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Homecoming in Philadelphia: Ennis prepares for Crowley test | Boxing News


JARON Ennis and Cody Crowley went head to head in Philadelphia earlier, ahead of Ennis' first defense of the full IBF welterweight crown on July 13th. It was a piquant romance that more than once threatened to cross the line of decency.

Speaking at a press conference at the Wells Fargo Center, the man known colloquially as “Boots” is ready to brighten up a positive ad campaign that got off to a surprisingly negative start.

“I’ll put on a great show,” he promised. “I know July 13 is obviously the focus, but other than that, what's the plan? These are unification fights. Bring big fights to Wells Fargo, right?”

Title challenger Cody Crowley has been linked to Ennis for some time. The Canadian (22-0, 9 KOs) is a confident next step. Not that he saw himself as a stepping stone to Ennis's inevitable rise to stardom.

Cody's speech was respectful and measured. However, his manager Anthony Girges was ready for action as the matter quickly escalated into an altercation. Girges stoked the fire with light trash talk.

Chasing Terence Crawford has become a game for Ennis, whose main goal is to get active and stay active. New promoter Eddie Hearn will help him with this. It's Eddie's responsibility to add a touch of finesse and exaggeration to a promising story that has recently lost its way, largely due to inaction and advertising and management squabbles.

“The biggest thing for me was bringing him home to Philadelphia,” promoter Matchroom said. “And we made it possible because you have such a special fighter and you have such a great city.

“People don't understand the history of boxing in this city. How has he never fought here (in this arena)? Well, now it's time to change that.”

While Ennis dealt with issues outside the ring, challenger Crowley, a soft-spoken southpaw who tried to distance himself from his manager's provocative incitement, was outside the ring dealing with various serious matters of his own.

Deciding whether to go the WBC, WBO or WBA route was the least of his worries. Crowley faced many personal circumstances and mental health issues, including the heartbreaking death of his father.

“This is my dream. This is my time,” an emotional Crowley said. “I know it's a big homecoming, but like he said on his Instagram today, I'm going to steal the hearts of Philadelphia.

“This is the true story of Rocky. Man, I've been through hell and back. My whole life was taken away from me. In front of him is a man who is ready to die on July 13 – I’m serious.”

Harsh words, but again it is a tough sport. Some of the crowd's reactions to Crowley's plight were less than flattering. While father Derrick “Bosie” Ennis, a former professional fighter, jumped out of his seat and prepared for the rumble, Jaron took it all in stride. Just like his entire career.

“My main focus right now, though, is Cody Crowley,” said Jaron Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs). “That’s all my eyes are focused on right now. But after that? Definitely undeniable. Collect the rest of the belts and go forward to the year 54 and do the same there.”

Crowley has been running in Rocky's steps waiting for his big moment, and it would indeed be a real Rocky story if he could pull it off against the man Hearn calls “the future of the sport.” Today's journey begins on July 13th.


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