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Feature Story

Final presser: Ajose-Matthysse

Story by Andreas Hale
Photos by Tom Casino/Showtime

It’s too bad that a back injury suffered by Randall Bailey has scratched this Saturday’s ShoBox main event where Bailey was scheduled to defend his IBF welterweight title against Devon Alexander. But, as they say, the show must go on. Fortunately, heavy handed Lucas Matthysse (31-2, 29 KOs) is there to salvage the card as he’ll take on unbeaten Olusegun Ajose (30-0, 14 KOs) for the WBC interim welterweight title.

If you have ever watched a Matthysse fight, you are already know that it is rare to see the Argentinean in a boring fight. Better yet, it’s likely that somebody is going down. Ask Humberto Soto how he fared standing in front of Matthysse. It can be argued that the 29-year-old from Buenos Aires should be undefeated as controversial losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander could have easily gone his way.

Meanwhile, Olusegun Ajose may be relatively unknown in the states, but those that happened to catch his U.S. debut against Ali Chebah last September were likely pleased with the exciting brawl that saw the Nigerian take a 12-round unanimous decision.

Chances are that when these two square off on September 8, there will be fireworks. As a matter of fact, Ajose made a promise during Thursday’s final press conference that he intends to keep. “The fans should expect fireworks,” the fighter known as “The Gun” said.

“He is an all-out guy and I am an all-out guy. My advice to people is they shouldn’t blink. Whatever power he has, show me. He has to land first. I am not worried about his power. I’m not even thinking about his power. If he hits me, I am going to hit him too.”

Ajose currently stands as the WBC’s No. 1 contender but has been avoided by many fighters in his division. The 2000 Olympian is well aware that if he’s able to snare the interim title from Matthysse, welterweights will be forced to face him if they want to be considered the best in the division. “This is an opportunity for me to show everyone what I’ve got. I give Matthysse a lot of respect. I think he is the best in the division. That makes me the best of the best in this division.”

Team Matthysse isn’t so sure about the Nigerian’s claims. “Matthysse’s time has come,” Matthysse’s co-promoter Mario Arano stated while also citing that his fighter has faced the stiffer competition and should very well be undefeated. Because of that, Arano suggest that Ajose will have hell to pay on Saturday night. “We respect Ajose very much but unfortunately he has to dance with the toughest opponent he has ever faced.”

The fact of the matter is that Ajose’s chin will certainly be tested against Matthysse. Everyone that the Argentinean has fought has either been knocked out or knocked down. Why would Ajose be any different? If “The Gun” does go down, it will be interesting to see if he’ll be able to get up. If so, we’ll could be in for a great fight. If not, chalk up another stoppage for Matthysse. For all the talking that everyone else did, you’ll have to forgive Lucas as he will just allow his hands to do the talking.

“I am ready to fight. I am ready to win and take the belt back to Argentina. That is all.”
Enough talking, let’s get to the fighting.




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