Defeats Ali Chebah To Become Mandatory Challenger To Mexican
Legend Erik Morales
Photos: Tom Casino - SHOWTIME
Olusegun Ajose earned a
shot at World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight
champion and Mexican legend Erik Morales with a
unanimous decision victory over Ali Chebah in Friday’s
main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®
from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.
In the ShoBox co-feature, No. 5-ranked World Boxing
Association (WBA) and 12th-ranked World Boxing
Organization (WBO) lightweight Darley Perez scored a
sixth round knockout over Oscar Meza when Meza’s corner
stopped the bout following the sixth round. The win
advanced the unbeaten prospect to 23-0 with 18 KOs.
In the main event, Ajose,
the No. 1-ranked super lightweight contender, came out
with an unorthodox yet aggressive style, landing
sweeping right hooks on Chebah, the No. 6-ranked
contender. Ajose opened up the third round with
fireworks, landing a huge right hand to the top of
Chebah’s head that send him stumbling to the canvas.
Chebah beat the count but was immediately met with
another onslaught from Ajose, who knocked down his
opponent in 10 seconds with a brutal right hook.
Miraculously, Chebah survived the round, although he
lost it 10-7 on the judges’ scorecards.
Ajose (30-0, 15 KOs), of Nigeria, continued his
showmanship yet he slowed his pace and failed to inflict
much damage as the 12 round contest wore on. Chebah
never relented in coming forward but an injured right
hand prevented him from landing any damaging punches
while the majority of Ajose’s power shots were high and
Chebah (33-2, 26 KOs),
of France, came on strong in the championship rounds,
winning the crowd over in the 12th as they chanted his
name. In the end, Chebah didn’t do enough to win over
the judges, who scored the bout 120-106 and 119-107,
“I have to give respect to him – he was a good
opponent,” said Ajose. “I wanted to stop him in the
third but he’s strong and he kept going. I had to be
careful. I think I hit him well but he trained hard. I
hurt my hand in the middle rounds and wasn’t able to
Ajose, who was making his
U.S. debut, now has his sights on Morales and the WBC title.
“I am the mandatory challenger so there isn’t any reason I
shouldn’t fight him,” Ajose said. “He’s the champion so
let’s get it on. They need to keep their promise and let us
fight. I’m ready as soon as possible. I’d fight him tomorrow
if they let me.”
While Chebah didn’t protest the decision loss he did think
the scores should have been a little closer.
“I think I lost but not
by as much as the judges had it,” Chebah said. “I wasn’t
able to compete at the level I wanted. The gamep lan was
to get him tired as the rounds went on, but in the third
my hand swelled and I didn’t get any body shots. I just
didn’t have any power in my right hand and that was the
Boxing legend and ShoBox commentator Antonio Tarver was
impressed with Ajose’s performance.
“Ajose seemed like the real deal tonight and I don’t
blame Morales if he doesn’t want to fight him,” Tarver
In the co-feature, Perez
breezed through what was supposed to be the toughest
test of his young career.
The Colombian prospect dominated the fight and dictated
the pace, opening a cut over Meza’s right eye in the
third and then another, deeper gash under Meza’s left
eye with a hard right hook in the fifth. Meza (22-4, 18
KOs) came out for the sixth but Perez’s speed and power
were too much for the out-matched Mexican and referee
Tony Crebs stopped the bout following the sixth round at
the instruction of Meza’s corner.
“I was just getting into
rhythm when they stopped it but I’m really happy with my
performance,” Perez said. “I usually get warmed up after
the sixth round so I think I would have knocked him
“I thought they would have stopped the fight in the
fifth. I could see it in his eyes – he was hurt. It was
a good stoppage.”
While disappointed with his performance, Meza disagreed
with his corner.
“I thought I would do more damage in the fight,” Meza
said. “After I got hit in the left eye I couldn’t see
the punches coming. I was hurt but I think I could have
rallied. I’m not happy with the stoppage but I’ll live
to fight another day.”
Perez, a Colombian
Olympian who was making his ShoBox debut, did enough
against the experienced and battle-tested Meza to
“Perez looked sharp,” Tarver said. “His balance was good
and he had the perfect angles. He did everything he
should and I think he’s going to be a heck of a
contender in this division.”
Friday’s fights will be available On Demand beginning
Monday, Oct. 3 and ending Sunday, Oct. 16.