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Old 05-21-2012, 01:38 AM   #1
Saintpat
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Default Jimmy Ellis

I've always found him very interesting and he's a forgotten man in the heavyweight scene.

He goes from viable, durable middleweight in the earlier 1960s, then moving up to heavy in about a three-year period from 1964-67. By the start of 1970, he's a heavyweight contender on a roll -- arguably rising to the top ranks with consective wins over Leotis Martin, Bonavena, Quarry and Patterson.

Then he runs into Frazier, but remains a viable at least as a top-tier opponent until the mid-70s, taking on all comers.

Other than looking at his record, I know little of him before he 'arrived' at heavyweight -- or how he managed to beef up to compete with the big boys from fighting at 160.

What can the ESB Classicists tell me about the 'other' Louisville heavyweight?
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

Jimmy Ellis,,,,,,

In 1964, the 24 year-old was going nowhere as a 160 lb. Middleweight,
after suffering '3' close 10-Round Decision losses.

Sitting at 15-5-0 (6 KO's) - packs on 15+ lbs. to his 'skinny' 6' 1" frame
in 1965, and 1-year later, scores his 'first' solid victory.

On March 29, 1966 - on the Ali vs. Chuvalo Heavyweight Championship undercard in Toronto -

A 26 year-old 'rejuvinated' Jimmy Ellis at 180 lbs., out-boxes the 'cagey' 194 lb. New York Heavyweight,
and Top-20 rated - Hubert 'The Happy Wanderer' Hilton 13-3-2 (8 KO's) over '8 spritited rounds'.

Hubert Hilton was the #9 Ranked-Heavyweight as of December 1965, following
1965 Knock-out wins over British Heavyweights - 'Playboy' Johnny Prescott and Jack Bodell.

At a heavier weight-level, Jimmy finds out that his speed, reflexes and
movement that he brought with himself from Middleweight, can easily baffle
the slower moving big men in the Heavyweight Division.
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 05-22-2012 at 05:19 AM.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

What a level of competition Jimmy Ellis fought. He sure didn't take the easy road for anything. To get those results after turning heavyweight was incredible--he should have or must have had some wear and tear from all those tough matchups at the lower weights. Wear and tear and moving up to heavyweight during that timeframe should have translated to disaster. How it did not, is a miracle. But yet that Ellis was really a rare breed when you think of how poorly his career could have possibly turned out.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

Angy Dundee worked wonders on him.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

May 21, 1966

In London, United Kingdom - on the undercard of the Muhammad Ali vs.
Henry Cooper World Heavyweight Championship bout.

Jimmy Ellis 18-5-0 (7 KO's) scores a 'shocking First-round Knock-out'
over 180 lb. Fijian Light-Heavyweight, Leweni Waga 19-4-1 (15 KO's).

The 26 year-old Jimmy Ellis, explodes at the opening bell, and went right
after a suprised Leweni Waga. The Fiji 180 lb. fighter is a 'big banger',
and was a 'solid' betting favorite over the American for this scheduled
180 lb. bout. Ellis catches the Fiji fighter cold, and lays him out in front
of stunned England boxing fans at just 1:18 of the 1st Round.

Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 05-22-2012 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

Quote:
Originally Posted by luke View Post
Angy Dundee worked wonders on him.
Might Jimmy Ellis be Dundee's greatest creation?

Ali and Leonard certainly benefitted from his tutelage, but they had gifts that would have risen them to the top regardless of who trained them. No doubt Angelo had a hand in molding their clay, but it was fine clay indeed.

Willie Pastrano, of course, belongs in such a debate, but Ellis was a man who we might never have heard of at all without Dundee's contribution's to his development.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

Quite Possibly Saint Pat,

But Jimmy Ellis benefited greatly, primarily as Muhammad Ali's sparring partner
in 1965 thru 1967, and getting 'good' boxing gigs on the Ali Championship Defense
undercards.

Jimmy was carefully matched, after his 1964 'bad year'.

A little known fact, Jimmy Ellis suffered from a severe case of 'carbuncles', and
that limited his participation in bouts.

'Three' bouts that were scheduled but cancelled, due to Jimmy's illness.
* (1966) Amos Lincoln
* (1966) Thad Spencer
* (1967) Cleveland Williams
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

I think Jimmy's big breakthrough came when he knocked out Johnny Persol in one round on the the Ali-Folley undercard.

Persol was a very skillful boxer who was having a great run against heavies until he ran into Ellis.

I think that win was very instrumental into getting Ellis into the WBA tournament later in '67.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

I have to look up more of Jimmy's fights. I'm coming to like him more and more.

Thanks for all the input, and I welcome more if anyone has anything to contribute. Seems a forgotten guy who was a warrior as far as willingness to take on the best of his day.

