Famous American Boxer, Jimmy Ellis, dies at 67

Jimmy Ellis was an American professional boxer. He won the vacant WBA heavyweight title in 1968 by defeating Jerry Quarry, making one successful title defense in the same year against Floyd Patterson, before losing to Joe Frazier in 1970.

The well-known metro Atlanta car dealership owner passes away at 67

In Louisville Baptist Hospital in Kentucky, Jimmy Ellis passed away on May 6, 2014, at the age of 74, as a result of dementia-related complications. On May 12, 2014, Louisville’s Canaan Christian Church hosted his funeral; he was laid to rest at the city’s Green Meadows Memorial Cemetery.

On the announcement of Ellis’ death Muhammad Ali issued the following statement: “In the world of heavyweights I always thought him one of the best”.

Early Life

Jimmy Ellis was born on February 24, 1940(67 years old) in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. He holds an American Nationality and belongs to the white race. His Zodiac sign is Pisces.

Jimmy Ellis is the Father, Walter, was a pastor, and Ellis was brought up as a Christian.

Jimmy Ellis Family

He worked in a cement finishing factory as a teen. Along with his wife Mary, he participated in the local church choir as a singer. He remained active in the church throughout his adult life. He once looked up to the boxer Joe Louis. Ellis first became interested in boxing as a teenager while watching a friend fight Muhammad Ali, who was then known as Cassius Clay, against another young Louisville fighter on the Tomorrow’s Champions amateur boxing television program.

Donnie Hall was a friend of mine who fought Ali, according to Ellis. “When Donnie lost, I believed that maybe I could be a fighter.” Ellis accompanied Hall to Louisville’s Columbia Gym, where Joe Martin, a policeman, served as the head coach.


Ellis was a Golden Gloves champion and won 59 out of 66 amateur fights. Ellis defeated Ali twice in amateur boxing matches, with Ali taking the first one. In 1961, Ellis made his professional debut as a middleweight. He was trained and overseen by Bud Bruner early in his professional career.

He compiled a 15-5 record with Bruner (6 KOs). The top Middleweight contenders Holly Mims (who he later defeated in a rematch), Henry Hank, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Don Fullmer, and George Benton were the targets of his five defeats. This beginning undoubtedly aided his movement, finesse, and punching speed.

Ellis trained boxers after deciding to quit boxing. Between 1989 and 2003, he later worked on athletic and recreational projects for the Louisville Parks Department.

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 The Washington Times quoted Ellis as saying, “All I ever wanted to be was a good fighter and a good man.” After his passing, Brother Jeff paid him tribute, saying, “He was someone you could model yourself on.” Ellis was a modest family man who avoided flash, despite having a fierce competitive spirit in boxing.

Personal Life

Jimmy Ellis married his wife Mary. His son is Jeff who played professional football and confirmed the family was always immensely proud of Ellis’s achievements and his World Title.

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