Exciting unbeaten welterweight sensation Jaron “Boots” Ennis will look to make it 26 knockouts in 28 fights when he faces veteran contender Thomas Dulorme in the 10-round co-main event live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) Saturday, October 30 from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs), who has steadily risen in the ranks since his pro debut in 2016, faces another tough welterweight opponent in Dulorme after previously stopping former champion Sergey Lipinets in April. Dulorme, a 147-pound contender and former 140-pound title challenger, has amassed a solid resume in his career, climbing into the ring with world champions Yordenis Ugas, Jessie Vargas and Terence Crawford.
Named the 2020 Prospect of the Year by Ring Magazine, Ennis is trained by his father Bozy Ennis at Bozy’s Dungeon in his hometown of boxing-rich Philadelphia, Pa.
“My dad has me working on some new things to get better,” said the 24-year-old who boasts sublime boxing skills and power in both hands. “We’re working on having me be more relaxed in there and just staying sharp and alert, using my jab and going to the body a lot more. I never look for the knockout. I just go in there and do what I’m supposed to do and I let the knockout come to me, which it usually does.”
Ennis is currently ranked IBF No. 3, WBO and WBA No. 5 and WBC No. 8 at 147 pounds, and he believes that a title shot isn’t far away. He sees his latest opponent as just another obstacle in the way of reaching his ultimate goal.
“Dulorme is a good fighter and I don’t take anything away from him,” Ennis said. “He’s fought a lot of great guys, world champions, but I’m on a different level right now. I’m coming to take over the welterweight division and he’s in my way. He’s got to go. I’m coming for all the belts.”
With Ennis’ last three fights, including the no-contest against Chris van Heerden, all coming inside “The Fight Sphere” at Mohegan Sun, he is excited to fight out west for the first time in the Boxing Capital of the World as a profesional. Ennis does have fond memories of the city, however, having won Gold at the 2015 National Golden Gloves in Las Vegas.
“That’s a really fun memory, especially because I won the whole tournament,” he said. “I love Vegas. It’s the home of boxing, but honestly, I have so many fans from Philly coming out to this fight that it’s going to feel like I’m fighting at home. I would love to keep fighting in Vegas, bring my Philly people out, and make it like a second home.”
As the next in line amongst future Philadelphia-born world champions, Ennis takes great pride in his hometown and sees lots of boxing potential brewing in the City of Brotherly Love. “I definitely see a lot of other great prospects in Philly. There are even some amateurs that are about to turn pro that are great prospects. Philly has a lot of firepower and great guys coming up in the ranks right now. I feel like Philly is going to take over the boxing world.”
Ennis made his SHOWTIME debut in 2018 on ShoBox: The New Generation, scoring a third-round TKO over Armando Alvarez. Ennis has continued his progression on SHOWTIME, including in his last fight in April, when Ennis passed the most significant test of his career with flying colors, becoming the first fighter to stop Lipinets. Still, the rising star isn’t satisfied.
“It’s wonderful that I’m getting more and more recognition, but that’s not what I do this for. I’m just ready to take over the entire division. I promise this is just the start for me.”
Photo Credit: Justin McGinnis
The Cleveland Cavaliers begin their 52nd season on Wednesday night in Memphis against the Grizzlies. Cleveland is hoping to make the playoffs this season, and the last time that happened without LeBron James was the 1997-98 season.
Last season, Cleveland won 22 games, and that was in a 72-game season. This season, they will play a full 82-game schedule, so there is a good chance they will win more than 22 games.
The Cavaliers have a very young team. The oldest player in their expectant starting lineup of Darius Garland(21), Collin Sexton(22), Isaac Okoro(20), Evan Mobley(20), and Jarrett Allen(23) is 23. In fact, Okoro and Mobley are not even 21, so there could be some growing pains. The Cavaliers will have to figure out if the undersized backcourt of Garland(6-1) and Sexton(6-1) can work. The two can work on offense. Sexton is a gifted scorer((24.5 PPG last season), Garland is a decent shooter, and he came on strong last season. Garland, who spent time with the U.S. National team this summer, could take that next step after having career-highs in points(17.4) and assists(6.1) per game last season.
