Rashida Ellis (R) exchanges punches with Caroline Dubois (Team Great Britain) during their lightweight bout at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo.
For the first time in her boxing career, Rashida Ellis is a world champion.
Ellis, a 60 kg. lightweight, won gold at the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday after defeating Tokyo silver medalist Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil by a 3-2 split decision.
She comfortably won the first round 4-1, then took the second and third rounds, 3-2.
“It’s about time,” Ellis said, according to USA Boxing. “I feel good, I worked hard for this. I had to just fight my fight and look what happens when I do.”
The Lynn, Massachusetts, native secured at least a bronze medal when she advanced to the semifinals with a 4-1 victory over Jaismine Lamboriya of India on Monday. She put on an even more dominant performance in the semifinals on Wednesday, defeating Donjeta Sadiku of Kosovo in a 5-0 decision.
This is the first gold medal at the world championships for any American woman in the lightweight class. It’s also redemption for Ellis, 26, who lost her last three bouts against Ferreira. Ellis took home a bronze after a 4-1 semifinal defeat in the world championships in Russia in 2019. She also lost 3-2 to Ferreira in the semifinals of the Pan American Games in Peru. Earlier this year, Ferreira also beat Ellis at the Elite AMBC Championship finals in Ecuador.
This is also quite the turnaround of results from the Tokyo Olympics last August. After a first-round bye, Ellis lost 3-0 to Caroline Dubois of Great Britain in the round of 16. Ferreira advanced all the way until the final where she was beaten by Kellie Harrington of Ireland.
After the disappointing result, Ellis posted on Instagram with a promise.
“I got that Olympic dream that everyone wish they had,” she wrote, “But unfortunately I lost last night, but it’s not stopping me from becoming the best in the world.”
On Friday night in Istanbul, she fulfilled that promise.