DeAndre Ware hands Ronald Ellis his first defeat in ShoBox main event
When DeAndre Ware isn’t in the gym, he’s fighting fires back home in Toledo, Ohio. The 31-year-old put out the fire in his other career, winning a majority decision over the previously unbeaten Ronald Ellis Friday in their ten-round super middleweight fight at the Main Street Armory in Rochester, N.Y.
One judge had it even at 95-95 but was overruled by the other two who scored it 96-94 for Ware.
It was a much needed win for the relative late-comer to the sport Ware, who sustained his first defeat in September against Cem Kilic.
“I controlled the fight. The whole fight I was landing the harder shots,” said Ware (13-1-2, 8 knockouts). “I finally had a chance to get in shape and have a full camp, and we were able to show what we really have. I applied the pressure. He was just flicking the jab and it wasn’t doing anything.”
Ellis (15-1-2, 10 KOs) had a confident start early on, moving around the ring and landing his shots while Ware followed and looked to load up on big rights. It wasn’t until the fourth that Ware’s patience began to pay off, when one of his rights landed solidly as Ellis was throwing an uppercut.
Ellis began showing off his confidence in the sixth, smiling at Ware after a counter uppercut landed from the outside. The right hands weren’t coming as frequently or with as much impact by this time, leading Ware’s corner to tell their fighter it had been hurt.
After the final round, Ellis admitted to Showtime commentator Steve Farhood that he injured the right early in the fight. Ellis, 29, of Lynn, Mass. had already missed plenty of time in his career due to hand injuries but said he didn’t think this one was severe.
Ellis’ left hand heavy offense opened up the opportunities for Ware’s right hand, which landed numerous times in the seventh. Ware’s corner seemed to awaken his offense as he pushed forward and delivered right hands in combinations while backing Ellis around the ring.
Even with the pain, Ellis let his hands go in a vital tenth round as Ware pressed his advantage.
Ellis, who was fighting for the first time since March of 2018, said he believed he outboxed Ware.
“He was pressuring the whole fight but he didn’t land anything clean. I hurt my hand a little in the third but I was still able to triple jab him and keep him on the outside,” said Ellis.
“I would do a rematch in a second.”
Punch stats showed Ware throwing fewer total punches but landing more (174 of 636 to 150 of 768), with most Ellis’ numbers coming from a jab that didn’t land too frequently (72 of 480 compared to 69 of 250 for Ware).
Ellis wasn’t the only unbeaten fighter to suffer his first loss on the card.
In the co-featured fight, Will Madera inflicted the first defeat on the record of Thomas Mattice, winning a close but clear eight round unanimous decision in the lightweight division. Scores were 77-75 on two cards and 78-74 on the third, all for the in-state fighter Madera.
Madera (13-0-2, 6 KOs) of Albany, N.Y. got off to a faster start, sweeping the early rounds while pressuring the taller Mattice (13-1-1, 10 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio. Mattice finally began using his height as an advantage in the sixth, landing his jab from the outside and setting up combinations. He fared well in the seventh also but Madera was once again busier in the eighth.
“I had to make some adjustments. He’s a good, tough fighter, but it’s all about staying composed,” Madera said. “I wasn’t fazed by any of his punches. He had a little pop, but nothing that I was afraid of.”
Punch stats showed Mattice throwing more (609 to 532), with many of those punches being jabs (65 of 379 to 28 of 161), but Madera landed more total punches (150 to 124) and more power punches (122 to 59).
Mattice, who was coming off a two-fight series with Zhora Hamazaryan where he received a split decision win most thought he lost and then fought to a draw in the rematch, admits he just couldn’t get going early enough against Madera.
“I didn’t do what we came here to do, which was box and use my speed,” said Mattice. “I’m kind of glad this one didn’t go my way so we can learn from this and go back to the drawing board.”