Jaron Ennis now set to defend title vs. David Avanesyan July 13

Jaron Ennis will now defend his IBF welterweight title vs. David Avanesyan on July 13 in Philadelphia, Matchroom Boxing announced Tuesday.

Avanesyan (30-4-1 18 KOs) steps in to replace mandatory challenger Cody Crowley, who withdrew last week after he wasn't medically cleared following double eye surgery in November.

The 35-year-old Russia native is ESPN's No. 8 welterweight. Avanesyan returned in November with a fourth-round TKO victory against an 11-55-3 journeyman, his first fight since he was spectacularly KO'd by Terence Crawford in the sixth round of their December 2022 bout.

"When I received the call to go into a tremendous battle with such a highly rated fighter, I did not need to be asked twice, especially when it is for a world title," said Avanesyan, who fights out of England. " ... This is my last world title chance and I have to take it. I do respect Ennis and his career as he has been perfect, but he has what I want and need."

Avanesyan defeated a faded version of Hall of Famer "Sugar" Shane Mosley in 2016 for the WBA interim welterweight title. He was elevated to champion ahead of his first defense vs. Lamont Peterson, which he lost via decision.

Avanesyan has already faced the best welterweight in the world in Crawford, and now will fight Ennis, who hopes to take the top spot at 147 pounds.

Ennis, ESPN's No. 3 welterweight, is a rising star who signed a multifight deal with Matchroom in April. The 26-year-old previously fought exclusively on Showtime, which ceased sports programming at the end of last year.

Now that Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) is linked with a major promoter, he's 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 in April 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 himself hasn't fought in Philadelphia since November 2018, when he was still a top prospect. Ennis was elevated to champion in November when Crawford was stripped.

With Crawford and Spence -- ESPN's top two 147-pounders -- both now 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.

"Now that Crowley is officially not my opponent, I actually like Avanesyan as a better opponent," said Ennis. "He will put up a better fight which will be what I want."