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Jaron Ennis Reaches Settlement With Former Promoter, IBF 147 Lbs Mandatory Cody Crowley Now Mysteriously Set To Fight In WBC Eliminator Fight

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American IBF welterweight champion Jaron Ennis is now purportedly a free agent after reaching a settlement with his former promoter, Now Boxing. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Jaron Ennis has reportedly settled his case with his now-former promoter Now Boxing following a lawsuit he initiated to break free from the company. With Ennis now a free agent, the previous IBF mandate for him and Cody Crowley to face each other no longer appears to be in play as Crowley has been ordered by the WBC to face Souleymane Cissokho in an eliminator bout to decide the mandatory challenger; a bout he has already participated last year.

American IBF welterweight champion Jaron Ennis (31-0, 28 KO’s) is now considered contractually free of Now Boxing following a settlement between the two parties, and Ennis is now capable of pursuing his career elsewhere. A likely scenario for Ennis would be Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) under whose banner he has fought for his past two fights, though no decision has yet been made on his front.

The order by the IBF for Jaron Ennis to face Canadian IBF mandatory challenger Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KO’s) has also been rescinded as Crowley has mysteriously been reported to be now involved in a WBC purse bid to face #2-ranked Frenchman Souleymane Cissokho (17-0, 9 KO’s) in an eliminator match that is supposed to decide the WBC mandatory challenger of the 147 lbs division.

Inexplicably, Crowley’s situation continues to stir up confusion and controversy given he had defeated Abel Ramos (27-6-2, 21 KO’s) in a bout that was also confirmed as an WBC eliminator bout in 2023; a bout Cody Crowley ended up winning on March 25th.

Roughly half a year later, Mario Barrios (28-2, 18 KO’s) defeated Yordenis Ugas (27-6, 12 KO’s) faced each other in a bout to become the WBC interim welterweight champion, heavily complicating matters due to Crowley’s supposed WBC mandatory status. Though the WBC never officially confirmed Crowley as the mandatory challenger following his win over Ramos, Crowley remained the #1-ranked contender on the WBC’s 147 lbs rankings up until now.

To add to the mystery, the ordered bout between Crowley and Cissokho was never officially announced by the WBC―a compelling situation given it has now been revealed there has been a purse bid taken place between the two fighters’ teams with Cissokho’s France-based promoter, All Star Boxing, having been reported to have won the purse bid, setting the stage for the WBC eliminator bout to occur in France.

These new developments seem to have Cody Crowley once again involved in an odd set of circumstances, compounded by the WBC and IBF who seem to have difficulty remaining consistent in their decision-making. The IBF in particular has proven relatively unfit as a sanctioning body as it pertains to the welterweight division, having promptly promoted then-IBF interim champion Jaron Ennis to full champion last year due to former undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s (40-0, 31 KO’s) obligation to face Errol Spence Jr in a rematch preventing him from facing Jaron Ennis who was also acknowledged as the IBF mandatory challenger.

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Cody Crowley has intriguingly been ordered to fight in a eliminator or mandatory bout for the fourth time in little over a year. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

While the IBF explained they made their decision due to rematches not trumping over mandates according to their own rules, there have been few cases where any sanctioning body has outright stripped champions for being engaged in rematches, as this matter can easily be resolved by providing exemptions.

Moreover, the IBF’s inability to order both Errol Spence Jr (28-1, 22 KO’s) and Jermell Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KO’s)―who held the IBF title in the 147 lbs and 154 lbs division respectively―to face any mandatory challenger appears a gross neglect of the IBF’s own rules, as Charlo was not ordered to face any IBF mandatory challenger since he won the title in 2020 by defeating then-WBA and IBF super welterweight champion Jeison Rosario (24-4-1, 18 KO’s) in a unification bout.

The IBF would only order Charlo to face a mandatory challenger in 2023, after Charlo had already moved up to the 168 lbs division to lose to undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KO’s) in a disappointing and heavily-criticized performance. However, Charlo chose to vacate his IBF title this year rather than face IBF mandatory challenger Bakhram Murtazaliev (22-0, 16 KO’s), who became the IBF 154 lbs champion just last weekend after winning the vacant title.

While Errol Spence Jr did have a mandatory title defense against Carlos Ocampo in 2018, a year after Spence won the IBF title, no mandatory defense proceeded for the next five years until Spence lost to Terence Crawford in 2023.

In regards to the Cody Crowley situation, the IBF has not stopped to confound the public after ordering Crowley to fight in a IBF eliminator bout against British welterweight Ekow Essuman (19-1, 7 KO’s) on August 2nd, despite Crowley having already won an eliminator bout sanctioned by the WBC. While Essuman’s promoter, Queensberry Promotions, did win the purse bid to stage the fight in the UK, Crowley withdrew from the proceedings without revealing why.

Seemingly determined to have Crowley involved for a mandatory or eliminator bout despite him rejecting the opportunity, the IBF turned him into a IBF mandatory challenger earlier this year―which would give Crowley a direct shot at the title rather than having to go through the hassle of fighting in an eliminator bout first.

However, the IBF will likely rue this decision now as Crowley has once again been removed from a bout that they ordered to fight to become the WBC mandatory challenger instead.

There is a ton of speculation on what is going on with Cody Crowley, with him neglecting potential opportunities for world titles on one front, then suddenly denied a deserving opportunity on another front. While the IBF has made its mistakes, it has appeared genuine in offering Crowley a chance to become a world champion, yet Crowley’s apparent insistence to continue aligning himself with the WBC has not paid off; with him already supposed to be the WBC mandatory challenger after beating Ramos last year, only to now again fight in a eliminator match.

Either way, Cody Crowley should be having little complaints going forward having seemingly drifted off from fighting Jaron Ennis directly for a title, all to fight to become a mandatory again. In the meantime, it is still unknown what Ennis’ future plans are following his case with Now Boxing, and now that he is reportedly a free agent, it is expected that the IBF will order him to face another contender due to their earlier insistence on him to face Crowley.