By Andreas Hale and Anthony Springer at ringside
Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs) battered and knockout out previously unbeaten WBC mandatory challenger Olusegun Ajose (30-1, 14 KOs) to claim the vacant WBC interim super lightweight world championship on Saturday night at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Matthysse, who had previously lost two controversial decisions in the U.S., made every effort to keep this one out of the hands of the judges. He was all over Ajose from the opening bell and finally put the very tough and game Ajose on the canvas just as the tenth round ended. Official time was 2:59.
Promising, unbeaten middleweight J’Leon Love (13-0, 7 KO’s) won by 8th round disqualification Ramon Valenzuela (7-2, 1 KO). Referee Jay Nady DQ’d Valenzuela for “unsportsmanlike conduct” at :37.
In junior featherweight action, Las Vegan Melinda Cooper put on a workman like performance, out-slugging Celine Salazar en route to a majority decision. The bout was hardly punctuated by defense, but there was plenty of offense as the fighters swung away from bell-to-bell. At the end of the day, it was Cooper who landed the harder punches and avoided the most damage. The judges scored it 57-57, 59-55 and 60-54.
Ishe Smith (24-5) pitched a near shutout over Irving Garcia (17-8-3) in a ten round junior middleweight bout. After scoring a first round knockdown, Smith controlled the action and cruised to a unanimous decision with scores of 99-90, 100-89 & 100-89.
In junior middleweight action, Daquan Arnett cruised to a fourth round TKO finish over Jesus Tavera. After battering Tavera throughout the bout, a clean right hook followed by a hard left forced Tony Weeks to halt the bout at the 1:34 mark. Arnett improves to 7-0 while Tavera is all even at 3-3.