Junior welterweights Lucas Matthysse and Ajose Olusegun delivered an all-action though somewhat one-sided slugfest at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night, with Matthysse scoring a TKO at the end of round 10.
If Ajose was at all intimidated by Matthysse’s vaunted power he didn’t show it, pretty much forgoing the jab in favor of more aggressive power shots from the get-go. Both men landed solidly, but Matthysse remained the more unaffected of the two, and in round two the momentum had definitively shifted in his favor by virtue of some vicious body shots.
Ajose’s policy of engagement may have been his undoing as he again found himself in trouble in the third, but fought and held his way out of the round. The next frame picked up in the same place, though, and Ajose absorbed some punishing combinations, including a right that rocked him with about a minute remaining.
The tough Nigerian showed a great chin and was more than game, however. He continued to land what appeared to be hard shots and never backed down from the all-action matchup, but Matthysse only seemed delighted to have a willing dance partner and continued to pile on heavy-handed punches.
Ajose landed some excellent combinations in rounds eight and nine that probably would’ve taken out many lesser men, but the unperturbed Argentine responded with some monstrous shots in the tenth.
The accumulation eventually caught up. After a brief respite following what seemed to be a late punch landed by Matthysse on a break, Ajose was stumbled several times before eventually falling.
Referee Russell Mora waved the fight off with seconds remaining in the tenth round.
With the win, Matthysse (32-2, 30 knockouts) cemented his reputation as the baddest 140 pounder in the game in delivering the first professional loss to Ajose (30-1, 14 KOs), who proved he’s a formidable challenge in his own right.
On the undercard, middleweight prospect J’Leon Love (13-0, 7 KOs) used his jab and reach advantage to smoothly control a clubbing Ramon Valenzuela (7-2, 1 KO), who was disqualified in round 8 for resorting to MMA tactics as Love’s new promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr., watched from ringside.
Prior to that, junior middleweight Ishe Smith (24-5, 11 KOs), also fighting under the Mayweather banner, dominated Irving Garcia (17-8-3, 7 KOs) en route to a unanimous 10-round decision.
Photos / Tom Casino/SHOWTIME