It is a fairly easily decipherable reason why I dig “ShoBox,” and sometimes find myself extra amped up for their shows and some of their fights more so than some “big deal” main events on the pay cable platforms.
It’s because just about all the participants on “ShoBox” are on the come up, or, at least, not on the come down. Thus, there is an over-all aura, a scent of anticipation, and optimism, which pervades the fights, and the series. When you talk to a ShoBox fighter, as I did Ronald Ellis, who meets Junior Younan in the ShoBox main event Friday evening in Iowa, you find yourself getting swept up into the mood.
Ellis has a 14-0-1 record. He turns 29 on Feb. 5 and would adore a win over the Brooklyner Younan for his b-day. While living and fighting out of California, Ronald, the older Ellis bro–Rashidi is lil bro–reps Lynn, Mass.
Yep, he’s a Mass. guy, which is in and of itself a rarity within the game. That state doesn’t manufacture all that many boxing stars, or even prospect/contenders on the cusp, which is what Ronald sees himself as. A Massachusetts fighter often will have a little extra chip on the shoulder, as often Mass. people do, because too often they find thelmselves being unfavorably compated to New Yorkers, or lost in the shadows of NYC peeps.
“I moved to the West Coast and have been back and forth for about five years,” Ronald told me in a phoner. The boxer is signed to Sheer Sports management, which is headed up day to day by and large by Rachel Charles, a longtime publicist in the fight game sphere, who can impart widsom on the right way to act if you want to get to the graduation stage, where you can go from fighting on ShoBox to getting to the place where you are considered for Showtime Championship Boxing cards.
Ronald has a kid, and lives with his galpal in Cali. He boxes 24-7, doesn’t have to juggle a 9 to 5, so that’s helpful. For this scrap, he’s in against a young lion type, who unbashedly looks to seperate a foe’s head from their shouldes. Younan has been boxing since his diaper stage, and at 22, is looking to make a hard mark in the game. He craves stepping up the ladder and sees himself a headliner who engages in fan friendly scraps. Ronald will have to be on message defensively in Iowa.
Now, he’d had some decent momentum, drawing with Jerry Odom, beating Oscar Riojas, and then downing Christopher Brooker (11-2) in his last tango, Jan. 20, 2017. Yes, he hasn’t been busy of late, so he knows he should make up some ground. That means winning, but also looking good doing so. That means a stoppage, what fans dig, and what draws buzz, and helps get a prospect into a graduation gown quicker.
“I know a little about Junior,” Ronald told me. “He’s young, hungry. I’m 28, I got to get it now. He talks a lot, East Coast style, and he’ll be ready to fight. But I’m not going to be held back. Is there pressure? I’m a calm figter. I don’t let anything get to me. This is another day at the office…but I gotta look spectacular! This is the ShoBox main event for a reason, this will be the fight of the night!”
We talked about the importance of HOW one wins. Skills pay the bills…win now and look good next time…or build buzz by getting that snazzy KO? Does Ronald have a KO mindset? “Yeah…but I’m not looking for it. I throw a lot, and I haven’t had a KO in awhile. (His last KO came four fights ago.) It’s time to put up or shut up!”
Younan is signed to Roc Nation and might be a slight favorite, with the thinking that his aggressive edge will help him in this style matchup. Your thoughts, readers…who wins this ShoBox mainer, and how?