However, defensively, Cleveland struggled. They were 17th in points allowed, which is not awful, but they allowed teams to shoot 48% from the field, which was 29th in the NBA. Maybe, things could get better defensively with Allen(1.4 BPG last season) and Mobley(1.6 BPG led all rookies in preseason) in the lineup.
Regarding Mobley, the number three overall pick, he has shown flashes in the preseason, but Cleveland will need him to be very good if they want to make the playoffs. Allen should be solid after signing a five-year, $100 million deal in the offseason. Allen, who Cleveland acquired from the Nets in January, averaged a double-double last season (12.8 PPG and 10.0 RPG) for the first time in his career. Okoro, the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, came on strong near the end of last season as he scored in double-digits in 12 of the final 13 games. However, Cleveland has to find a way to integrate him into the offense.
The Cavaliers will have a better bench this season. The addition of Ricky Rubio helps the second unit and the team. Rubio is a professional point guard, and there will be many times where he will close games for Cleveland. In addition, Kevin Love seems to be buying into his role with Cleveland; if Love(played in only 25 games last season due to calf injury) is healthy, which was an issue last season, he can still knock down shots and give this team good minutes. Also, Cleveland acquired Lauri Markkanen in a sign and trade from the Bulls in a three-team deal that sent Larry Nance Jr. to Portland. Markkanen can score the basketball and averaged a career-high 18.7 PPG in his second season in the league. Markkanen was the only 7-footer in the NBA last season to make 100+ three-pointers (118). He should be instant offense off the bench for Cleveland. The Cavs will have a lot of size this season. They can and will feature a lineup, at times, with three 7-footers in Markkanen, Allen, and Mobley, so that should be interesting.
Getting to the playoffs won’t be easy for Cleveland. The Eastern Conference is expected to be very good this season. The top six teams from last season, the 76ers, Nets, Bucks, Knicks, Hawks, and Heat, could be better or close to what they were last season. In addition, the last four teams to make the playoff, the Celtics, Wizards, Pacers, and Hornets, could be around the same or better as well. Furthermore, the Chicago Bulls, who added Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan, could be a high-seed in the East.
For Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to keep his job, Cleveland will have to be better, which they should be. However, better will probably not mean the playoffs. Cleveland does not defend or score well enough for that to happen. But, if Sexton, who the team did not extend before Monday’s deadline, can play with a chip on his shoulder and be better, if Garland takes that next step, if Markkanen shows the league that he can play, if Allen continues to be steady, if Mobley plays like a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, if Okoro gets better in year two, if Love stays healthy and plays well; maybe Cleveland will get into the play-in tournament.
However, don’t bet on it. Expect this team to win between 25-30 games this season.
The Atlanta Hawks have signed guard Kevin Huerter to a contract extension, which begins with the 2022-23 season, the team announced on Monday.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year rookie contract extension worth $65 million.
“It was important to our group to secure Kevin as a part of our team moving forward,” said Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk in a press release to announce the deal. “He’s developed into a versatile, two-way player who can fit any lineup and can play minutes all over the perimeter. We are excited his future is in Atlanta.”
In 69 games (49 starts) last season, the 6’7 guard averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and a team-best 1.2 steals (tied for 31st in the NBA) in 30.8 minutes (.432 FG%, .363 3FG%, .781 FT%).
In 18 playoff contests in 2021 (10 starts), he put in 11.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 31.0 minutes (.428 FG%, .347 3FG%, .706 FT%). In helping vault the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in Atlanta franchise history, Huerter finished with a career playoff-high 27 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in 40 minutes (10-18 FGs, 2-4 3FGs and 5-7 FTs) in a 103-96 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Philadelphia.
Atlanta selected Huerter in the first round (19th overall) of the 2018 NBA Draft.
