A cascade of sporting sunshine has graced the Boston area for many years. Beantown is not just the cradle of much of American culture and history. Champions in the area have been crowned in all major team sports and have done so in recent memory.
Just north of the city is Lynn, Massachusetts, which is where unbeaten super middleweight Ronald Akeem Ellis got his first taste of boxing and hasn't let up by any means.
“I started boxing when I was about 13”, said the undefeated fighter who now calls Los Angeles his home of sorts. “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.”
“There was a gym behind a milk factory in Lynn and it just felt like home right away. I started working out a lot there before I actually got into the ring. They told every kid, “you've got it and you're a natural.”
The amateur ranks treated Ronald as well as can be expected and his time as a boxing hopeful certainly culminated with his 2010 Golden Gloves victory over eventual 2012 Olympian, Terrell Gausha. Ellis (13-0-1, 10 KO's) turned professional in early 2011 and scored two quick knockout wins just inside of four months out of the gates. Unfortunately for the young fighter, an error of judgement cost him almost a full year of ring inactivity. When he was asked to elaborate, Ronald was more than willing to admit a temporary lapse of reason as he stated, “I had a little falling out with my manager, Cameron Dunkin my promoters, Top Rank. I failed a random drug test after I tested positive for marijuana. I learned from it and I just had to put it all behind me.”
The west coast came calling later in his career. He's currently managed by Sheer Sports and trains out of the Iron Gym in Santa Monica, California by coach Courage Tshabalala, who himself was a former heavyweight prospect. “I was in Oxnard (California) with (trainer) Robert Garcia and I chipped a bone in my elbow. I needed surgery,” said Ronald. “I was out for fifteen months, but Sheer Sports Management gave me a chance.”
Ellis will take part in the co-main event of a nationally televised card on the Showtime network on Saturday, January 20 in Atlantic City, New Jersey (10PM ET/PT). The multi-fight telecast from Ballys Hotel and Casino is another installment of Showtime's “ShoBox: The New Generation”. He'll tangle with Philadelphia combatant Christopher Brooker (11-2, 5 KO's) and at age 27, Ronald knows that while his days aren't necessarily numbered, they are by no stretch infinite, either. He understands the time is now and that Brooker is bringing a challenge to the ring in two weeks' time. “I know he's a tough guy and he's real rugged,” he said. “He keeps coming forward. He's been talking, so hopefully he can back it up.”
Four fights in 2014 were followed by only two apiece in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The layoff last year was due primarily to a broken right hand Ronald suffered during his February bout with Jerry Odom. “I broke my right hand in the third round,” he said. “My right is my money maker and things were going well in the fight until then. I'm not knocking Jerry in any way, but that made things difficult.” The bout was judged a majority draw. Ten months passed until Ronald returned to the ring, which was less than thirty days ago (an eight round unanimous decision win over Oscar Rojas) and he's ready for the quick turnaround which he's set to encounter.
“I'm fine with it,” he said. “I'm 27 now and I never want that type of layoff again.” He's doing his best to walk the line while always being mindful of the ticking clock of time. Likewise, he understands that hopeful successes in the future could come at a price which entails sitting and waiting as a commodity is created. Ellis isn't fond of such an idea. “I never want to fight like that again,” said the Massachusetts native. “I only have 14 fights since I turned pro in 2011. I'm not looking forward to that. I always want to fight.”
Now that his next contest, the fifteenth of his career is just two weeks away, he's reveling in the victorious sentiments from his last contest and the idle hands he's been able to avoid.
“Training has been great and we're sharpening up because I came off a fight,” he said.
“Camp's never easy but coming in shape helps when you don't have to worry about weight. Ninety percent of fighters need camp to cut weight and I didn't need to do that.”
Ronald Akeem Ellis is ready for his latest challenge and the chance to show the boxing public just what he has to offer. “Just tune in because they're going to hear about me a lot and I'll show the world what I'm about.”
Ronald can be found on Instagram as well as twitter at revron89.