Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Olusegun vs. Matthysse, Love vs. Valenzuela
By: William Holmes
This card was originally supposed to feature a welterweight title matchup between Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander, but a back injury to Bailey forced the cancellation of the bout.
Luckily for fight fans, Showtime decided to bump Ajose Olusegun vs. Lucas Matthysse to the main event for the vacant WBC interim Junior Welterweight title, and also bumped the J’Leon Love vs. Ramon Valenzuela fight to the televised card.
While a fight between Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander would have made this card a lot more interesting, at least fight fans will get a chance to see a title fight as well as an upcoming prospect.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s televised card.
J’Leon Love (12-0) vs. Roman Valenzuela (7-1); Middleweights
Let’s be honest, the only reason this fight is on TV is because Randall Bailey suffered an injury a few weeks before this card was to take place.
Regardless, J’Leon Love is a prospect who got some television exposure on HBO’s 24/7 series when he was a part of Antonio Margarito’s camp. Love is from Michigan and trains out of the Mayweather Boxing Gym in Las Vegas, NV. He is a former Detroit Golden Gloves Champ, and has an amateur record of 115-5.
Love is currently undefeated, and seven of his wins have come by way of KO or TKO. However, seven of his victories have come against opponents that have losing records. He’s a relative unknown, but fellow boxinginsider.com writer Philip Anselmo discovered him in 2009.
His opponent, Ramon Valenzuela Jr., is an unknown commodity. He’s only 21 and is a young middleweight. He’s also from Chicago, Illinois, but has boxed just thirty rounds and only has one KO on his record.
Valenzuela Jr. lost his last fight, a second round KO to Donatas Bondoravas. He has also yet to fight anybody of note.
This isn’t a fight that normally would be on TV. It’s a fight that is usually placed on an undercard so a prospect could get some work in and improve his record.
It would be shocking of J’Leon Love loses on Saturday.
Ajose Olusegun (30-0) vs. Lucas Matthysse (31-2); WBC Junior Welterweight Title
Olusegun is 32 years old, but has been boxing since 2004. He’s been waiting a long time to make his debut as the main event on US teleivision.
Olusegun competed in the 2000 Olympics and is the former British light welterweight champion. He’s a southpaw with decent power. 14 of his 30 victories have come by way of KO or TKO. He earned the right to fight for the WBC Light Welterweight title with a win over Ali Chebah in September of 2011. He has remained on the shelf for nearly a year until the opportunity to fight Matthysse arose.
He has an impressive record, but to be quite frank it is littered with questionable opposition. Just two fights ago he decision a 10-33-2 Arek Malek. His most impressive victories to date have been over Ali Chebah, Nigel Wright, and that’s it. He’s waited this long for an opportunity to fight in the main event because he has not beaten anyone of note.
Lucas Matthysse is a boxer who has been on the losing end of some very questionable decisions. Matthysse fought both Zab Judah and Devon Alexander, and was able to knock both of those fighters to the ground. Unfortunately for Matthysse, he walked away from those two fights being declared the loser by split decisions.
Matthysse has 29 KO or TKOs on his record out of 31 victories. That’s an eye-popping KO rate, especially considering the fact he’s fought some tough competition, including Humberto Soto, DeMarcus Corley and Vivian Harris. His only two losses could have just as easily gone his way.
Matthysse’s last eight victories have come by stoppage. Saturday should be no different, as Matthysse has fought tougher competition than Olusegun and has a much higher KO percentage.