It started in the basement of a church with no running water called “Bozy’s Dungeon” in North Philadelphia. It would later be on the third floor over a Mosque in North Philadelphia. Current stop is the Band Lanz gym in North Philly on American Street. Derrick “Bozy” Ennis was 11-1 as a pro from 1978-1984 and then introduced his 3 son’s Derek “Pooh”, Farah “Quiet Storm” and Jaron “Boots” to the “Dungeon”.
The oldest son Derek “Pooh” Ennis, is 33 with a 24-4-1 (13) record starting in 2002 with his highlight winning the vacant USBA light middleweight title in 2009 with a win over Miami’s Nigerian Eromosele “Bad Boy” Albert, then 22-3-1 at the Legendary Blue Horizon in a war over 12 rounds! It was his 7th straight win since losing to then 9-2 Alphonso Williams at Philly’s New Alhambra. That was the first event this writer covered back in 2007.
It would be 9 months later when he defended his USBA title against fellow Philadelphian “King” Gabe Rosado, then 14-4 in another memorable bout at the South Philly Arena. That night Ennis the boxer and Rosado the puncher switched styles with Ennis coming out on top after 12 spirited rounds!
Cuban southpaw Giorbis Barthelemy would be next and upset Ennis in Atlantic City in a non-title bout. It would be the last time he would make light middleweight. He ended up winning an 8 round decision before 2011 was over at middleweight. He took 2012 off and came back losing to PR Jonathan “Montequilla” Gonzalez then 15-0-1 in Miami by majority decision. The problem of “making weight” has haunted his career. This time against an opponent you knew he was better than but weak making weight kept him from the victory.
Returning to the ring after 14 months Ennis took the main event for a small club show with a new promoter winning a 6 round decision over Emil Gonzalez.
The middle son Farah Ennis, 21-2 (12), age 31 won the vacant NABF super middleweight title in 2010 over Victor Lares then 15-4 extending his unbeaten streak to 17-0 in Atlantic City. In his next bout he would fall to southpaw Alexander Johnson then 10-0 by majority decision in Atlantic City.
Ennis would bounce back with 4 wins including Anthony Hanshaw then 23-2-2 in 2013 before losing in his last bout to Badou Jack, then 14-0 in Las Vegas over 10 rounds. He was in camp with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin who was preparing for a defense against Rosado. He just got back into the gym per his father/trainer Bozy.
Jaron “Boots” Ennis
The youngest of the Ennis brothers and possibly the one with the most promise is 16 year-old Jaron “Boots” Ennis won the PA Golden Gloves #141 title with just 14 fights. “I didn’t put him into the Novice though he only had 10 fights,” said Bozy.
The younger Ennis was only one of two to make it to the Nationals championship round before losing. That’s quite an accomplishment for a kid with about 15 fights against those with over 100. “You have to knock out a Russell to win and it was important my opponent would be the 4th Russell to win a National GG title,” said Boots.
The professional Ennis brothers have been managed by Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods. “You can’t ask for a better family than Bozy, Sharon, Pooh, The Quiet Storm and Boots,” said Moz Gonzalez. This was at the press conference for “Pooh’s” fight. “It’s a great family and we get along good. We’re happy to have a good partner in Moz,” said Eddie Woods.
KEN HISSNER: Bozy, would you say your youngest son is at an advantage over his brothers because you are not only a more experienced trainer but a better one today?
BOZY ENNIS: No, because I trained him the same way I did his brothers. The difference is he watched them and picked up things.
KEN HISSNER: Speaking of your youngest son I see he got to the championship round at the National Golden Gloves. You must be very proud of that accomplishment for a 16 year old.
BOZY ENNIS: That I am and I thought he won the title bout. Russell had over 100 fights and my son less than 20.
KEN HISSNER: Would you say making weight has been a big factor in Pooh’s defeats?
BOZY ENNIS: In the past yes. Now he has taken it more serious and could make 154 but at 160 he feels more comfortable.
KEN HISSNER: Farah was in camp with Gennady Golovkin. What were his thoughts of him as a fighter?
BOZY ENNIS: He said he got the shit beat out of him the first day in camp. Then he learned to move and box him.
KEN HISSNER: Boots, when your father decided to put you into the open class of the Golden Gloves though you could have competed in the Novice since you had 10 fights what was your reaction?
BOOTS ENNIS: I was fine with it. I have sparred with top amateurs and professionals.
KEN HISSNER: How has it been working with your son’s managers Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods over the years?
BOZY ENNIS: They are the best. They have done everything possible for my sons.
KEN HISSNER: You went from Bozy’s Dungeon to what was called the Muhammad Ali gym to the Bad Lanz gym. Has it been difficult adjusting to this?
BOZY ENNIS: I renamed the Ali gym Bozy’s Dungeon. I take my fighters to different gyms so there is no change when I have to move them. I may train Boots early and the other two later in the day.
KEN HISSNER: What’s next for your son’s?
BOZY ENNIS: Pooh fights in Philly on the 30th. Boots will be in a tournament in Puerto Rico in July. Farah has no date at this time.
KEN HISSNER: You are one of if not the most respected trainer in Philly and known for keeping your word.
BOZY ENNIS: I get asked to train other fighters all the time. I train my son’s and no one else will. If I am asked to help a fighter on their defense I make it clear to his trainer that is the only reason I am here and not to take your place.
KEN HISSNER: You have always been a straight shooter with a great personality. A no nonsense go and the first trainer I would send my fighter to if I had one.