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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by David Algranati - The Fight Photos


Interim IBF welterweight champion Jaron "Boots" Ennis made a striking impression Saturday night in the Ballroom of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, defending his title belt against tough-but-outclassed challenger Roiman Villa of Venezuela. Ennis dominated the action from the start, showcasing his vast skills while carefully breaking down his game opponent. Ennis took a few punches along the way, but the outcome of the fight was never in doubt. As the rounds went by, the only question that remained was if he'd manage to score a knockout. However, Ennis resoundingly answered this question in round ten when the constant punishment he'd been dishing out finally caught up with Villa. The dramatic end came in the tenth round when Ennis dropped Villa for the first time in the Venezuelan's career and referee David Fields halted the fight at the 1:27 mark.

Ennis cultivated the knockout by harassing Villa from every conceivable angle for ten solid rounds. Boot effortlessly switched from orthodox to southpaw and landed powerful uppercuts, hooks and overhand shots from each side. He bloodied Villa's nose and jarred him repeatedly throughout the fight. Ennis wobbled Villa for the first time in round six, but the challenger kept coming forward. Although this played right into Boots' hands, Villa still tested the champ by refusing to go away easily.

Jaron's power shots came more often - and in combination - in the second half of the bout. In round seven, Ennis landed well with the left uppercut and straight right hand. Villa was weakened, but remained competitive. Even when Ennis rocked him more than once in the eighth, Villa responded with his best punch of the fight. Despite the one-sided scoring, this was an exciting battle and the type of fight that will only make Ennis even better.

The final flurry came from Ennis while in the southpaw stance. He fired a stinging straight left and followed with a right hook. The impact of the punches sent blood splattering from Villa's face. As Villa fell along - and then through - the ropes, Ennis missed another left. Villa crashed down and referee Fields jumped in to end the bout. Ennis spun away and began to celebrate as a bloody and dazed Villa watched on from his seated position. At the time of the stoppage, all the three official judges all had Ennis ahead in the scoring. Mark Consentino and John McKaie had the fight scored 89-82 through nine rounds, while Lynne Carter saw it 88-83.

It was an exciting end to a good fight. The performance by Ennis was near perfect, with his only miscalculations being the handful of punches he took during the fight. However, such an exciting and aggressive style often offers a few openings for incoming artillery. This was a fine showing by Ennis, now 31-0, 28 KOs, with 1 No Contest. His performance left everyone wondering how he'd fare against the winner of Spence vs. Crawford, which is finally going down in just three weeks.

Although either of these men would be a big step up from anything Ennis has seen thus far, Boots looks as ready as any young fighter could possibly look. We'll find out how good he really is if he gets that chance. The feeling here is Ennis may be a little too good for Spence or Crawford to risk learning exactly how ready Jaron is. But the future is nothing but bright for Ennis. This is his time, but we'll eventually witness his very best when he faces an opponent on the level of Spence or Crawford.

Roiman Villa was a solid foe for Ennis at this point of his career. Although his style was a perfect fit for Jaron, Villa, 26-2, 24 KOs, gave a good account of himself. He was no pushover and Ennis had to work hard. Given the opposition, the stakes and the ultimate result, this has to be the best victory of Boots' career thus far.

The fight, presented by Premiere Boxing Champions drew a soldout crowd of about 3,000. The card was promoted by Tom Brown, Marshall Kauffman and Sampson Lewkowitz, with the top three bouts broadcast live by Showtime.


Texas middleweight Marquis Taylor (15-1-2, 1 KO, 1 No Contest, upset Cuban southpaw Yoelvis Gomez (6-1, 5 KOs), scoring a ten-round unanimous decision. Taylor dropped Gomez in round two and went on to win by scores of 96-93 (Ron McNair and Paul Wallace) and 99-90 (Robin Taylor). The referee was Harvey Dock.

Dominican Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) dominated Joseph Adorno (17-3-2, 14 KOs) in a ten-round lightweight fight. Two of  the three official judges (Robin Taylor and Paul Wallace) gave De Los Santos every round, scoring 100-90, while Ron McNair gave Adorno a single round (99-91).

Reading, PA heavyweight Steven Torres (6-0-1, 6 KOs) stopped James Evans (6-1-1, 6 KOs), of Toledo, in the third round of a scheduled eight-rounder. The official time was 1:08. The referee was Eric Dali.

Euri Cedeno (5-0, 5 KOs) remained undefeated with a first round TKO of William Townsel (5-1, 4 KOs). Referee Eric Dali stopped the fight at 1:41 of round one.

Paterson, NJ junior middleweight Dwyke Flemmings Jr. (4-0, 4 KOs) won by TKO in round three over Henry Rivera (2-1, 1 KO). Referee Charlie Fitch stopped the scheduled four-round contest at 1:57 of the third round.

Philadelphia southpaw Ismail Muhammad (2-0, 2 KOs) scored a third-round TKO over Parker Bruno (0-2) of Texas in a welterweight fight scheduled for four rounds. The end came at 1:45 of the third. The referee was Eric Dali.




John DiSanto - Atlantic City (via Showtime) - July 08, 2023