Crowley out of Ennis title bout due to retina issue

Cody Crowley was forced to withdraw from his IBF welterweight title fight against Jaron “Boots” Ennis on July 13 in Philadelphia after he wasn’t medically cleared due to fluid accumulation in his right eye following surgery in November, Crowley announced on Instagram on Tuesday night.

Ennis, a Philadelphia native, will still defend his 147-pound title on that date, and a replacement opponent is being sought, sources told ESPN.

“Today, I met with my eye surgeon, who performed double eye surgery on me in November 2023,” Crowley, 31, wrote in his post. “While I am pleased that my eyes continue to improve and heal, it still does not meet the minimum requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission.

“The repaired retina in my right eye is experiencing fluid accumulation, causing distortion in my vision. As a result, the surgeon has not medically cleared me to fight on July 13. … Over the next few days and weeks, my team and I are meeting with world-class eye doctors and surgeons to explore my options so I can have a more clear path to get back to world-class boxing at a championship level.”

Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 6 welterweight. The Canadian fighter said at last month’s news conference to formally announce the matchup that he underwent “emergency double eye surgery” since his last in-ring action. That was a majority decision win over Abel Ramos in March 2023.

Crowley, the IBF’s No. 1 contender, was set to earn $585,000 after Ennis’ promoter, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, won the rights to the fight at April’s purse bid with $3.9 million. TGB Promotions, which has Crowley on the short end of an 85-15 split, bid $2 million.

Ennis was slated to make $3,315,000 on the 85-15 split.

Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) is a rising star who signed a multifight deal with Matchroom in April. He previously fought exclusively on Showtime, which ceased sports programming at the end of last year.

Now that Ennis, 26, is linked with a major promoter, he is hoping to establish himself as an attraction in Philadelphia, a city rich with boxing history and once a hotbed for the sport.

“Everybody in Philly’s been waiting for this,” Ennis told ESPN last month in New York. “There hasn’t been a fight in Philly in a while or even a big fight. … Nobody’s fought at the Wells Fargo Center yet. They haven’t had a big fight [in Philadelphia] in a long time.”

Ennis hasn’t fought in Philadelphia since November 2018, when he was still a top prospect. Rated No. 3 by ESPN at welterweight, Ennis was elevated to champion in November when Terence Crawford was stripped.

With Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. — ESPN’s top two 147-pounders — both campaigning at 154 pounds, Ennis is in position to take control of the division.

Ennis last fought in July when he scored a 10th-round KO victory over Roiman Villa.

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