Jaron Ennis On First Title Defense: “I Heard Mario Barrios”

Ennis Names a Leading Candidate to Challenge for his Championship

Jaron Ennis could face Mario Barrios in first title defense
Jaron Ennis could face Mario Barrios in first title defense | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Jaron Ennis Says Mario Barrios Could Be his First Title Defense

Events have escalated quickly for the new IBF welterweight champion, Jaron “Boots” Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs). Now, the pride of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is contemplating his first title defense, which could be against Mario Barrios.


The boxing world is still reacting to news that previously undisputed 147-pound champion Terrence Crawford got stripped of the IBF title. Formerly the IBF Interim champion, Boots was elevated to full-time champion. Speaking to the news outlet YSM Sports Media, Ennis reacted to becoming an official world champion.

“It is what it is; they abided by the rules. It was about out of my hands. It was in the IBF’s hands. At the end of the day, I’m a world champion now, ready to make these big fights happen – fight the top guys and make my mark in this boxing game.

If I get my hands on one of these (world title) belts, it’s over with. It’s over now; they might as well pack it up.”


Quite a few boxing enthusiasts believe Ennis is the future of the division. His most recent outing was a dominant eleventh-round stoppage over Roiman Villa in July 2023. Now a full-time champion, Boots feels this is the first step towards eventually conquering the division. When asked about who is under consideration for his first title defense, the Philly fighter said the following:

“I depend on what these guys want to do. I heard something about (Mario) Barrios. I think they’re trying to throw Barrios at me.”

Barrios (28-2, 19 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over former WBA champion Yordenis Ugas on September 30. An Ennis versus Barrios contest would make plenty of sense. Not only are they both promoted by PBC, but there’s been previous talk of the two fighting one another.

The fact that Ennis specifically mentioned Barrios probably means that negotiations are currently happening behind the scenes. Were the fight to occur, look for it to happen in the first quarter of 2024. Stay tuned to 3kingsboxing.com for additional updates on this developing story.

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About Mike W.2033 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.