ILLY BOXING HISTORY - October 30, 2021  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Esther Lin / Showtime


Fast-rising Philly welterweight Jaron "Boots" Ennis scored a spectacular first round knockout against Thomas Dulorme Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The scheduled 10-rounder was broadcast live by Showtime. Ennis, ranked near the top by all the major sanctioning bodies, wasted no time against the seasoned vet and perhaps made the strongest statement to date that he is ready to challenge any of the biggest names in the 147-pound division.

Dulorme, 25-6-1, 16 KOs, had twice vied for world titles and in the past had held two regional belts and was considered a true test for the rising Ennis. He started quickly, coming right at Ennis, but the streaking contender remained poised and met Dulorme's pressure with crisp and powerful shots. Ennis, fighting from an orthodox stance, cracked Dulorme with a right hand that send him to the canvas.

The veteran got up and fought back. He even landed a hard right of his own that might have been the stiffest shot that the rarely-hit Ennis has ever taken. Jaron felt the punch, but it failed to make a dent in his condition, his confidence, or his momentum. Ennis stayed focused. Suddenly fighting from the southpaw stance, Jaron fired a vicious three punch combination - left / right hook / left - and Dulorme went down again. Dulorme tried to get up. He almost made it but then fell back to the canvas again, failing to beat referee Mike Ortega's count. The end came at 1:49 of round one.

The victory improved Ennis' record to 28-0, with 26 KOs and 1 No Decision. That mild smudge on his record (he was clearly en route to another knockout when a clash of heads ended his bout with Chris van Heerden) came two fights prior and interrupted an 18-bout knockout streak that continued with a KO of Sergey Lipinets and Dulorme. More importantly, his stunning performance added to the narrative that Ennis is the best in a field of contenders in the hottest division in boxing.

Ennis once again showed his speed, power, poise, and confidence. His overall ability seems boundless, but we won't know for sure until he fights one of the elite fighters that stand above him. However, every indication is that Ennis is ready - and certainly willing - to face any of them.

After the bout, Showtime's Jim Gray asked which of the very top welterweights he'd like to fight. After Gray pressed him to answer, Ennis picked Errol Spence Jr., the IBF / WBC 147-pound champion, and along with Terence Crawford, the best boxer in the division. With Ennis ranked #3 by the IBF (before this bout), that match could easily happen. However, Spence, and any of the other champions, have to agree to take on the impressive young contender.

At the moment, Ennis is clearly more trouble than he is worth to the elite welters. He may have to wait until he is the mandatory challenger for one of the world champions. However, performances like his against Dulorme will help to create a public demand for Ennis to get his chance. And when that chance comes, he appears to have everything he needs to go all the way.

In the main event, Radzhab Butaev stopped Jamal James in an exciting scheduled 12-round bout for the WBA welterweight championship. Both boxers landed consistently in a punch-out. Eventually Butaev earned the TKO win in round six when referee Celestino Ruiz stepped in after a volley of punches had James sagging on the ropes. Some felt the stoppage was premature, but the result officially went into the books as a TKO at 2:12 of round six.




John DiSanto - Las Vegas (via Showtime) - October 30, 2021