By Jake Donovan
Ajose Olusegun has been in this position far too often. ‘Win this fight, your next will be for the title’ is the promise constantly being made, but the unbeaten 140 lb. contender continues to watch a slew of fighters leapfrog him on their way to his promised title shot.
The latest rumor pits the 32-year old against hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse on September 8 in a site to be determined. The bout will serve as the co-feature to a welterweight title fight between Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander, both of which will air on Showtime as televised doubleheader.
Olusegun is just as excited as everyone else over the possibility of facing Matthysse, who was last seen destroying former two-division titlist Humberto Soto last month in a WBC-sanctioned fight. However, he is rightfully concerned about a recent pattern that has developed over the past year.
“I have no problem fighting Lucas Matthysse. He’s a top guy,” states Olusegun (30-0, 14KO), who has not fought since winning a wide decision over Ali Chebah last September on Showtime. “When I am fighting him, I will be fighting for the world title.”
Matthysse is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, who has managed to push Erik Morales, Danny Garcia and Amir Khan ahead of Olusegun in fighting for the WBC 140 lb title. With Garcia coming off of a 4th round knockout win over Khan, Olusegun was prepared to once again take the WBC to task and demand his long overdue title shot.
The September 8 showdown with Matthysse (31-2, 29KO) is being billed as an interim title fight, but Olesugun has played this game before. The interim tag is a loophole for Garcia to search for yet another optional fight, even though the WBC’s own rules indicate that the unbeaten Philly boxer should have been ordered to face Olusegun for their vacant earlier in the year.
“I was promised by the WBC at their convention last year that I would fight the winner of Erik Morales and Danny Garcia,” reminds Olusegun of one of many broken promises made by the sanctioning body. “If the fight was canceled or postponed for any reason, Garcia versus Morales was no longer to be sanctioned. Morales gets hurt, they postpone anyway and still sanction the fight.”
Morales was given two more months to ready himself for the fight, but still showed up overweight and was forced to concede the title at the scales. Garcia went on to win a decision and the title, but his next opponent was not Olusegun. The fight was ordered by the WBC, which came with a 30-day negotiation period before it would go to purse bid.
Instead, a series of loopholes led to a billed unification bout between Garcia and Khan.
Meanwhile, Olusegun has been forced to sit on the sidelines and watch the parade ride past. Even if the fight with Matthysse materializes, it will mark his first bout in 51 weeks. He has every intention of fighting on the date, but wants written-in-stone assurances that the full version of the title will be at stake and not that a new line is drawn in the sand.
“I’m holding the WBC to their word,” Olusegun promises. “I don’t mind if it’s against Matthysse, if it’s Danny Garcia or even if it is Jose Sulaiman. I just want my title shot.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox