Ronald Ellis: Primed and Focused

By Marc Livitz on January 30, 2018
Ronald Ellis: Primed and Focused
“I’ve been gone for a while but I’m now hungrier than ever.” (Jose Mejia/All City Boxing)

On Friday, February 2, Ellis will return to the ring for the first time since January of last year to meet undefeated Brooklyn native Junior Younan…

A big win on Friday and a big win in the Big Game on Sunday is just what Boston area fighter and New England Patriots fan Ronald Ellis is aiming for this weekend. The unbeaten super middleweight prospect from the nearby suburb of Lynn may have traded Beantown’s harsh winters for the warm sunshine of Southern California, yet his roots have remained close to home.

“I started boxing when I was about 13,” said the undefeated fighter who now calls Los Angeles his home of sorts when this writer spoke to him last year. “Before I found boxing, I played football like a lot of kids and I also did some karate, but I didn’t like it. I wanted more combat and at the time, my uncle was a boxer in Chicago.”

Injuries have unfortunately taken chunks of time away from Ellis (14-0-1, 10 KO’s) and significant layoffs were the end result. Ronald fought just once in 2017 and suffered a broken right hand in early 2016 in a hard fought draw against Jerry Odom. In December of the same year, he boxed Mexican journeyman Oscar Riojas from pillar to post but couldn’t score a knockout. A bit more than a month after the unanimous decision victory, he topped Christopher Brooker in similar fashion, yet ultimately had to take yet another step back due to the injury bug.

“I took some time off to heal a hand injury,” said Ronald when we spoke last weekend. “I couldn’t take the pain anymore, so I had surgery last April. It took a while because the doctors took some bone from my hip. It’s the boxing game and you have to roll with the punches.”

On Friday, February 2, “Akeem” Ellis will return to the ring for the first time since January of last year to meet undefeated Brooklyn native Junior Younan (13-0, 9 KO’s) in the main event of a Showtime telecast for the vacant USBA super middleweight title. In addition to counting his good fortune for perhaps finally reaching peak fighting condition as well as relative health, Ronald understands the opportunity which has been placed before him.

“Come fight night, it will have been 13 months, but I always stay in shape,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll just get out there and do what I have to do. It’s a plus that I’ve been off a year and I get to come back as the main event. I always walk around no more than ten to twelve pounds over the weight.”

He’ll find Junior Younan to be more than just a game opponent Friday night at the WinnaVegas Hotel and Resort in Sloan, Iowa. The ‘ShoBox’ main event has already started to build itself up with the amount of disdain each man has shown for the other. It may be more than a simple case of Boston against New York City. Younan has let his dislike of Ellis be more than just known, yet Ronald knows full well that words don’t win fights and talk is a poor form of currency.

“It’s part of the game,” commented the seventh year professional from Lynn. “Those guys from New York are like that. There’s a difference between just talking and being disrespectful, so we’ll have to tune him up a bit.”

As Friday edges itself ever closer, Ellis has prepared himself for whatever his Brooklyn opponent may throw his way and believes he’s got the talent to prevail. “They call him ‘The Young God’ for a reason,” he said. “It’s because he’s hyper. He comes out throwing bombs and doesn’t pace himself. I looked at his résumé and he hasn’t fought anyone yet. There will be fireworks from the beginning.”

These days, Ronald hones his craft at the Watson Gym in the Los Angeles district of Lake Balboa under the guiding eye of Jerry Rosenberg, who himself once fought as a professional from 1982 to 2000 under the nickname of “Jewish Blonde Bomber.” In addition to those in his actual corner, the amount of belief currently held by his promoters point to a big and successful 2018.

“Ronald Ellis has more than enough skill to handle any of the top guys,” said Rachel Charles of Sheer Sports Management. “There is no reason why he can’t take on anyone. He’s a strong, determined and skilled kid who fought with a hand injury and still won. Now that his hand has mended, there’s no telling what he’s going to look like on Friday. A win will be a crossover one. He’s in ‘line ‘em up’ mode and ‘beast mode’ comes to mind.”

Monday means fight week, Wednesday means fighter meetings and Thursday comes down to a hitting of the scale and the counting down of the remaining hours. Ronald Ellis has assured all who will listen that his time is now and although he’d be foolish to overlook Junior Younan, the man who now calls Southern California home can’t wait to mix it up.

“Don’t miss it,” he said. “It’s my comeback. I’ve been gone for a while but I’m now hungrier than ever and I don’t feel like going a full ten rounds. I’ll be ready to fight again in the summertime.”

Ronald Ellis and Junior Younan will headline this Friday night’s telecast of “ShoBox: The New Generation” on Showtime network (10PM ET/PT).

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