OLUSEGUN AJOSE & ALI CHEBAH MAKE U.S. DEBUTS
IN WBC SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT ELIMINATOR
ON SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION
Unbeaten Colombian Prospect Darley Perez Battles Oscar Meza
In Co-Feature Live at 11 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 30, on SHOWTIME®
NEW YORK (Sept. 20, 2011) – World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 1-ranked super lightweight contender Olusegun Ajose will face No. 6-ranked Ali Chebah in a WBC super lightweight eliminator on Friday, Sept. 30, in the main event on 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 12th-ranked lightweight in the World Boxing Organization (WBO), Colombia’s exciting, hard-hitting Darley Perez (22-0, 17 KOs) will make his ShoBox debut against 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.
Ajose (29-0, 14 KOs), of Nigeria, has fought his last 16 bouts in England, where the 5-foot-9, 31-year-old southpaw lived until recently relocating to New York City. His most impressive win was an eighth-round knockout over former contender Colin Lynes on April 3, 2010, which he followed up with a six-round decision over Arek Malek last Feb. 12 in his lone outing this year.
“This fight has been a stumbling block for me for about two years,” said Ajose, who is making just his third start since June 2009. “I was the No. 1 contender for so long but was bypassed many times. People heard I am a good boxer but they don't know how good I am and this is my chance to show them what I’ve got.”
Looking to make a name for himself in the U.S, Ajose believes ShoBox is the perfect vehicle to make a statement.
“There is the saying, ‘If you are more than people think you are, then the next step is to prove it,’” he said. “That is exactly what I will do – prove to the American fight fans that I am better than good.
“Watch me and don't blink.”
Chebah (33-1, 26 KOs), of France, will be making his 2011 debut. He’s riding an eight-fight win streak since his only loss on Sept. 27, 2009 against Reyes Sanchez in Mexico City. His most notable victories are a third-round knockout over Pipino Cuevas Jr. in 2008, a second-round knockout over Joel Juarez in 2009 and a fifth-round knockout over previously undefeated Fidel Monterrosa Munoz, also in 2009.
While he owns a better than 75 percent knockout ratio, the 5-foot-9, 25-year-old Chebah will be facing his toughest opponent to date in Ajose, a slick and speedy boxer with a world title shot on his mind.
“I fought a southpaw once, but I have an awkward style and I will adapt to anyone in front of me,” Chebah said. “I don’t care about southpaw, orthodox, pressure, defensive, mobile, anything.
“My style is pressure, pressure, pressure. You are going to see a Frenchman with Mexican style, slick and mentally tough.
Chebah won both his fights in 2010 by third-round TKO, the last coming over Laszlo Komjathi on Sept. 23 in Algeria.
In the co-featured bout, the 27-year-old Perez turned pro in February 2009 and fought 12 times that year. He is coming off two consecutive knockouts in June and July, but has mostly faced limited opposition since making his U.S. debut in December 2010 – a fourth-round knockout over Ramesis Gil in Kissimmee, Fla. He owns a victory over former WBO Latino lightweight champion and contender Jose Reyes on April 29, 2011.
Perez has watched patiently as his gym mate and fellow Colombian Yonnhy Perez, who is also trained by Danny Zamora in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., developed as a fighter on ShoBox and moved on to capture a world title.
“This is a great opportunity for Darley to be on ShoBox,” Zamora said. “He knows that that’s how Yonnhy started, on ShoBox, and from there to SHOWTIME, and he became a world champion.”
Perez, who registered a first-round knockout over Baudel Cardenas in his most recent fight last July 22 in Ontario, Calif., will face perhaps the toughest test of his career against Meza, a battle-tested veteran.
Meza fought current World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Brandon Rios in 2009, losing via fifth-round TKO. Meza has won three consecutive fights since his last loss in June of 2010 against highly regarded Mercito Gesta. In his most recent outing, Meza scored a third-round TKO over Kelly Wright last June 11 in Chandler, Ariz.
“I feel that my preparation for this fight is the best I’ve had in the last three or four years,” Meza said. “I’m going to be well-prepared, and I’m going to give everything I’ve got on the day of the fight.
“This is a big fight for me and I need to take advantage of the opportunity.”
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