Ajose Olusegun claimed his first title by unanimously out pointing Gary Reid to win the vacant Commonwealth light welterweight crown at Crystal Palace in London on Friday night.
The Nigerian born 27 year old was heavily favoured to defeat Reid, a Jamaican born Stoke on Trent resident, but was forced to raise his game to contain his gallant opponent.
Reid, 34, appeared to show his rival excessive respect as Olusegun increasing got through his defence and, combined with the favourite’s bewildering speed, an early stoppage seemed likely.
Reid survived the early assaults and rallied gamely at the midway point of his most important fight to date and gained many admirers for his valiant performance in the latter rounds.
“As you know, I have been waiting for this for a long time,” Olusegun said of his 119-110; 119-109; 120-109 victory.
“Gary Reid is a very, very tough opponent and I give him lots of respect. He has knocked out many, many men so I had to be careful. He caught me with some powerful punches so I had to be careful.
“I tried as much as possible to give it my best shot and try to stop him but he is very, very strong and he kept going and I’m glad eventually I won unanimously.
“Hopefully this will be the beginning of a good thing to come in my career. I want to box everyone in the British scene and even in the world and hopefully I will go ahead to win the world title.”
Olusegun, 20-0 (10), said last week that he has Junior Witter, the WBC Champion, and Ricky Hatton in his sights.
Earlier last night, a resurgent Gary Woolcombe, 23-1 (8), stopped Anthony Young in the fourth round of six and in doing so, laid the ghost of his sole career loss to rest.
Woolcombe’s 100% record had come to an abrupt halt at the hands of Andrew Facey in January and he was clearly a man on a mission last night.
“I knew I would come back,” an elated Woolcombe said post bout. “This is the start of big things.”
Frank Maloney, the 24 year old's promoter, was not surprised by the manner of Woolcombe’s victory.
“This just shows that Gary is not frightened to go back into the danger zone,” Maloney said. “We will just take another fight and then go for a title.”