Younan Isn't 'Impressed At All' With 'ShoBox' Opponent Ellis

By Keith Idec

Junior Younan expected a difficult sparring session when he arrived at a boxing gym in Woodland Park, New Jersey, two years ago.

Younan hadn’t sparred in a few months due to a minor injury. Ronald Ellis was well into training camp for his “ShoBox” bout against Jerry Odom in February 2016.

Brooklyn’s Younan assumed Ellis was much more prepared to spar than him.


“I wasn’t impressed at all,” Younan told “I thought it was gonna be good work. I came into the gym, and that was my first sparring session in months. I was coming off an injury and he was getting ready for the Odom fight. He was supposed to be sharp and I really didn’t think much of him.”

The stakes will be much higher when Younan and Ellis square off for the second time Friday night.

The undefeated super middleweight prospects are set to meet in the main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” broadcast from WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa. They’ll fight for the vacant USBA 168-pound championship in their 10-round bout and presumably a spot in the IBF’s top-15 rankings at super middleweight.

The 22-year-old Younan (13-0, 9 KOs) is a highly touted prospect promoted by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. On paper, Ellis looks like the toughest opponent for Younan since he turned pro in November 2013.

The 28-year-old Ellis (14-0-1, 10 KOs), who settled for an eight-round draw with Odom (14-3-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) in the aforementioned match, will fight for the first time in more than a year. Ellis, of Lynn, Massachusetts, hasn’t boxed since defeating Philadelphia’s Christopher Brooker (12-5, 5 KOs) by unanimous decision in an eight-rounder last January 20 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“I haven’t really thought about anything other than this fight,” Younan said. “I’m not looking past him, but I know I’m gonna get by him. I’m not worried. I’m 100-percent prepared and 100-percent focused, and just don’t blink.”

Showtime’s telecast Friday night (10 p.m. ET) also will include eight-round fights featuring super lightweight prospects from Cleveland.

Thomas Mattice (10-0, 8 KOs) will encounter Rolando Chinea (15-1-1, 6 KOs), of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Montana Love (8-0, 4 KOs), who took this fight on less than a week’s notice, will face Philadelphia’s Samuel Teah (12-1-1, 5 KOs).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Photos: Brandon Rios Batters, Drops, Stops Ramon Alvarez Hearn: Wilder-Fury Will Be Terrible; Fury Will Get Knocked Out Photos: Jarrell Miller Crushes Bogdan Dinu in The Fourth Spence: Jermell Charlo Beats Hurd, Enters Pound-For-Pound Photos: Gabe Rosado, Luis Arias Battle To a Split Draw Photos: Claressa Shields Earns More Gold, Easily Beats Rankin Archie Sharp Aims To Land Ryan Garcia, His Female Fans Too Buboy Studying Broner, Getting Pacquiao's Camp Ready Rizin CEO Warns: Nasukawa Will Aim To Knock Mayweather Out! Josh Kelly: Usyk Not Ready For Joshua, Can He Take The Power? Seniesa Estrada Wins Big; Tom Schwarz and Krasniqi Win Too Jarrell Miller Blasts Out Bogdan Dinu in Four Rounds Jarrell Miller vs. Bogdan Dinu - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Claressa Shields Dominates Hannah Rankin, Wins Decision Claressa Shields vs. Hannah Rankin - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Brandon Rios Breaks Down, Stops Ramon Alvarez in Ninth Brandon Rios vs. Ramon Alvarez - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gabe Rosado, Luis Arias Fight To a Twelve Round Split Draw Gabe Rosado vs. Luis Arias - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Miller-Dinu Undercard Results From Mulvane, Kansas Kerman Lejarraga Knocks Frankie Gavin Out in Fourth Round Harley Benn Gets Win, Moves To 5-0 In Brentwood Michael Dutchover Takes Out Ruben Tamayo in Three Rounds Liam Taylor Beats Tyrone Nurse, Moves Closer To British Title Cornflake Beats Arnaoutis, Driven To Be 'World-Class-Level Fighter' Luis Coria Faces Stiff Test in Thomas Valdez in Arizona Jarrell Miller: Deontay Wilder Might Knock Tyson Fury's Head Off! Spence, Crawford Trade Heated Words - Agree on $1 Million Bet Chordale Booker Ready To Show He's 'The Gift' in North Carolina Kerman Lejarraga Will Become a Huge Attraction, Says DiBella Promoter: Dinu's A Top-10 Heavyweight; Toughest Fight For Miller Omar Figueroa Craves Errol Spence Rematch in The Future Jarrell Miller: I'll Impose Will On Dinu & Get Him Out Of There Photos: Maurice Hooker Breaks Down, Stops Alex Saucedo Lennox Lewis: Wilder-Fury Will NOT Look Like Klitschko-Fury Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence-Garcia, Mayweather, Usyk, More Photos: Kavaliauskas in Line For Crawford After Arriaza KO Win Frank Warren Discusses a Big December For British Boxing Chael Sonnen Cautions of Mayweather-Nasukawa Double Cross Arum: We're Going To Look Very Closely at Crawford-Kavaliauskas

Latest Active Forum Threads