For the first time in his career, Jaron “Boots” Ennis is coming off a performance that wasn’t so spectacular. On Saturday, though, one of the most celebrated prospects/contenders in boxing gets his chance to showcase the talent that has made observers so high on his future. But first, he’ll have to get by a power puncher coming off his best win in Romain Villa. Here’s everything you need to know about Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis vs. Romain Villa, including the odds, their records and a prediction on who will win.
When he last stepped into the ring six months ago, Ennis went the full 12 rounds for the first time in his career. Though he beat Karen Chukhadzhian by shutout on all three judges’ scorecards, Ennis wasn’t entirely impressive. The awkward Chukhadzhian constantly moved around the ring and avoided danger, and Ennis couldn’t do much to corner him.
Afterward, Ennis said that he felt strong going the full distance but that he should have thrown more punches. He’ll likely get that chance against Villa, who’s coming off a majority decision victory vs. Rashidi Ellis and who likely will be much more aggressive than Chukhadzhian.
“He comes forward and that’s what I like,” Ennis said. “I’m going to show him my skills and everything I can do. We’re going to show him why I’m one of the best fighters in the world. We’re going to have fun and do what I always do. We’ll be smart and let him come to us. I can’t go looking for the knockout; that’s when you don’t get it. We’re going to put on a beautiful show for the fans and give them some fireworks.”
Against Ellis, Villa showed his mettle. He was badly losing on the scorecards midway through the bout, but he had a great second half of the fight and knocked Ellis down twice in the final round to score the upset. Now, Villa has an even bigger task.
“When I fought Rashidi Ellis, I was over the moon with the result and now I’m here for another challenge,” Villa said. “If I win on Saturday, I’m ready for everybody. It doesn’t matter who comes next.”
Frankly, though, most people are more concerned with Ennis’ future. He’s already one of the top talents in the welterweight division, and he seemingly isn’t far off from Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence. With a victory on Saturday, that keeps him on track to a career of stardom and championships.
“A victory over Villa keeps me going toward my goal,” he said. “A lot of people say that he’s a power puncher, but we’ll see on Saturday night. I’m coming to make a big statement and get a stoppage.”
Here’s more info on the Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis vs. Romain Villa showdown that U.S. viewers can watch on Showtime beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis vs. Romain Villa odds
You’re not going to find much value on Ennis if you take his moneyline of -1200 (bet $1,200 to win $100). Meanwhile, Villa is the +700 underdog (win $700 on a $100 wager). Even taking Ennis to win by stoppage at -450 is probably a little bit much. I’d prefer taking Ennis to win by stoppage in rounds 7-12 at +175.
If you were looking for a fun parlay for this weekend’s action of boxing (and this is only for entertainment purposes), I might take Ennis to knock out Villa at -450, Marlen Esparza to win a decision vs. Gabriela Celeste Alaniz at -163 and Floyd Schofield to stop Haskell Rhodes at -450. If you hit all those, that would pay $141 on a $100 wager. It’s not a great payoff, and yeah, it’s going to be tough to get much wagering value with this weekend’s slate of boxing.
Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis vs. Romain Villa records
Though Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) hasn’t yet faced an elite-level boxer, he has beaten some solid B-level talent. And he’s dispatched them all, knocking out Sergey Lipinets, Thomas Dulorme and Custio Clayton. Villa appears to be in the same class as those previous opponents (except for Lipinets, who is a former world title holder and who is Ennis’ most-decorated opponent).
At 26-1 (24 KOs), Villa has demonstrated that he has plenty of power, and considering he nearly finished Ellis in the final round of their fight in January, he can clearly carry that big punch into the later rounds. We don’t know exactly how good Villa’s chin is, because even though he hasn’t been knocked down as a professional, the Colombian-born fighter’s resume isn’t filled with top-notch opponents.
Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis vs. Romain Villa prediction
Villa is certainly a solid opponent, and he’s coming off the most-impressive performance of his career. But Ennis will look to rebound from a somewhat disappointing outing. Villa will be coming for him (unlike Chukhadzhian), and that will make it easier for Ennis to end the night early. Say, Ennis by seventh-round stoppage.