Jaron “Boots” Ennis was persuaded to sign for Matchroom on the promise of fighting regularly in his home city of Philadelphia.

The IBF welterweight champion’s first fight under his new promoters is scheduled to be against his mandatory challenger Canada’s 31-year-old Cody Crowley, and in Philadelphia, where he last fought when he stopped Raymond Serrano in November 2018.

As is consistent with Matchroom – they signed Regis Prograis partly because they had promised him a fight in his home city of New Orleans, and in December then took Oakland’s Devin Haney to San Francisco, incidentally against Prograis – they intend on building Ennis’ reputation closer to his home, historically one of America’s great fight cities but another that has suffered, in that context, through neglect.

“That’s very important – to know that I’ll fight in Philly,” Ennis said. “It’s been a while – it’s been about six years. The last time I fought in Philly we sold the place out. It was like standing room only – barely, there was nothing. I can’t wait. It’s something that Philly needs. It’s something Philly’s been missing, and this is going to be the first big Philly fight in a long time. This is what Philly needs – this is what Philly’s missing. I needed a proper homecoming.

“I feel like, eventually, there’s a few big fights [destined for Philadelphia], but I’d rather be the first one. So, that’s all that matters.

“I’m just sitting here waiting. I’m sitting here waiting ‘till they give me a ‘Go’. [Crawley’s] a good fighter. But I really don’t care – I don’t care who it is. I just wanna fight in the ring – get back in the ring; get back to doing what I do best. I just want that fight to come.”

Ennis, 26, has observed Matchroom’s handling of Andy Cruz, who trains alongside him under his father Derek “Bozy” Ennis, and Ennis Snr said: “[Cody Crowley is] a pretty good fighter. That’s good – he ain’t fought in Philly for, what, five years? That’d be a good move. You see, the thing is with him – we like to stay busy. He always like to stay busy. He only fought one time [in 2023] – that’s no good. So we get back on the right track with Eddie, so we’ll be alright.

“Sometimes, when you’re [fighting] in Philly and you’re from Philly you’ll be distracted a lot, you know what I mean? But, not him. When it comes to fighting, I don’t worry about him.

“[Philadelphia’s been starved of high-profile boxing] for a long time. The guys that are giving the shows – they’ve been having [lower-profile] fights regularly. Danny [Garcia] was a pretty good draw, so I don’t know why he didn’t really fight in Philly.

“Eddie [Hearn has] been after [Jaron] for a while. He doing a great job with Andy – a great job with Andy.

“It’s always important to be active. You sit out a long time you get bored. It’s not the same. That’s why we like to stay busy. Three fights a year [ideally]. What I like about Eddie – he keep all them fighters busy. He stay busy no matter what he at, you know what I mean?”

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