The International Boxing Federation(IBF) has announced that Undisputed champion Terence Crawford has now been stripped of his IBF welterweight title. Thereafter, IBF “Interim” Welterweight champion Jaron “Boots” Ennis has been elevated as the new IBF 147-lb champion.
According to the IBF rules, the Champion in every weight division (except heavyweight) shall defend his championship within intervals of no more than nine (9) months against the leading available contender in his weight class as designated by the Championships Chairman (Rule 5.B, IBF Rules Governing Championship Contests).
Crawford won the IBF, WBA and WBC titles after knocking out Errol Spence Jr in their Undisputed championship on July 29. The IBF is not giving Crawford an optional title defense considering that he inherited the obligations of the previous champion Errol Spence, who was suppose to face the mandatory challenger Ennis.
Ennis has been the IBF no.1 contender in the 147-lb division after his second-round knockout win over 2012 Olympian Custio Clayton in an IBF welterweight title eliminator on May 14, 2022.
Team Ennis then petitioned on October 2022 for the IBF mandatory title shot against Errol Spence. That time, Spence had been in negotiations to fight Crawford for the Undisputed championship.
The Spence-Crawford was the fight that the boxing fans had been waiting for years, and probably the IBF was not preventing it from happening as long as the winner must face next the 26-year old fighter from Philadelphia.
While waiting for the Spence-Crawford showdown, Ennis fought for the IBF Interim title twice: a decision victory over Karen Chukhadzhian on January 7, 2023 and a stoppage win against Roiman Villa on July 8.
The IBF would have wanted Crawford to defend his title against Ennis. However, Bud is eyeing for a rematch with Errol Spence next year after the latter has exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch. Aside from the Spence rematch, the 36-year old fighter from Omaha, Nebraska is also interested in fighting the Undisputed Super Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
The mandatory title shot for Jaron Ennis has been long overdue, and this is the reason why the IBF is stripping Crawford and elevated Ennis as the new IBF Welterweight Champion.