It’s A Happy Halloween For Jaron Ennis, Who Dropped Thomas Dulorme In First Round For 18th KO In Row
Joe Louis once said of Billy Conn, “He can run, but he can’t hide,” before stopping his rival in the eighth round of their June 1946 return bout of “The Brown Bomber’s” 13th-round KO five years earlier.
Jaron “Boots” Ennis is saying pretty much the same thing to the entire welterweight division. Ennis should change his nickname to “Boogeyman” at 147 pounds, for the 24-year-old continued to kick ass and take names on Halloween Eve.
The switch-hitting Ennis (28–0, 26 KOs) twice floored Puerto Rican title challenger Thomas Dulorme (25–6–1, 16 KOs) en route to scoring his 11th first-round knockout and 18th straight stoppage win at Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas on Saturday, a terrifying performance announcing him a lurking menace if not a favorite against any 147-pound fighter or champion.
Ennis’ show-stealing achievement preceded a main event featuring WBA “regular” welterweight champion Jamal James (27–2, 12 KOs) losing his initial defense via ninth-round TKO to Radzhab “The Python” Butaev (14–0, 11 KOs), a 27-year-old whose previous fight was December’s third-round knockout of previously unbeaten Terry Chatwood.
“I wanted to show my skills and ability, but I got a big knockout. We got it early, and that’s fine with me. We don’t get paid for overtime,” said Ennis, who has gone as far as six rounds four times with three knockouts.
“I thank Thomas Dulorme for the opportunity. It was a good knockout, but it’s on to the next. Let’s get those big names. They can’t run for too long. It’s either sign up to fight me or get out of the way. I’m ready to take the Ennis legacy to the next level and take over the division.”
Dulorme fell to his hands and knees a minute into the fight from Ennis’ equilibrium-stealing right hand behind his left ear but was able to rise at the count of seven from referee Mike Ortega. Dulorme failed to beat the count after the second knockdown, being floored as Ennis’ left-right-left combination — all to the head — dropped the Puerto Rican to his back.
“[Dulorme] leaned to the right side every time. We worked on that shot in the back room,” said Ennis, who hammered home 23 blistering jabs before the first knockdown, the first one coming only four seconds into the bout. “It was touch, touch and then chop, and that’s what I caught him with. I knew it was over at that point, but I just had to take my time and not rush anything.”
Ennis absorbed a pair of hard overhand rights between the knockdowns before finishing off Dulorme, describing the fight-ending sequence as “a straight left hand, right hook, straight left” combination.
“He caught me with a little shot, but I was just figuring him out,” Ennis said. “Everything I displayed tonight we worked on in the backroom. Catching his jab and throwing combinations. Every time he throws, throw right back, and that’s how I ended it.”
During an interview with Zenger last week, Ennis ranked himself the No. 1 welterweight ahead of undefeated left-handed IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, his unbeaten switch-hitting, three-division WBO counterpart Terence “Bud” Crawford, two-time title winner “Showtime” Shawn Porter and WBA “super champion” Yordenis “54 Miracles” Ugas.
After that top five, Ennis said “you can throw [former champions] Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia in there,” also declaring, “I’m not ‘The Future’ of the welterweight division; I’m most definitely ‘The Now’ of the welterweight division.”
In August, Ugas won a unanimous decision over eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao, who retired afterward. An upcoming welterweight battle on Nov. 20 features a defense by Crawford (37–0, 28 KOs) against Porter (31–3–1, 17 KOs).
“Let’s line up the top five guys: Spence, Ugas, Porter, Crawford, Keith Thurman,” Ennis said on Saturday. “You know I’m coming to take over the welterweight division. Let’s get it. I’m ranked No. 3 in the IBF, so Errol Spence [should be next.]”
In April, Ennis scored a sixth-round KO of former champion Sergey Lipinets, who entered at 16–1–1 (12 KOs) but was knocked out for the first time. Lipinets was 3–0–1 (2 KOs) since being dethroned as IBF 140-pound champion in March 2018 by Mikey Garcia, who earned his fourth crown in as many divisions with a unanimous decision victory.
Lipinets won by 10th-round TKO in March 2019 over former champion Lamont Peterson, who retired after their fight, and was coming off a draw with unbeaten Custio Clayton in October 2020 before facing Ennis.
Dulorme was dominated more than at any previous time in his career, having lost decisions to Ugas, James and Eiamantas Stanionis, by sixth- and seventh-round TKOs to Crawford and Luis Carlos Abregu, respectively, and battled to a draw with two-division champion Jessie Vargas.
“[Ennis] was able to take those shots and demonstrate that he’s got a chin,” said ringside commentator and three-division champion Abner Mares, referring to blows described as Dulorme’s “Monster shots” by fellow analyst Al Bernstein. “Jaron Ennis started really well. Dulorme wanted a fight, and Jaron Ennis brought it. What a knockout, what a stoppage and what a way to do it.”
In the main event, Butaev alternated from orthodox to southpaw stance. The Russian outlanded James 175–121 in overall punches, according to CompuBox, including 36 body shots with a 46 to 36 edge in landed jabs.
“We worked hard on switching up and did it in sparring, and it worked, so we kept doing it,” said Butaev, who led James on two judges’ cards and trailed on the third. “Tonight [James] showed a lot of heart tonight, but I thought the fight was stopped at the right time. I felt it could have ended a lot worse.”
James had eyed a rematch against Ugas (27–4, 12 KOs), winner by 10-round unanimous decision in August 2016. Ugas has been declared “super champion” by the WBA, which has mandated a defense of his crown against Lithuania’s Stanionis (13–0, 9 KOs).
The Ugas-Stanionis winner has been mandated to face Butaev in March 2022.
“This was very important. This is a big step for me, but it’s only my first step. This is my dream, and I became a world champion,” said Butaev, who is currently fighting out of Indio, California, by way of Dagestan, Russia. “I believe that everything is ahead of me, and I’m looking for the biggest challenges. I’m looking to prove that I’m one of the best in the division.”
Edited by Stan Chrapowicki and Kristen Butler
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