I'm amazed that this guy was fighting George Benton to a majority decision loss at middleweight less than 24 months before breaking through at heavy against Persol -- and I kind of overlooked that knockout and had focused on the Leotis Martin win as his first splash in the big-boy division.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

Quote:
Originally Posted by yancey View Post
I think Jimmy's big breakthrough came when he knocked out Johnny Persol in one round on the the Ali-Folley undercard.

Persol was a very skillful boxer who was having a great run against heavies until he ran into Ellis.

I think that win was very instrumental into getting Ellis into the WBA tournament later in '67.
I saw that one "live" on TV and concur it "made" Ellis.

Ellis had a dangerous right hand punch for his size.

Don't forget he actually fought Frazier twice, plus Shavers, who he had a chance to knock out before being k.o.'ed himself.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

I was there at the time and saw Jimmy's development.
The Persol KO pretty much brought him onto the HW scene.
MW career iffy; didn't Carter stop (or decision) him?
Despite the Patterson controversy (Floyd nuthugger here :O}) from August 67 to September 68 he had a four win 'superfecta' against Leotis/Oscar/Jerry/Floyd, pretty impressive!
Years ago, I often wondered why he took the year of 1969 COMPLETELY off after the Patterson nod in Stockholm 9/68, being the WBA champ at the time .
I've read there was a spring 69 match with Henry Cooper in the offing which never came off.
Should have stayed active that year.
I finally saw the Frazier/Ellis Feb 70 bout about five years ago.
What a scrap for as long as it lasted!
Jimmy just couldn't maintain his strategy against Joe but their on the ropes/center ring/on the ropes/center ring chess match for three rounds was very exciting. AND...Jimmy did rise after that bomb from Joe...many fighters wouldn't have.
Interesting that in the Ali/Ellis July 71 scrap, Angie was in Jimmy's corner because he was BOTH trainer and manager for Jimmy.
Jimmy was a very talented fighter (opponents had to watch out for him, he started very early and wanted to plant that right hand bomb on you)
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

I think it can be argued that Jimmy Ellis fits into a top 40-50 all time list at heavyweight.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Pepe' View Post
May 21, 1966

In London, United Kingdom - on the undercard of the Muhammad Ali vs.
Henry Cooper World Heavyweight Championship bout.

Jimmy Ellis 18-5-0 (7 KO's) scores a 'shocking First-round Knock-out'
over 180 lb. Fijian Light-Heavyweight, Leweni Waga 19-4-1 (15 KO's).

The 26 year-old Jimmy Ellis, explodes at the opening bell, and went right
after a suprised Leweni Waga. The Fiji 180 lb. fighter is a 'big banger',
and was a 'solid' betting favorite over the American for this scheduled
180 lb. bout. Ellis catches the Fiji fighter cold, and lays him out in front
of stunned England boxing fans at just 1:18 of the 1st Round.
He also knocked out the durable Johnny Halafihi on the undercard of the first Cooper-Ali fight in one round at Wembley stadium.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

Quote:
Originally Posted by jowcol View Post
I was there at the time and saw Jimmy's development.
The Persol KO pretty much brought him onto the HW scene.
MW career iffy; didn't Carter stop (or decision) him?
Despite the Patterson controversy (Floyd nuthugger here :O}) from August 67 to September 68 he had a four win 'superfecta' against Leotis/Oscar/Jerry/Floyd, pretty impressive!
Years ago, I often wondered why he took the year of 1969 COMPLETELY off after the Patterson nod in Stockholm 9/68, being the WBA champ at the time .
I've read there was a spring 69 match with Henry Cooper in the offing which never came off.
Should have stayed active that year.
I finally saw the Frazier/Ellis Feb 70 bout about five years ago.
What a scrap for as long as it lasted!
Jimmy just couldn't maintain his strategy against Joe but their on the ropes/center ring/on the ropes/center ring chess match for three rounds was very exciting. AND...Jimmy did rise after that bomb from Joe...many fighters wouldn't have.
Interesting that in the Ali/Ellis July 71 scrap, Angie was in Jimmy's corner because he was BOTH trainer and manager for Jimmy.
Jimmy was a very talented fighter (opponents had to watch out for him, he started very early and wanted to plant that right hand bomb on you)
Cooper-Ellis would of been a huge fight in England in 69, pretty sure it was the British boxing board of control who put a spanner in the works for that one because they didn't recognise the WBA.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Jimmy Ellis

I loved ellis's boxing style. good to watch. Always looking to lead the other guy onto a spiteful, lashing right hand. step around, lure them in and make a space for it. JImmy liked to mix it up was tough and slick. He was kicking shavers ass when he got caught and he put a lot of heat on frazier in the first round. Big fan of his work.
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