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Matchroom Wins Ennis-Crowley Purse Bid, Ennis Set To Make DAZN Debut In First-Ever Title Defense

Matchroom Wins Ennis-Crowley Purse Bid featured image
Jaron Ennis' new promoter, Matchroom, won yesterday's purse bid as ordered by the IBF, and is now set to promote and organize a IBF title fight between Ennis and Cody Crowley (R) in the United States. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The IBF-mandated title bout between IBF welterweight champion Jaron Ennis and Canadian mandatory challenger Cody Crowley appears set to go ahead after Matchroom―who represents Ennis―reportedly won yesterday’s [April 23rd] purse bid which will allow them to promote the fight on the DAZN platform. Though no date has yet been confirmed, Ennis’ hometown of Philadelphia is set to become the stage for his Matchroom/DAZN debut and first-ever title fight.

Jaron Ennis (31-0, 28 KO’s) signed with Matchroom approximately two weeks ago and seems to be benefitting already, with the American fighter now expected to main event in a homecoming in Philadelphia against Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KO’s). With Ennis last having fought in Philadelphia in 2018, the IBF welterweight champion will face heavy pressure to overcome Crowley.

According to ESPN, Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn is eyeing the Fargo Wells Center as a possible venue for Ennis’ next fight, and July has been tipped as a potential date the welterweight title fight might occur in. Despite Matchroom’s winning purse bid, Cody Crowley has pulled out of a purse bid organized by the IBF before, and doubts do linger whether he will participate.

This concern is further brought by the promotion representing Crowley, PBC-affiliate TGB Promotions, who was also Crowley’s representative when he pulled out of the IBF’s previous purse bid that would see face British fighter Ekow Essuman (19-1, 7 KO’s) in a final eliminator match last year. Despite such actions usually dictating Crowley would not be considered for a title opportunity by the IBF any time soon, the Canadian 147-pounder has mysteriously become the mandatory challenger, all amidst reports that he could pull out of this year’s scheduled purse bid to face Frenchman Souleymane Cissokho (17-0, 9 KO’s)―to become the WBC mandatory challenger―instead.

It is currently still unclear why the IBF has positioned Crowley from a candidate to compete in a final eliminator to outright mandatory challenger, but the decision now leaves TGB Promotions and Crowley with a possible last chance to fight over the IBF welterweight title―currently held by Jaron Ennis.

Despite the direct title opportunity that has presented itself or Cody Crowley, Jaron Ennis poses a significant threat to Crowley’s career with Ennis’ current approximate KO ratio of 90% as well as overall ability providing explanations for why Crowley withdrew from the purse bid last year to fight against Essuman for the IBF mandatory challenger position.

However, with Crowley having likely to wait longer for a title opportunity if he went the WBC route, there now appears to be little choice for Crowley but to head forward with the IBF title fight.