Home Boxing News Jaron Ennis doubts Errol Spence Jr will return to welterweight after Keith...

Jaron Ennis doubts Errol Spence Jr will return to welterweight after Keith Thurman fight at 154-pounds

Errol Spence
Errol Spence Jr. Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

IBF interim welterweight titleholder Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis 30-0 (27) is sceptical that unified 147-pound champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr 28-0 (22) will return to the division if he fights Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman 30-1 (22) at junior middleweight as expected.

The 25-year-old Ennis from Philadelphia was taken the championship distance for the first time in his seven-year pro career when he pitched a shutout against Karen Chukhadzhian last weekend to claim the vacant interim title.

If Texan southpaw Spence, 32, does indeed remain at 154-pounds, the WBC, WBA and IBF belts at welterweight will become vacant and Ennis will be elevated to full championship status by the IBF.

“If he’s fighting Keith Thurman at 154, I feel like he’s not coming back down. I feel like he’s getting older now and his body… I guess he’s going to move up,” Ennis said to YSM Sports Media.

Spence was in protracted negotiations to face WBO welterweight champion Terrence ‘Bud’ Crawford 39-0 (30) last year for a four-belt unification bout but those talks fell apart and the chances of that fight happened now seem further away than ever.

“I doubt if he’s fighting at 154 that he’ll come back to 147 to fight me or Bud,” Ennis said. “I feel like he’s going to stay at 154 unless he’s testing his body to see how it feels at 154. But I doubt he’s ever going to come back to 147 again unless it’s for a big fight.

“I can’t see that happening at 154, but how are they doing to do it without any belts?

“Everybody wants to see them fight for the undisputed [at 147-pounds]. With them fighting at 154, it doesn’t make sense. It makes more sense [at 147-pounds]. I don’t know what they’re going to do and what they got going on.

“Hopefully, they get it together fast and fight me. I hate sitting around, wondering, ‘Are these guys ever going to fight?’ You got to be patient and that’s what I’m doing. I’m being patient.

“In the meantime, if I don’t get Errol Spence, Keith Thurman or Bud, I want to stay active this year. I want to fight at least three times. I’m trying to get back in there ASAP with anybody.”

The career of Thurman, 34, has been marred by layoffs largely due to injuries in recent years. He has fought just three times since his split decision win over Danny Garcia almost six years ago.

Thurman defeated Josesito Lopez 38-9 (21) in January 2019 and Mario Barrios 26-2 (17) in February last year, both on points. Sandwiched in between those victories was a split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao 62-8-2 (39) in July 2019.

Ennis can see just one result in the proposed Spence-Thurman bout.

“Spence is going to stop Thurman,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s at 147 or 154, Spence is going to stop him.

“Thurman is good but he’s a little older and I don’t think he’s going to be able to stand Errol Spence’s pressure.”