Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Rashidi Ellis targets welterweight elite: I want to fight anybody, and I mean anybody

Rashidi Ellis splits Alberto Mosquera's guard with a sharp jab. Photo Miguel Rocha and Melissa Cervera

The unbeaten Rashidi Ellis has displayed his quality several times since turning pro in 2013, but he promises that the best is yet to come.

“Boxing fans have only seen 10-percent of what Rashidi Ellis is capable of,” he insists.

Now, just imagine what 100 percent looks like.

Ellis will make his long-awaited return to the ring tonight against late-sub Jose Marrufo at the AlamoDome in San Antonio, Texas. The eight-round junior middleweight bout will stream live on the Showtime Sports YouTube channel (7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT), and will precede the three-fight Showtime Championship Boxing telecast (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).

The 29-year-old Ellis (23-0, 14 knockouts), who resides in Lynn, Massachusetts, was originally scheduled to fight Alberto Palmetta, but a change was made on two days’ notice after Palmetta withdrew due to a reported back injury.

Tonight will mark the first time Ellis has seen action since October 2020, when he defeated Alexis Rocha in a clash of unbeaten welterweight prospects. Since that fight, Ellis reportedly had a falling out with Golden Boy Promotions and bided his time to sign a deal with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) earlier this year.

Ellis has used the downtime to improve. He has trained with Ring super middleweight champion and pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez as well as WBO 168-pound titleholder Demetrius Andrade.

“(Tonight) is my comeback fight,” Ellis told The Ring earlier this week. “I get to showcase my talent and show fans what they’ve been missing.

“My fight against Alexis Rocha was a comeback fight. The fight before that against Eddie Gomez (in November 2019) was also a comeback fight. The fans haven’t seen what I’m capable of doing. You haven’t seen the best of Rashidi Ellis.”

Premier Boxing Champions represents several top welterweights including The Ring’s No. 1-rated Errol Spence, No. 4-rated Yordenis Ugas and No. 7-rated Keith Thurman.

Despite the fact that he’s still to mix with elite-level opposition, Ellis is now seeking a big fight on a significant platform.

“PBC has all the welterweights,” said Ellis. “Why wouldn’t I go with PBC? I’ll fight any of them. I want to fight anybody, and when I [say] anybody, I mean anybody.”

Ellis will look to make a statement at the expense of Marrufo. He believes he is a legitimate contender and that it’s only a matter of time before he faces the best in the division.

“I’m definitely a contender,” Ellis insists. “I think I’ve been a contender for a while. I’m not a prospect anymore. I’ve beaten a couple of good guys. Alexis Rocha is a contender now. I guess that makes me a contender.

“I want to fight again right away – the sooner, the better. And it also depends on how this fight plays out. I’ve been out of the game for a while. I want to show out. I believe people don’t give me credit for what kind of fighter I am. I’ve had three fights in four years. PBC is going to keep me busy, so I can showcase my talents.”


Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing