has matched him like a fighter with little amateur experience, bringing him up at a glacially slow pace. Eight years as a professional, and the only name on Clayton’s resume is Lipinets.
“This fight is everything to me. This is a big stage and it’s time for me to shine I’m looking to show everyone everything that I’m capable of. I’m coming for the knockout. That’s what the fans are coming to see. I’m going to show them what I can do and close the show with a knockout.”
Jaron Ennis’s last six opponents
Thomas Dulorme – KO 1
Sergey Lipinets – KO 6
Chris Van Heerden – NC
Juan Carlos Abreu – TKO 6
Bakhtiyar Eyubov – TKO 4
Damian Fernandez – TKO 3