Three high-stakes matchups featuring former world champions, top contenders and rising future champions have been added to the highly anticipated SHOWTIME PPV event headlined by Canelo Álvarez and Caleb “Sweethands” Plant battling for the undisputed super middleweight championship on Saturday, November 6 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Two-time super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell will square off against exciting contender “Madman” Marcos Hernández in the 10-round co-main event, while unbeaten former super bantamweight world champion Rey Vargas returns to action against Mexico’s Leonardo Báez in a 10-round attraction. Kicking off the pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, super lightweight contenders Elvis Rodríguez and Juan Pablo Romero will duel in a 10-round showdown.
Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs), a two-time WBC 168-pound world champion, won the title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Sakio Bika in 2014. The native of Flint, Mich. dropped the title the next year to Badou Jack by majority decision, before putting together six straight victories to get back into position to fight for the championship again. He captured the title for a second time in 2019, winning a technical decision victory over Avni Yildirim. Most recently, Dirrell battled Kyrone Davis to a draw in February, in his first fight since a title fight defeat against David Benavidez in September 2019.
“I’m very ready for this fight,” said Dirrell. “I know Hernandez is a tough competitor and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fans there since we’re fighting on the same card as Canelo. But I know I’m ready to fight on the big stage and on a card of this magnitude. I fought on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter undercard and I think this fight night is going to have a similar feel. I’m just prepared to do whatever I have to do to get the victory. The fans should expect fireworks. I’m not shying away from the action and hopefully I can get the winner of Canelo vs. Plant if I perform well on November 6.”
Fighting out of Fresno, Calif., Hernández (15-4-2, 3 KOs) has faced excellent competition in his career, battling a litany of tough fellow rising contenders. The 28-year-old most recently scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Armando Resendiz in September. In addition to his recent triumph, Hernández has twice faced former unified super welterweight champion Jeison Rosario, fighting to a draw in their first meeting before losing the rematch. He has also taken down then-unbeaten fighters in Kevin Newman II and Thomas Hill.
“I’m having a great training camp for this fight coming off of my performance in early September,” said Hernández. “As always, the fans can expect me to bring an entertaining fight. I know that I’m up against a former world champion who’s accomplished a lot in his career. I’m just focusing on working hard every day to get the victory and everything that will come with it.”
The former WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion, Vargas (34-0, 22 KOs) will return from layoff due to injury when he enters the ring on November 6. The 30-year-old went on the road to the U.K. to capture his title in 2017, winning a decision over previously unbeaten Gavin McDonnell. A native of Mexico City, Vargas made five successful defenses of his title, defeating top contenders including Oscar Negrete, Ronny Rios and Azat Hovhannisyan. His last fight and fifth successful title defense came via a unanimous decision over former world champion Tomoki Kameda in July 2019.
“I’m very happy for my return to the ring and my debut with PBC,” said Vargas. “You are going to see a renewed Rey Vargas on November 6. My opponent is a good fighter with speed who throws a lot of combinations. It will be a tough fight, but I know I have what it takes to win. I couldn’t be happier to be on the big stage on Canelo’s undercard. I know that I have to shine on fight night, take advantage of this showcase, and deliver a great fight for the fans.”
The Baja California, Mexico native Báez (21-4, 12 KOs) enters this fight the winner of his last three outings, all coming by TKO. The 26-year-old put together the winning streak after defeats to the previously unbeaten Carlos Caraballo and former title challenger Jason Moloney. Báez, who has fought professionally since 2013, will fight in the U.S. for the fourth time on November 6. Amongst his stateside outings, Báez dominated former interim champion Moises Flores on his way to earning a unanimous decision in February 2020.
“I’m excited for this great challenge on November 6,” said Báez. “I’m planning on giving the fans a true Mexican war and leaving it all in the ring to get the victory. It’s an honor to fight on the Canelo undercard and I’m going to make the most of it. This is going to be a toe-to-toe war, and I’m going to show that he’s not able to stand up to my power and aggression.”
