Many "interim" title fights feel like out and out cash spinners by the organisation who have their title attached to the bout. For some reason however the WBC "interim" Light Welterweight title fight between Lucas Martin Matthysse (32-2-0-1, 30) and Olusegun Ajose (30-1, 14) felt like like a genuine world title fight. We had 2 world class talents, 2 contrasting styles and a fight that just seemed to yell "great fight", it delivered.
The opening round saw both men giving and taking in an entertaining round that perhaps had a touch of being a "feeling out round" though was certainly more active than your typical opening round. The following round however saw both men putting their foot on the gas and trading up close. Sadly for Ajose he decided to fight in the pocket and was punished by Matthysse who rocked him hard in the final minute. It appeared at the end of round 2 that this could be an early night.
Despite surviving through round 2 Ajose was rocked repeatedly in both rounds 3 and 4 as Matthysse started to grind down the Nigerian, landing to both the the head and body of his opponent. On more than 1 occasion it appeared that Ajose was ready to drop though his heart, rock solid chin and fighter spirit kept him upright, some how. By the middle rounds it was getting painful to watch as Ajose refused to give up despite taking a real shellacking from the Argentinian banger.
Although he had been hurt, rocked, shaken and rattled repeatedly through out the bout Ajose was refusing to give up and actually had his most successful rounds in rounds 7 and 8, making a genuine case to have at least claimed one of them. His success however would be short lived as Matthysse regrouped well and started to impose himself once again in round 9 against a tiring Ajose.
At this point no one would have complained had Ajose retired in his corner, or been retired by his corner, instead however he went out for round 10 knowing he needed a KO. Sadly for Ajose he was too beaten, too battered and too damaged to do much and was eventually dropped in the 10th round. The referee (Russell Mora) had seen enough and waved off the bout before Ajose had been given a chance to recover to his feet, probably a good decision in all honesty as Ajose had really been given a hiding.
Whilst the bout was really one sided it was also an entertaining bout. Ajose refused to go down whilst landing his own shots, shots that sadly did little more than irritate Matthysse who just walked through them whilst landing his own blows. Neither man appeared to really slow down and it was just really, really enjoyable.
For Ajose this is likely the end of his hard luck story, a genuine shame that he had to wait this long for his opportunity at the big time. At 32 years old he may still have a few fights in him but this beating will have cut his career short and certainly ended his dreams of a world title.
Matthysse on the other hand will be licking his lips at the thought of facing the winner of the up coming match up between Danny Garcia and Erik Morales, a win over the victor of that bout would see Matthysse become the #1 guy at 140lbs.