By: Sean Crose
Undefeated super middleweight David Benavidez returned to the ring on Saturday night when he faced Ronald Ellis in a scheduled 12 round affair from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. The 18-1-2 Ellis was able to put his man on ropes in the first. Both men traded in the second, though the 23-0 Benavidez may have been more effective in his punching. Benavidez was putting his punches together well, his shots appearing to take effect. Ellis however continued to throw gamely.
The third was a fairly exciting affair, with both men throwing freely. Benavidez, however, seemed to have more power to his shots. Both men continued to keep things at a high octane pace during the fourth and fifth. Benavidez threw hard in the sixth, but there seemed to be no quit in Ellis. The undefeated former champion banged away at Ellis’ body in the seventh. Ellis continued to move about the ring in the eighth while Benavidez continued to pursue. As the round progressed, Ellis looked like he might be in trouble.
In between rounds, Ellis’ trainer said he was going to give his man one more round. The ring doctor indicated in the corner that he wanted to check Ellis before the ninth. The fight was allowed to continue, but the question now was how much longer the fighter could battle on. Ellis fought gamely throughout the ninth, but it was essentially more of the same.
Ellis kept fighting through the tenth. Benavidez began to really thump on Ellis in the eleventh, throwing and landing at high speed. In the final minute of the round, while Benavidez continued to brutalize his man, the referee wisely stopped the fight. As Showtime broadcaster Mauro Ranallo put it, Ellis “needed to be saved from himself.”