Photos by Sumio Yamada
AJOSE OLUSEGUN vs NIGEL WRIGHT
Classy London-based Nigerian Ajose Olusegun believes he is ready for the best in the world but at this stage he is known only to the hard-core fans.
Little by little, though, Olusegun is adding to his reputation. On Friday he puts his Commonwealth light-welter title and unbeaten record on the line when he meets Nigel Wright, a former British title challenger, in the Sky TV main event. A win will take Olusegun another step forward to the bigger fights that he feels he deserves.
The oddsmakers have made Olusegun a big favourite and I see no reason to disagree. A Nigerian Olympic representative (stopped by Ricardo Williams, of the U.S., in his opening bout in Sydney), Olusegun has won 21 consecutive bouts without ever looking remotely close to being beaten. This includes knocking out Ali Nuumbembe and overwhelming Bradley Pryce, both Commonwealth champions who were no match for Olusegun.
Challenger Wright is a competent boxer who, like Olusegun, is a southpaw. He was twice a national amateur champion in England and holds a one-round win over Kevin McIntyre, the British welter champion, although it does seem that McIntyre was weight-drained in that bout, which was made at 140 pounds.
Wright was clearly outpointed in a British light-welter title bout against the busy-punching Lenny Daws but in his last fight he boxed a draw with Daws in a 10-rounder.
On Friday, Wright is meeting a boxer who I think is world-class; it is his toughest fight to date.
There just seems to be too much stacked against Wright to give him a realistic chance of winning. He does have sound boxing ability, but Olusegun seems to have the greater versatility and hand speed. Wright is fighting at home in County Durham, though, and with the crowd behind him he might be able to dig in and box an inspired fight. I do not think that Wright will be disgraced by any means, but Olusegun looks too much for him although home advantage for the challenger narrows the odds a bit.
This looks like a sweeping win for Olusegun, perhaps by a stoppage in the last four rounds as his combinations catch up with Wright, although I would like to see the underdog from northeast England have the satisfaction of at least going the full 12 rounds in front of his own people.
RESULT: Olusegun unan. decision.