All signs pointed to a budding rivalry between Rashidi Ellis and Jaron “Boots” Ennis. Both fighters shared the spotlight at Gervonta Dix vs. Hector Luis Garcia undercard. Their rage was evident during the lead-up and many believed that a showdown between them was only a matter if it happens. Ryan Hafey took the photo.
Before the pair could move forward, however, they were asked for their business affairs. Officially, Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) would do just that, outpointing a trickier-than-expected Karen Chukhadzhian in the co-main event. Ennis was victorious, but Ellis (24-5, 15 KOs), struggled hard with Roiman, a tough and rugged competitor.
“Bozy” Ennis, Jaron’s father and trainer, salivated as he began to envision his son and Ellis in the center of the ring trading fists. Villa had other ideas.
After a strong start to their bout, Ellis slowed down significantly in the second half. He was defeated by Villa’s flashy combinations and speed. Villa pinned the top-ranked competitor against the ropes in round 12 and began teeing off. This led to two knockdowns as well as a majority decision victory.
Bozy, visibly shocked at what was happening, quickly identified the problem. While Ellis admitted that Ellis looked amazing in the beginning, Bozy credits Villa for not letting him go off the gas pedal. In Bozy’s view, his ubiquitous style of attack crumbled due to a combination of poor conditioning and Villa’s relentless pressure and desire to close the show strong.
“You can come out there all strong all you want to and throw those combinations but you can’t keep moving for all those rounds like that,” said Bozy to BoxingScene.com. “Rashidi slowed down, he slowed down.”