By: Hans Themistode
At the age of 27, Rashidi Ellis has had the word prospect attached to his name for far too long. Having spent the vast majority of his career in boxing obscurity, the undefeated welterweight has grown tired of both his inactivity and his inability to land big fights.
Come this Friday night on October 30th, Ellis (22-0, 14 KOs) will end an 11 month time period on the shelf when he takes on Alexis Rocha. Yet, for the second year in a row, and the fourth time overall, he will have only entered the ring just once over the span of twelve months. Most of his inactivity however, is through no fault of his own he believes. So while he isn’t ranked in the top ten of any of the sanctioning bodies, Ellis is ready to work his way up the rankings to back the rest of the division into a corner.
“I’m going to put everybody on notice this Friday,” said Ellis during a recent interview with Boxinginsider.com. “A lot of these welterweights are ducking and dodging but I’m just going to keep winning in the ring so that they got no choice but to fight me.”
While Ellis will look to make an example out of Rocha within the next few days, the California resident has been both active and performing well against respectable competition. Earlier this year, Rocha (16-0, 10 KOs) dropped Brad Solomon on his way to a wide unanimous decision victory. Throughout his short career, he’s cruised to win after win and barely broke a sweat in doing so. But while Ellis respects him as an opponent, the level of concern that he has for what he brings to the table is extremely low.
“There’s nothing that I have to worry about but I know he’s a good opponent. He’s strong and comes forward but there’s nothing I’m worried about. I’m prepared for everything.”
Stepping through the ropes, no matter how infrequently, has always been second nature for Ellis. With that being said, COVID-19 has made things slightly different this time around. For the first time in his professional career, Ellis won’t have the cheers of the crowd pushing him through the lull periods of a match.
Regardless of that, crowd or no crowd, Ellis still plans on dishing out a beating of a lifetime.
“It’s pretty much going to be like a sparring match but one when where I really have to beat your ass.”
The win for Ellis hasn’t been tallied just yet, but the 27 year old is already looking ahead. With multiple belt holders at 147 pounds, Ellis won’t be picky when choosing his next opponent. All he hopes is that someone from the upper echelon gives him a shot.
“Anybody with a belt. Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, the winner of Danny Garcia and Errol Spence like any of those guys.”