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Matthysse-Olusegun: Brave Ajose stopped after 10 classic rounds

By Peter Wells: It was never going to be easy. The Nigerian born Londoner has been the WBC mandatory challenger for several years, and has been overlooked the whole time. Then as though giving him a compensation prize, they pit him against arguably the best 140lbs fighter for the WBC Interim belt. Last nights performance may just have answered why they have overlooked him. He fought toe-to-toe with the hard hitting Lucas Matthysse and gave as much as he took, just not with the same force.

With his clear talents aired like on Showtime as main event, other sanctioning bodies will be adding Ajose to their lists. As for Lucas Matthysse he will get his long awaited world title shot against the winner of Danny Garcia vs Erik Morales (Garcia).

It was a brutal performance from Matthysse after a slightly tentative first round. Olusegun seemed to take the 1st, putting together good combinations. Ajose kept firing these eye catching combinations but Matthysse’s dynamite fists were always in reach to change the course of each round by sending his unbeaten opponent to the ropes before rallying. Ajose though was as tough as nails, going through several scary moments in the first half of the fight. Several times referee Russel Mora was close to stepping in on several occasions. Had it been any other fighter Mora may have stepped in, but knowing how long Ajose had waited for this chance, Mora gave him as much chance as possible. Ajose did dish out his own fair share of punishment, and after the fight Matthysse told Showtime analyst Jim Gray, “I felt his power tonight”.

In the second half of the fight Ajose seemed to gain more confident, and seemed to have won round 7 and round 8 could have gone either way. Matthysse stepped up the pressure again after that and seemed to tighten up his own defence. The 10th round ended like the majority of the other rounds, with a flurry of hard punches coming from Matthysse and finally two big right hands had Olusegun on the deck. Mora had no hesitation in stepping in.

Matthysse deserves huge credit and beat a very tough fighter who could still challenge for a world title. Olusegun though may have left the ring receiving the most credit. A fighter with a huge heart and one i can see the American boxing audience taking a huge liking to. The only sad thing was that he didn’t get to hear the final bell, because after that performance, it was the least Ajose Olusegun deserved.