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Forgotten Warriors: Ezra Sellers


BoztheMadman
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Ezra Sellers was a guy who probably could've had a better career had he always fought at his natural weight class: cruiserweight. However, Sellers spent a too big part of his early career fighting as a heavyweight, where he never weighed above 98 kilos or 216 pounds. In most of his fights there, he weighed at below 200 pounds or 90 kilos. Sellers was also a bit too short for a modern era heavyweight at 6'1 (185 cm) and given that he lacked the big mass and weight, it is not strange his heavyweight career was largely unsuccessful. However, as a cruiser, he managed to win the IBO title with an unforgettable knockout over Carl Thompson and also knocked down Johnny Nelson in a WBO title fight not much later. At heavyweight, he is most remembered for his exciting 3-round war against Alex Stewart, which he lost.

Born 2 September 1968, Ezra Nathan Sellers lived in Pensacola, FL, all or most of his life. Little is known about his amateur career, except that it was short. Sellers was long armed and had a big reach for his height, 196 cm or 77 inches. Coupled with a deadly punching power, it made him a dangerous opponent for anyone. He had his first pro fight on 22 August 1989 against none other than Bruce Seldon, than 5-0. He was stopped by TKO 2 by Seldon. He then scored 3 quick knockouts before getting stopped by Ed Thompson by corner retirement in 4. He then scored 11 straight ko's and a decision win against Marion Wilson, before fighting Alex Stewart on 8 October 1998 in Kansas City. Stewart was at the end of his career but was also a deadly puncher and two inches taller. In an extremely exciting fight, Stewart went down twice in the second and Sellers once, before Sellers got dropped three times in round 3 and stopped at the end of the round. It would be Stewart's final victory.

He then weighed at his highest weight (216 1/2) in his next fight against Danny Wofford and won by TKO 4 against the non-contender. After 2000, he started fighting as a cruiser and won the WBO NABO title by stopping Willard Lewis by TKO 3 on 1 April, but on 17 May next year, he was annihilated by Ramon Garbey and stopped by TKO 1 in a fight for the same title, which had previously been stripped from Sellers for not defending in time. On 26 November same year, he went to Wythenshawe Forum in Manchester to fight the IBO champion Carl Thompson. Sellers was a total underdog but produced a great victory by knocking Thompson out in round 4 by a brutal right hook-it was the first and only time Thompson was knocked out clean. Before that, both guys were down in the fight, Sellers twice and Thompson four times. This unexpected victory gave him a crack at the WBO title against reigning champion, the lanky and sinewy Johnny Nelson, who was taller at 6'2 1/2. 

For some reason, the fight was held in Copenhagen, at the "Circus building". The date was 4 April 2002 when Sellers the underdog once again surprised everyone by decking Nelson in round 4 with a left uppercut to the head. Nelson got up in time but Sellers proceeded to dominate in the next couple rounds and Sky Sports analyst Glenn McCrory had him up by 59-55 after 6 rounds. Nelson finally found his mark and salvaged his title when he connected with a straight right to Sellers' head in round 8 which put him down and unable to beat the count, late in the round. At the time of the stoppage, two of the judges had Sellers up, 67-65 and 67-66 and the third had Nelson up by 67-66. After losing but looking good against the favored fighter and champion, Sellers would slide into obscurity for a while. He won 3 easy fights before getting to fight for the vacant IBF cruiser title against Kelvin Davis, who at 5'7 was much shorter but could punch. 

That fight took place in Miami, 1 May 2004 and Sellers didn't look like his old self. He was dismantled by Davis and stopped by TKO 8 after being down three times. Later that year, 4 September, he also fought O'Neil Bell, the future undisputed champion at cruiserweight, but was easily destroyed in 2 rounds by the younger and fresher fighter. That fight was pretty much the end of Ezra Sellers as a serious contender and he would have 3 more fights, winning two in 2007 by TKO and losing the third in January 2008 by KO 2 against Emmanuel Nwodo. He finally retired at the age of 39 and with a record of 29 wins with 26 ko's and 8 losses, all by ko.

Sadly, Sellers died on 12 December 2013 of heart-related problems, at only 45. He will be remembered as an exciting warrior and a dangerous hitter, who was willing to tangle with everybody and scored a major upset victory once. He also did very well against Nelson until he simply got caught by a big punch. He never had the best chin, but not the worst either. It was simply his aggressive fighting style that led to him always losing by ko. He had enough in him to be a serious challenge to most, but not enough to really be successful. And that is why he is a FORGOTTEN WARRIOR! 

 Ezra_Sellers.jpg

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