Lou DiBella co-promotes along with Gary Shaw one of the headliners who fights on Showtime this Saturday night, Ajose Olusegun.
Olusegun, a Londoner born in Nigeria, sports a 30-0 mark, with 14 KOs. He takes on Argentine bomber Lucas Matthysse (31-2 with 29 KOs) in Las Vegas. I asked DiBella to give viewers who haven't seen Olusegun a sense of what he brings to the table.
"He's a little unorthodox, a good defensive fighter, he's defensive-minded, a boxer-puncher who can hurt you with accumulated blows," the promoter said. "He's extremely skilled and very, very hungry. He's a little frustrated and angry at being avoided by so many guys."
Olusegun hoped to get a crack at Erik Morales, when the Mexican held the WBC 140 pound crown, but Morales instead took on Pablo Cano, though the Nigerian was the No. 1 contender. He earned that slot with a win over Ali Chebah, back in September of 2011.
After that, Morales veered away from Olusegun, and met Danny Garcia. Garcia won that scrap, so Olusegun set his sights on Garcia. Team Garcia averted their eyes, and offered some step-aside money so the Philly kid could meet Amir Khan. This sort of silliness is one of the main reasons the sport has lessened in popularity in recent decades, because the shenanigans of these sanctioning bodies too often takes precedence over common sense, and stands in the way of matches being made that fans want to see.
Now, I'm not saying there are thousands of fight fans out there who clamor to see Olusegun do his thing ... but what's right is right. If the guy is ranked No. 1, there shouldn't be an obstacle course of obstruction that keeps him from getting his due shot. For the record, the WBC relented somewhat to reason, and Olusegun and Matthysse will vie for the WBC interim junior welter title. We could assume that the winner will get a crack at the non-interim belt, which Garcia holds and will defend against Morales on Oct. 20, at Barclays. But assuming in this sport is never wise.
NYFightBlog asked DiBella if he thinks his guy is a big underdog. "It's a 50-50 fight in my view, though a lot of people think Matthysse is heavily favored," DiBella said. "I think the 50-50 odds are right."