Ronald Ellis back in action tonight, eager to join 160-168-pound mix
Boxers usually aren’t as enthusiastic as Ronald Ellis following major hand surgery, but the 28-year-old super middleweight is eager to make up for lost time and can’t wait to get back in action tonight at the Silver Eagle Gun Arena in Ashburn, Virginia.
The unbeaten native of Lynn, Massachusetts hasn’t fought since January and he’s ready to try out his recently repaired right hand against tough journeyman Taneal Goyco, a 36-year-old spoiler who has upset his share of unbeaten fighters and recently stopped former prospect Jerry Odom, who held Ellis to an eight-round draw last February.
Ellis (14-0-1, 10 knockouts), the older brother of welterweight prospect Rashidi Ellis, isn’t sure that his hand (which was damaged during the Odom fight) is 100% healed, but his training camp in Southern California’s Valley area went well and he realizes at his advanced age he doesn’t have any more time to waste.
“I haven’t punched somebody in the face since January, so ready I’m ready to go,” Ellis recently told RingTV.com at IRON Gym in Santa Monica, where he does some of his conditioning work.
“I feel like I’m at a stage where I’m ready to test myself against a ranked fighter, and to be honest I wanted tougher opponent for Nov. 4, but I understand why my management wanted me to ease back into it and make sure my hand is ready. This guy is a tough Philly fighter, so I should go rounds, knock my rust off and hopefully be able to come back in December or January.”
The surgery, which took place in April at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, was comprehensive and required significant healing time.
“The hand was reconstructed, basically,” Ellis said. “They fused the carpal tunnel, I got a couple screws in a few places, they even took a piece of bone from my hip to help repair it, and forced me to have six-to-eight weeks of bed rest, which sucked.”
Having to lay out for two months, including road work, was maddening for Ellis, who has watched some of his amateur boxing peers progress with their pro careers.
Terrell Gausha, who Ellis upset to win the national Golden Gloves 165-pound title in 2010, recently challenged WBA 154-pound titleholder Erislandy Lara in the main event of a Showtime Championship Boxing show. Robert Brant, who competed in the 178-pound division of the tournament, participated in the super middleweight branch of the World Boxing Super Series.
And Luis Arias, who competed at 165 pounds in the same Golden Gloves tournament Ellis won, will take on top-rated middleweight standout Daniel Jacobs in an HBO-televised main event on Nov. 11.
Ellis came out of nowhere to score that Golden Gloves finals victory and he hopes to make the same instant splash in the pro ranks next year.
“I only had 19 amateur bouts by the time I advanced to the national Golden Gloves,” he said. “People were like, who is this kid? Even the boxing folks back in Massachusetts believed more in my younger brother than they did in me. Nobody thought I would win it, especially against Gausha, who had way more fights than me and had just won the U.S. Championships.”
Ellis isn’t on many radars in the pro ranks, either, but he’s got more than enough self-belief – along with the support of his family, promotional and management teams – to see him through to the next stage of his career.
“I see my amateur rivals getting big fights, so it’s time to get what is mine,” he said. “Next year will be my year.”
Ellis is promoted by GH3 Promotions, whose CEO, Vito Mielnicki, wants to advance him quickly and aggressively.
“I am looking forward to Ronald getting back in the ring,” Mielnicki said. “Goyco is a solid opponent but I think Ronald will have an outstanding performance, and the plan is getting him back on television in the first quarter of 2018, and with another win or two, I can see him fighting for a world title.”
Should Ellis climb the ranks enough to be considered for a title shot, he says he’s open to fighting at middleweight. He even has a dream matchup scenario that involves his younger brother.
“Picture this, I drop down to 160 pounds, which I believe I can with the right diet, and my brother comes up to 154 pounds and we challenge Jermall and Jermell Charlo,” he said with an ear-to-ear grin.
“When’s the last time a pair of brothers fought each other in a co-main event?”
It’s not bad idea or goal to work toward. All Ellis has to do now is win.