By: Sean Cross
24-0 welterweight Rashidi Ellis faces 25-1 Royman Villa in a 12-round bout Saturday night at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. While Ellis boasts an impressive record, the man hasn’t fought since 2018. Moreover, Saturday’s fight was an IBF title eliminator. In other words, Ellis was entering the ring on Saturday looking to impress. At first, Ellis went to the body. But it was Ellis’ quick and effective jab that told the story of the round. Indeed, the second he saw, Ellis continued to flash his adventure, although Villa was now able to reach the man. Still, it was Ellis who displayed the cleaner and more effective punch.
The third was close, with Villa chasing and landing at times, although it was Ellis who was punching more often. Ellis turned up the heat in the fourth quarter and threw a shot past Villa with a bad aim. Villa survives for the time being, but quickly fails to make anything happen against a clean punch foil. The action slowed down a bit in the sixth, but Ellis held on. In the seventh, Ellis seemed to be in cruise control. Villa, on the other hand, seem to have a strong back eight, but will need to pile on more if they want any chance of success at that point in the competition.
That being said, it looks like Villa are getting to Ellis in the ninth. Did the talented Ellis seem less than fresh? He saw the tenth Villa shoot violently out of Ellis’s tank and expel gas. Of course Villa’s shots were now landing in panic. Tired and lacking the zip his punches had earlier, Ellis resorted to employing an effective retreat in the eleventh. The two men exchanged shots at the end of the round. Then at the beginning of the twelfth, Ellis was sent to the mat. He got up, but he was in trouble. Ellis did his best to stay on his feet – but was dropped again by Villa at the final bell.
It was enough for Villa to win the majority decision.