Jimmy Ellis vs. Oscar Bonavena

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Ellis drops Bonavena in the third round.

1967-12-02 : Jimmy Ellis 194¾ lbs beat Oscar Bonavena 208½ lbs by UD in round 12 of 12

Bonavena Beaten by Ellis in 12
Associated Press | December 3, 1967

Jimmy Ellis knocked Oscar "Ringo" Bonavena down twice Saturday and went on to win a tight but unanimous decision over the pride of the Argentine in their 12-round semi-final bout in the World Boxing Association's championship elimination tournament.

Ellis, a one-time sparring partner for the deposed champion, Cassius Clay, floored Bonavena in the third and 10th rounds. Ellis' only mark was a cut over his left eye, suffered early in the eighth round.

In winning, Ellis, 27, is only one fight away from his goal—the heavyweight championship of the world. His next bout will be against the winner of the Jerry Quarry-Thad Spencer W.B.A semi-final on Feb. 3 in Oakland, Cal.

Ellis came in at 194¾ and the strong, awkward Bonavena, 206½, almost overpowered the Louisville boy with his strength and had Ellis in trouble later in the fight, which was telecast nationally.

Ellis started strong but seemed to slow down near the end. He was clinching and hanging on, but Bonavena was unable to capitalize on the advantage.

A combination of rights and lefts to the head, thrown by the champion of Argentina, opened the cut over Ellis' eye in the eighth round. But by the time the ninth had opened, the cut had stopped bleeding and Ellis, the son of a Baptist minister, seemed to have shaken off its effects.

Each fighter earned $75,000 for the afternoon's work and Ellis now stands to pick up $125,000 when he goes into the title fight. It was setup by the W.B.A. after it stripped Clay of the title for refusing to enter military services when he was drafted.

Referee Herman Dutreix of New Orleans scored it 59 to 53 for Ellis; Judge Sid Baer of Louisville had it 55 to 54 for Ellis; and Judge Hector Chaumon of Buenos Aires had Ellis in front 59 to 53.