By Marc Livitz: In a case of aggressor and counterpuncher, Ronald Ellis and Junior Younan fought in spurts to a majority draw in a ten round contest for the vacant USBA super middleweight title at the WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa.
Southpaw Younan (13-0-1, 9 KO’s) fired the first few jabs, after which Ellis answered in turn. Ronald kept his guard high, while Junior preferred to play the role of aggressor early while unconventionally holding his hands low. The two men exchanged close-in shots in a corner in the closing minute. Younan used long periods of inactivity in the second and he preferred to throw just the occasional jab. Ellis (14-0-2, 10 KO’s) looked to keep him on the back foot and proceeded to land three to four unanswered, overhand rights just before the bell. This was his first contest in nearly thirteen months, as he’d missed the majority of 2017 due to required surgery on his right hand.
Junior continued to circle the ring with his left hand down by his side, yet he was able to evade a rush from Ronald by way of a spin and land a right for his efforts. “Flatline” Ellis may have been well aware that “The Young God” Younan may have been lying in wait to counter any incoming movement. The third round was less eventful than its two predecessors, yet the bout appeared almost even.
A minute into the fourth, Ellis once again pushed Younan into a corner and connected with more rights and lefts. He may have been looking to negate Junior’s efforts to slow the pace of the contest. In fact at times, Ronald looked somewhat befuddled as he tried to locate his ever-moving Brooklyn opponent. Referee Adam Pollack warned each fighter to keep their punches up in the final minute during a heated exchange, yet they both continued to swing wide as the bout reached its halfway mark.
The story of the night was beginning to lean towards fighting a three minute round yet only needing perhaps one minute of each. Younan coaxed Ellis to walk into a straight right towards the end of round five. Ronald continued to look for Junior throughout the sixth and the efforts to do so may have slightly aggravated the Boston area native.
The pattern was abandoned in the first half minute of round seven. Ellis got the better of the exchanges and was able to tag Younan with a few left hooks. They returned to the same area in the closing minute. This was perhaps Ronald’s finest round thus far, which was exemplified with a short left hook to the chin and a follow-up right. Younan began to swing for the fences throughout the eighth. Hard, wide swung rights, a few of which found the target. Ronald looked to allow his Brooklyn foe to tire himself out before he sought to return fire, yet he wasn’t able to do so.
If Ellis had hoped to begin round nine with the hopes of having a gassed opponent in front of him, it didn’t show right away. Younan looked to move around the ring, as he’d done all night. Ronald connected with two punches with thirty or so seconds left in a round which may have been very difficult to score. On to the tenth and final round this contest would venture.
A very informal touch of gloves began the final three minutes. With the punch/connect rate seemingly tied, the last round may indeed have been the deciding factor in the eyes of the judges. Younan continued to move backward and Ellis continued to stalk. He landed two straight uppercuts to negate a right from Junior. They showed mutual respect as the final bell sounded in what was a very close contest. The judges would ultimately decide.
Mike Contreras scored the fight 95-95, while Fran Bechen saw it at 96-94 (Ellis), Jeff Sinnett wrote 96-9 (Younan) on his scorecard. The vacant USBA super middleweight title remains as such.
Additional Results from Sloan
Thomas Mattice TKO 7 Rolando Chinnea – Lightweight
Montana Love MD 8 Samuel Teah - Jr. Welterweight
DeShon Webster SD 4 Mengistu Zarzar – Cruiserweight
Jorge Serrano TKO 2 Frank Young - Jr. Middleweight
Drako Rodriguez TKO 2 Shannen McCray - Jr. Welterweight