Jarron Ennis vs. Roiman Villa fight prediction, start time, odds, undercard, Showtime Boxing

The undisputed welterweight championship on July 29 pairing unbeatens Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford has all the makings to be an historic event. 

Yet for all of the pomp and circumstances that are expected on Showtime PPV in Las Vegas, the fight is just as important from the standpoint of much-needed clarity within the division. 

Few 147-pound fighters know this to be true more than Jaron “Boots” Ennis, the 26-year-old phenom from Philadelphia who holds the IBF interim title at 147 pounds yet has been unable to lure an elite or big-name opponent. 

Unwilling to sit idle while waiting for his call after fighting just once in 2022, Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) has decided to stay busy. “Boots” will welcome Venezuelan slugger Roiman Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) on Saturday in the main event of a Showtime Championship Boxing tripleheader (9:30 p.m. ET) from The Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The fight was supposed to join Saturday’s other secondary welterweight title fight from San Antonio — WBA “regular” titleholder Eimantas Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) against fellow unbeaten Vergil Ortiz Jr. — to further set the stage for what happens after Spence-Crawford, but Ortiz (19-0, 19 KOs) pulled out Thursday due to medical reasons for the second straight time in 2023.

“I want to fight both [Spence and Crawford] and I believe I will but most likely it will probably be at 154 [pounds] because those guys are older,” Ennis told “Morning Kombat” last week. “Whoever wins out of that, I hope the winner stays and I can fight for the undisputed.

“At the end of the day, I just play my role and keep training and just keep working. We have been asking for these guys for a while and I actually thought we would be fighting Keith Thurman. But I don’t want to just be sitting around, I want to be active. We want three fights this year and to fight Thurman or [Yordenis] Ugas in September. I don’t want to keep sitting around and getting stale.”

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Ennis is hesitant to use verbs like “duck” when describing the big names he has yet to fight. Wise above his years, Ennis said he understands no one is actually scared of anyone else and that it’s more about business. But he was also just as quick to separate himself from the rest of the pack. 

“It’s about money for certain guys but, for me, it’s not about the money,” Ennis said. “I love doing this and I love beating people and knocking them out. I have fun with this and it’s hard to beat someone who has fun doing what they are doing.”

Considering how perfect the launch of Ennis’ pro career has gone to date, which has helped fuel the hype surrounding him as possibly the next great breakout star of the sport, there has been very little for critics to point at. 

Things appeared to change ever so slightly when Ennis struggled to put away defensive-minded Karen Chukhadzhian in their January bout on the Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Garcia PPV card. Even though Ennis was dominant enough to win all 12 rounds on all three scorecards, he looked human enough (and visibly frustrated) while trying to chase down and corner Chukhadzhian. 

“I really don’t care what nobody thinks, honestly,” Ennis said. “First, they were saying he can’t go past six rounds. Then they were saying we don’t know if he has a chin. They don’t know what they want out of me. I could fight a brick wall and beat it and they would say I’m supposed to do that. I don’t care what anybody says, I’m just being myself. I had a 12-round shutout decision with a guy that didn’t want to engage.”

Ennis expects this weekend to be completely different, mostly because the 30-year-old Villa doesn’t take a step backwards. Villa also enters with momentum following consecutive victories on U.S. soil over the past year, both against unbeaten opponents in Janelson Figueroa Bocachica and Rashidi Ellis. 

“What gets me excited is that he’s a pressure fighter and comes forward. His style is tailor made for my style and there is going to be fireworks,” Villa said. “We are going to beat him up and get a stoppage at the end of the night. My mindset is locked in and focused. I can’t wait to put on a beautiful show. I want to put on a legendary performance.”

“We’re going to have fun and do what I always do. We’ll be smart and let him come to us,” Ennis said. “I can’t go looking for the knockout, that’s when you don’t get it. We’re gonna put on a beautiful show for the fans and give them some fireworks.

“A victory over Villa keeps me going toward my goal. A lot of people say that he’s a power-puncher, but we’ll see on Saturday night. I’m coming to make a big statement and get a stoppage.”

Saturday will be a tripleheader on Showtime as the two support bouts for the main event feature contests in the middleweight and lightweight divisions. Yoelvis Gomez is set to take on Marquis Taylor in the 160-pound ranks while Edwin De Los Santos is set to face Joseph Adorno at 135 pounds.

“I’m ready for this fight. Saturday night he will see that he’s never been in the ring with a lion like me,” Gomez said. “He has some impressive wins, but no one he’s faced is going to compare to me. His streak is over on Saturday night.”

Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the undercard before making a prediction and expert pick on the main event.

Fight card, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Jarron “Boots” Ennis -1400 vs. Roiman Villa +800, welterweights
  • Yoelvis Gomez -410 vs. Marquis Taylor +320, middleweights 
  • Edwin De Los Santos -340 vs. Joseph Adorno +270, lightweights 

Viewing information

  • Date: July 8
  • Location: Boardwalk Hall — Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Start time: 9:30 p.m. ET (Main card) 
  • How to watch: Showtime


Villa has literally come out of nowhere on the global boxing scene after making his U.S. debut in 2022. His combination of punching power, aggressive tattoos and stalking style is somewhat reminiscent of Marcos Maidana and his comeback upset of Ellis makes him worthy of taking the giant step up to face Ennis. 

Not only did Villa adjust well to the initially overwhelming speed advantage Ellis held, he appeared to be supremely conditioned in going 12 full rounds for just the second time in his career. That doesn’t mean he’s anything but a major underdog, however, in terms of the potential for him to hand Ennis his first defeat. 

Ennis brings the combination of explosive power with speed and timing. He switches stances with ease and has the type of skillset to adjust to whatever his opponent brings. 

Unless Villa can establish a threat to the body early by succeeding in cutting off the ring or can hang around long enough to try his hand at tiring Ennis out, this may turn into target practice before too long. 

Villa appears to have a strong chin. But he only knows one way to approach the target and that’s straight ahead. Ennis is too good not to pick him apart in spectacular fashion.

Pick: Ennis via TKO9

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