Promoter Eddie Hearn is close to announcing a replacement opponent for Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis to defend his IBF welterweight title on July 13th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Boots Ennis’ previously scheduled opponent, Cody Crowley, pulled out of the fight yesterday due to an eye problem, and Hearn was left scrambling to find a replacement to save the July 13th fight date.

Hearn says the card is still happening on the July 13th date, and he’s got the following three opponents that he’s looking at to face Boots Ennis on that date potentially:

  • Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela: A decent fringe contender with a #13 IBF and a 28-3-1, 17 KO record. Gollaz lost to Montana Love in 2022 and has won three fights against a second-tier opposition. Not a great replacement obviously, given his loss to Love, but decent.
  • Shakhram Giyasov: #15 ranked with the IBF but still untested during his six-year professional career. He’s a 2016 Olympian, with his best win coming against veteran Pablo Cesar Cano.
  • David Avanesyan: Casual boxing fans have likely only heard of Avanesyan and know of him from his sixth-round knockout loss to Terence Crawford in 2022. The problem with using Avanesyan is he would be coming off a two-year layoff to take the fight.

While none of the three are especially great, they’re along the same lines as Cody Crowley regarding talent and name recognition with fans.

Hearn’s Statement on the Replacement Search

“At the moment, we are close to announcing the replacement opponent. Of course, the [July 13th] show will go on. There will be a new opponent from the top 15 in the rankings, ” said promoter Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about his being close to finding a replacement opponent for IBF welterweight champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis to defend in the headliner on July 13th in Philadelphia.

Hearn is in a difficult position right now, looking for a replacement against Boots Ennis on short notice with just one month to prepare for the fight.

The IBF’s top 15 is pretty limited in terms of contenders who would be able to fight Boots on short notice. The more recognizable names on the list are coming off defeats, and they won’t be able to fight Ennis in July.

“We’d like to make sure we can tick off that mandatory obligations [with the IBF], and we expect a great fight, and I think an announcement probably tonight,” Hearn continued about the replacement opponent for Boots Ennis.

It would be ideal if Boots Ennis could satisfy his IBF mandatory obligations with one of the replacement opponents for the July 13th date, but it’s unclear if the International Boxing Federation would go along with that idea of Hearn’s.

The last thing Hearn and Boots wants is to have to reschedule with Crowley, a fighter that’s not well known to the U.S public, and it would be a fight that won’t generate a lot of buzz with fans. Moreover, Boots doesn’t need to have another fight with Crowley to fall through with his eye issues.

“We have to go down the rankings now and basically decide the best fight for him. I like the Gollaz fight [Gabriel Valenzuela]. I think that’s a good fight. Shakhram Giyasov. Avanesyan is a good fight,” said Hearn about the potential options for Ennis’s fight on July 13th.

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