“I didn’t know the odds were 7-1 against me, or I would have bet on myself!” laughed Canadian lightweight Tony “Lightning” Luis (19-2, 7 KOs).
In the first boxing upset of the new year, Luis picked up the WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Championship and ruined the undefeated record of IBF #15 rated Karl “Dynamite” Dargan (17-1, 9 KOs), last Friday night at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, by way of a 10-round unanimous decision. Luis clearly dominated Dargan and dropped him in rounds three (the referee mistakenly ruled it a slip) and 10 to cap off a very impressive performance.
The career-changing victory is the latest in a hot streak for the 27-year-old Luis, from Cornwall, Ontario. Dargan’s was the second “0” in a row that Luis has taken, as he handed New Jersey’s Wanzell Ellison his first loss last July as well. It would be his third consecutive if not for some questionable scoring against Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach last January. The combined records of Luis’s last three opponents were 43-0-1, 27 KOs.
“Words can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now,” continued Luis. “It hasn’t even sunk in yet. It seemed like it took so long to get there, with all the highs and lows of training camp, but now that it’s over, it feels like it happened too quickly.”
Luis says that while it may have appeared to be an easy win for him (scores were 97-92, 99-90, and 97-92), looks are deceiving. “I didn’t think it was going to look as easy as it did. It wasn’t easy in any way, I had to work hard in there to get the win, but watching it, it looks like I had an easy time. I’m just grateful to my promoter, Greg Cohen, for the opportunity and for the fair judging and officiating we received this time.”
2015 is starting out smashingly for Luis. Not only will he now sky rocket through the world rankings as a streaking contender (he is currently #13 in the WBA), he and fiance Manon Latulippe are expecting their first child any day now.
“The year is starting off with a bang. I couldn’t be happier. I’m going to enjoy my baby and then, soon as he’s born, I’ll be right back in the gym.”
Promoter Greg Cohen says he’s excited about the future for his Canadian slugger.
“Tony works very hard in the gym and has all the heart you could ask for and it shows in his fights. He outworks his opponents and overwhelms them with his relentlessness aggression. This is his second consecutive win over a well-regarded, undefeated fighter, and should actually be his third. I am proud to be working with such an outstanding fighter and his team. Tony is ready to fight for the world title and we are going to do everything we can to deliver him a title fight or title eliminator.”
A substance abuse counselor back home, Luis says the reception in Cornwall has been tremendous. “Everybody. My family, all my friends and so many fans from back home are ecstatic. I’m overwhelmed by the support I get. It’s an honor.”