Business issues kept boxer Rashidi Ellis out of the ring for 21 months, but he stayed busy training and sparring with Canelo Alvarez and Demetrius Andrade.
Rashidi Ellis is from a boxing family from Lynn, MA. Older brother Ronald and younger sister Rashida are also high-caliber boxers, and yes, it’s a coincidence that all their names start with “R.”
“They didn’t even plan it,” Ellis said to FanSided. “It just happened.”
Just like the happenstance of their names, the family business of boxing also just happened.
Big brother Ronald found boxing first. He was a late bloomer who sped through the amateurs on his way to a successful professional boxing career. Ellis tagged along and jumped on the boxing bandwagon when he was 12. Before that, he was into karate, but that combat wasn’t aggressive enough.
“I didn’t like karate,” Ellis said. “You know that little one point, you know, you kick somebody, one point. I just want to keep on fighting.”
Just like Ronald, Ellis found success in the ring. According to Premier Boxing Champions, he went 60-11 as an amateur, and he’s a perfect 23-0, with 14 KOs as a pro.
After defeating then-undefeated Alexis Rocha in his last bout in 2020, Ellis won the WBC International welterweight title. He was in a prime position to work his way into the title picture, but his momentum stopped suddenly.
Rashidi Ellis fights Alberto Palmetta on the Magsayo vs. Vargas undercard on Saturday, July 9, on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET
There was friction between Ellis and his promotional team Golden Boy, and he has been on the sideline for 21 months.
“It was very frustrating, especially me in the gym, just waiting on the next one,” Ellis said. “You know, it’s very frustrating. But, you know, I would just, you know, just staying focused, staying in the gym. That kept my mind off of it.”
After his contract expired with Golden Boy, Ellis signed a managerial pact with PBC and is ready to get his boxing career back on track on July 9 against Alberto Palmetta (17-1, 12 KOs) on the Showtime undercard of Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas.
It’s hard for most boxers to stay in shape during long delays in their professional careers, but Ellis was never far from the gym. He stayed busy sparring with undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade.
“I was helping out Canelo with the Caleb Plant fight and helping out my man ‘Boo Boo’ [Demetrius Andrade] his last fight he was supposed to have and some other fights,” Ellis said.
It’s only logical that working with world champions helped Ellis grow as a boxer.
“I definitely take, you know, just little things, you know,” Ellis said. “The way they step and, you know, the faints and all that you know. I’m just picking their brain while I’m in there.”
Ring rust isn’t a worry for Ellis after the work he received with Ellis and Andrade. The wait has been hard for Ellis, but he’s looking toward the future.
“Hopefully, I can get the champions, but you know, it’s not gonna be easy,” Ellis said. “So I guess I gotta you know, keep improving myself so get the big names. Whoever’s the big names out there.”