By Jack Tiernan: Roiman Villa and his promoter Sampson Lewkowicz are willing to give Rashidi Ellis a rematch if he’s interested after defeating him by a 12 round majority decision last Saturday night in an IBF welterweight title eliminator at the Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C.
The judges gave the 29-year-old Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) the decision by the scores 114-112, 114-112, and 113-113.
Rashidi should count himself lucky that there weren’t an extra 15 to 20 seconds remaining in the twelfth round, as he was on the precipice of being stoppages by the hard-hitting Villa, who resembled a prime Marcos Maidana with the way he was chopping down Ellis with his sledgehammer shots.
Ellis (24-1, 15 KOs) had a case of sour grapes after the contest, complaining that he felt he deserved the decision and wanted an immediate rematch.
Rather than taking the high road and acknowledging that he’d fallen apart at the end and giving credit to Villa for dropping him three times in the twelve round, Ellis was bitter about it.
“He disrespected me; that was his biggest mistake,” said Roiman Ellis about Ellis.
“At the [final] press conference, he was only talking about fighting Jaron Ennis next and ignoring me. That gave me extra power.
“If he says he has doubts, we can do this again,” continued Villa. “There’s nothing different he could do to change things, and if he tries to surprise me and exchange punches, then I can go home earlier next time. I’ll put him to sleep.
“I want the rematch right away,” Rashidi said after the judges’ scores were announced after the fight. “I totally disagree with the decision. I was winning most of the rounds.”
Fighting Villa again could be a colossal mistake on Ellis’ part because cannot absorb a second defeat without his career being wrecked permanently.
Ellis is already in a bad position, having wasted ten years of his career, languishing in obscurity, rarely fighting, and facing poor opposition. His promoters dropped the ball and failed to bring him along the way that needed to for his career to take off.
The way that Ellis ran out of gas after five rounds last Saturday night against Villa could be a product of his inactivity, as he looked like his cardio wasn’t up to the task of fighting a twelve round fight at a fast pace. Although the 29-year-old Villa is the same age as Ellis, he was a much better-conditioned fighter.
Villa ideally would like a title shot against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr, given that his fight with Rashidi was a title eliminator, making him the mandatory for Errol’s belt.
If Villa can’t get the title shot against Spence, his second option would be to face IBF interim welterweight champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, as that would further cement his position to challenge or be elevated to full champion if the strap is vacated.
Boots Ennis is in the same position as Villa in sitting and waiting to get a title shot against IBF champion Spence, and he’s waiting for his opportunity patiently. If Ennis can’t get the fight with Spence, he might be interested in facing Villa if that’s the best he can get.
“You can only get away for so long against an animal like Villa. And if Ellis wants to complain, he can have a rematch any time. Just ask,” said promoter Sampson Lewkowicz.
It might be a good idea for Rashidi to weigh whether to take the rematch with Villa carefully. He needs to slowly work his way up to this level of opponent because his previous promoters were sticking him in with sublevel opposition his entire career, and he wasn’t ready for this kind of a step up.