Ronald Ellis reflects on regrets and bad breaks in boxing before Korobov fight

Ronald Ellis (Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports)
Ronald Ellis (Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports) /

As boxer Ronald Ellis prepares for the biggest fight of his career, he reflects on the highs and lows that got him to where he is today.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, boxer Ronald Ellis takes on his career’s biggest challenge in experienced veteran Matvey Korobov. This is the type of respected opponent Ellis has waited for, but his path to this moment has been filled with surprises and disappointments, but it could end in redemption.

Ellis (17-1-2, 11 KOs) has been boxing for a long time, but his amateur career was unusually brief. He went 21-4, according to The Ring, but won the National Golden Gloves Tournament back in 2010. It’s a big accomplishment for someone with a thin amateur résumé. Ellis turned pro shortly after winning the tournament against Terrell Gausha, but it’s a decision Ellis regrets.

“After I won Golden Gloves nationals, I was like, ‘Oh s**t. I can do this,” Ellis told FanSided. “I can get paid for it.’ It’s funny because that was the year for the Olympics too, and Terrell went to the Olympics. I should have stayed amateur.”

Ellis added, “If you went to the Olympics, they know you right out of the bat. You don’t have to climb up this long ladder and take hard fights so fast and s**t like that. I felt like you can’t cry over spilled milk and hey, it’s just work time. Everything happens for a reason.”

Ellis didn’t go to the Olympics, and he had a harder road because he lacked name recognition. His record isn’t flawless. Ellis has a loss and two draws but still feels like he’s undefeated.

“They ask me, I’m going to tell them right off the bat, I’m 20-0,” said Ellis. “In the two draws, I came in on the B-side, and then the one loss, I felt like I still out-boxed the kid. It is what it is. In my eyes, I’m undefeated. I’m a man. If somebody beat me, I’m going to say you beat me. In all three of those fights, they had commentators saying I won the fight.”

The judges caused Ellis problems in those fights, but his right hand didn’t help matters.

Ronald Ellis has experienced a lot in his boxing career, and he will have to overcome doubts going into his fight with Matvey Korobov

“I was never 100 percent going into those fights,” said Ellis. “Either I had a broken hand, I fought with a broken hand, or I broke it in the fight. It is what it is. I take it on the chin. I still thought I whooped all those boys a**es.”

Ellis had two surgeries on his right hand. He rebroke the hand shortly after the first surgery because he returned to boxing too quickly. Ellis feels that the second surgery did the trick, and he hasn’t had problems since.

Ellis used to fight as a super middleweight, but he elected to drop down to middleweight. He has never weighed less than 162 pounds for a professional fight but thought he could make 161 pounds for Korobov. He was wrong.

Ellis tipped the scale at 166 pounds at the weigh-in. He missed the contracted weight by five pounds. He came to an agreement with Korobov, and the fight is still on, but it was a big misstep for Ellis. It calls his dedication and condition into question.

Ironically, before the weigh-in occurred, Ellis shared his reasoning for moving to middleweight with FanSided.

“My coach used to be like ‘hey, you can kill yourself, lose the extra five, six pounds, come in at 160, and still be the bigger guy. You can still rehydrate till you’re 70 or whatever you want and still be the bigger guy instead of them being, the bigger guy,'” said recounted Ellis.

There’s reason to doubt Ellis’s chances against Korobov because of how badly he missed weight. Korobov (28-3-1, 14 KOs) won two world titles as an amateur. As a professional, he has challenged for world titles on three occasions but lost them all. At 37 years old, Korobov isn’t the same fighter he once was, but he’s still a threat.

Ellis is 31 years old and needs a win if he wants to move up the rankings. A loss could permanently end his dreams of fighting for a world title. His weigh-in setback doesn’t help his cause, but Ellis has a crazy 7-inch reach advantage over Korobov. Look for him to try to keep the southpaw Korobov on the outside with his rangy jab.

Ellis has his work cut out for him, but he has proven to be resilient in the past. Hopefully, his contest against Korobov won’t leave him with another regret or another bad break.

Next. Richardson Hitchins on friends Colbert and Davis. dark

Ronald Ellis vs. Matvey Korobov can be seen on Showtime on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 9 p.m ET.