World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 1-ranked super lightweight contender Olusegun Ajose weighed in at 139 pounds and No. 6-ranked Ali Chebah tipped the scales at 140 pounds during Thursday’s weigh in at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.
Ajose (29-0, 14 KOs), of Nigeria, and Chebah (33-1, 26 KOs), of France, will square off in the most important fight of their career, a WBC super lightweight eliminator on Friday, Sept. 30, in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.
The 12-round bout, which will be the United States debut for each fighter, will determine the No. 1 mandatory contender for the WBC 140-pound title currently held by Erik Morales.
The No. 5-ranked World Boxing Association (WBA) and 12th-ranked World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight, Darley Perez weighed in at 133 ½ pounds and hard-hitting Oscar Meza measured 136 pounds.
Perez (22-0, 17 KOs), of Colombia, who has never been knocked down as a professional or amateur, will make his ShoBox debut against the battle-tested Oscar Meza (22-4, 18 KOs), of Mexico, in a 10-round lightweight co-feature.
The event, the second of five ShoBox telecasts in eight weeks and first of two within a one-week span, is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions in association with DiBella Entertainment.
What the fighters had to say on Thursday:
“I don’t watch too much tape. When I get in the ring, I improvise. I don’t have different plans like Plan A and Plan B.
“My style is a little different. I don’t like to blend in, I like to stand out.
“I can’t wait to fight in America. That’s where the big fights are. There are big fights in the U.K., but I couldn’t get the fights that I wanted. People are more competitive over here. I want to fight the best.
“I want to be a champion. I’d love to fight Morales, but if he doesn’t want to fight me after this fight I’ll fight anyone else. I just want the belt.
“Waiting for this fight has been a nightmare. We’ve tried to put together this fight for a long time and now we’re finally going to get in there tomorrow night.”
“I know Ajose is a quick, mobile fighter. I will destroy him.
“We’ve been waiting for this fight for a while. We’re ready for our chance.
“We’re ready to fight for a title after Friday night. We’re not sure if Morales will face us, but we’re ready to fight for a title.
“This is the best country in boxing. We’re happy to make our debut here and make a name for ourselves.”
“The level of fighting in the U.S. is completely different so we’re ready to come here and make a statement.
“I know I’m the hardest working guy in the gym. I always prepare myself. My dream is to become a world champion. I had a great amateur and pro career in Colombia and now I’m ready to prove myself in the U.S.
“I’ve been in the U.S. sparring with some good fighters. The sparring here is much better than Colombia.
“We’ve had 22 fights as a professional now so we’d like to fight for something meaningful within the next year.”
“I’ve had great preparation for this fight. All I’ve done is train since I’ve been here in the U.S.
“I’ve seen a couple of clips of Perez on YouTube but I’ve never seen him fight. That’s not a problem for me – I’ll be ready for him.
“We’ve been working on our game plan and trying to improve on consistency and rhythm. We’ve been working on a lot of different things and I hope it comes out in the ring tomorrow.
“In my losses against (Brandon) Rios and (Mercito) Gesta I took those fights on short notice. We had been in the gym for a while getting ready for another fight so we feel ready for this one.”
Curt Menefee will call the action alongside ringside analyst Steve Farhood and boxing expert Antonio Tarver. The executive producer is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.