EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: RONALD AKEEM ELLIS – BECOMING ‘THAT GUY’

Lynn, Massachusetts is a town used regularly in Hollywood movies. Black Mass, Joy and The Departed are just some of the Box Office hits partially filmed in Lynn, masquerading as different cities on a lesser budget. Ronald Akeem Ellis is done pretending. He’s on a quest for the real thing.

The undefeated super-middleweight has already overcome obstacles thus far in his professional career. Previously signed to Top Rank, Ellis failed a drugs test for marijuana and has also recently returned from a serious hand injury. He is eager to make up for lost time, basing himself for the last three years in Los Angeles.

“No, no, no. At this point, I’m gonna be 28 next week… I can’t take no more breaks. After this fight in November, I’m looking forward to being back on ShoBox either January or February. After that, I just want the big fights next year.”

Ellis is out on November 4th, fighting on a card promoted in Virginia. Still recovering from an injury, this is a chance for him to rediscover his form and shake off any lingering ring-rust since his last bout. Under no illusions, he knows he has to work his way back into title contention and seemed content to do so.

“This is me coming back, I had an injury in April and I’ve been off for a while so this is just a comeback fight. Trying to look spectacular but come next year, it’s all about big titles. I’ll be 16-0 by then and it’s just how it all blossoms.”

Fighting in a busy division, currently playing host to the World Boxing Super Series, Ellis knows the value of big wins at 168lbs. 

The division has recently crowned a new champion in David Benavidez and will see the return of IBF champion James DeGale in December. Gilberto Ramirez holds the WBO belt whilst George Groves impressively defended the WBA strap only a couple of weeks ago as a quarter-final within the WBSS. The buzz is truly back at the weight-class, with a familiar face boxing this weekend on foreign soil.

“I love it! You know, he (Groves) really stepped up. He did his thing. Robert Brant, who won the Golden Gloves the same year that I did in 2010, I’m looking forward to seeing him fight. That is made up of the top guys, but I’m right there. I’d love to fight all of them next year, and this year!”

That success in the 2010 National Golden Gloves established Ronald’s amateur pedigree. His brother Rashidi Ellis, currently undefeated and knocking on the door of World titles himself, had paved the way in the unpaid scene for the family.

“Yeah, my little brother, he had a longer career than me. He had 110 fights, I only had about 25. But I won the National Golden Gloves in 2010. The first National title I won, I beat Terrell Gausha who just fought for a World title this past Saturday.”

Fighting families have been seen many times before with varying degrees of success. Recently, the Klitschko brothers era of heavyweighy dominance came to an end with the Fury cousins staking their claim at the top of the tree. However, it’s a far lighter set of siblings that have caught Ellis’ eye as he throws out a suggestion completely new to me!

“The Charlo brothers? I like em’, they’re aggressive. Obviously you got one of them at 160lb, I’m looking to maybe go down and my little brother could touch the other one down at 154lb. If they wanna do it, the brothers fight the brothers… that would be beautiful.”

Certainly a concept that would sell in the US, it was clear to me that Ronald felt extremely confident he could beat the middleweight Charlo. He mentioned his weight again, telling me that currently he is on no strict diet, just training and keeping in fighting shape. Mooting a move down to 160lbs on a few occasions, I was interested in his hunger. His desire to reach the top.

“I’d like to be remembered just as… that guy. I wanna be that guy that never shyed away from nobody. I just wanna go get them, just like the old fighters. I’m an animal, I wanna be remembered like an animal!”

Focused and determined, Ronald Ellis is ready to hit the accelerator, taking his career to the next level. Pushing onto bigger fights, exciting names and World titles is obviously his sole intention. Backed by a fantastic team at Sheer Sports and with his injury troubles behind him, we can expect to see him enter the divisions thoughts in the next twelve to eighteen months. 

Written by Craig Scott

@craigscott209