Rodríguez (11-1-1, 10 KOs) burst onto the scene with knockout victories in 10 of his first 11 fights. He capped off a five-win 2020 campaign with a knockout of Cameron Krael in October and a decision victory against Luis Alberto Veron four months later. Fighting out of his native Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rodríguez most recently dropped a narrow majority decision against Kenneth Sims Jr. in May.
“I am very thankful to my team for getting me this tremendous opportunity opening up the pay-per-view for the biggest fight of the year,” said Rodríguez. “I have a tough opponent in front of me, but I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m ready to show everyone that I’m the real deal. My goal remains the same, and that’s to win a world title in 2022. First, I am just focused on November 6 and making sure I take advantage of the opportunity that a victory will produce on my road to the world title.”
Romero (14-0, 9 KOs) turned pro in 2017 after fighting for his native Mexico at the 2016 Olympic Games. The 31-year-old dispatched solid veterans Nestor Armas, Nestor Gonzalez and Ranses Payano in 2019, before earning a 10-round decision over Sergio Torres Alvarado in his only 2020 contest. Romero made it back-to-back 10-round unanimous decision triumphs in April of this year, as he won his U.S. debut by defeating Deiner Berrio. Throughout his extensive amateur career, Romero owns an impressive victory over unbeaten welterweight contender Gabriel Maestre.
“I’m very excited that my team was able to get me this great opportunity to fight on a Canelo show in Las Vegas,” said Romero. “I feel just as happy and excited to fight as I did for the Olympic games. I’m going to prove what I’m made of on November 6. No matter who my opponent is, I always train hard and prepare to do whatever I can to earn the victory.”
After one quarter, the New York Giants led the Rams 3-0. However, things fell apart in the second quarter. New York would turn the ball over three times, which led to 14 of the Rams’ 28 points in the second quarter. The game was pretty much over as Los Angeles led 28-3 at the break. The Rams(5-1) would score 38 straight points and defeat the Giants(1-5) 38-11 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
New York came into this game for the second straight week missing key players on offense, including RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay. Against the Rams, New York would lose rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney and second-year LT Andrew Thomas.
New York had a hard time protecting quarterback Daniel Jones, who was sacked four times on Sunday. In addition, Jones, who had struggled with turnovers in previous seasons but had done an excellent job this season of protecting the ball, had four turnovers against the Rams. Jones finished the game 29/51 for 242 yards with three interceptions and lost a fumble.
Despite the turnovers, Judge still has a lot of faith in Jones.
“We’ll look specifically at what happened, but Daniel has improved as a player,” Judge said. “Daniel is a guy that we’re going to have success with. He’s a tough dude; he’s a good competitor; he’s a leader on this team, does everything we ask him to do, does everything the team needs to see from a guy in the leadership standpoint to do and perform. We’re going to have success with Daniel. There are obviously things we have to clean up from today.”
New York also struggled defensively against Los Angeles. Rams QB Matthew Stafford threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns, interception, and Los Angeles had 131 yards on the ground. Last week, the New York’s defense gave up 516 yards of total offense and 37 points against the Cowboys, which defensive coordinator Patrick Graham called unacceptable.
“We obviously gave up too many points no matter what the situation was,’ Giants DE Leonard Williams said. “We allowed them in the end zone too many times. No matter how we started off, we didn’t finish the way we wanted to.”
At 1-5, the Giants have put themselves in a hole, but Judge believes there’s still time to turn things around.
“There’s a lot of ball left to be played,” he said. “There’s a lot of ball left to be played. We’re in Week 6, so to turn around and start tapping out now – I don’t know what kind of mentality other people have, I don’t quit things, these players don’t quit things. We’re not going to do that.”
The Giants are not a good football team right now, and injuries have definitely hurt this team, but their last two games have been unacceptable, and they have to find a way to get things right next Sunday against the visiting Panthers if they went turn the season around.