Wednesday, May 07, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Former heavyweight boxing champion Jimmy Ellis, who trained with fellow Louisville fighter Muhammad Ali and squared off against some of his era’s best fighters, has died in his hometown. He was 74.
Ellis’ brother, Jerry, said the ex-champion died at a Louisville hospital Tuesday after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in recent years.
Ellis defeated Jerry Quarry to win the WBA crown in 1968. Ellis defended the title by defeating Floyd Patterson, but was stopped by Joe Frazier in a fight to unify the world heavyweight championship in 1970.
He was stopped by Ali in the 12th round of their bout in 1971.
Ellis, the son of a preacher, retired from boxing in 1975. He spent years training fighters and later worked for the Louisville parks department.