- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Junior welterweight contender Olusegun Ajose, who gave a good battle to Lucas Matthysse in a 10th-round knockout loss in a September interim title bout, gets back to action Friday night.
Ajose (30-1, 14 KOs), who fought just once in 2012 while awaiting a mandatory title fight against Danny Garcia, but ending up instead settling for the interim shot, returns to face Rynell Griffin in a scheduled eight-round bout on promoter Bobby Hitz’s popular club show at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. Lou DiBella, Ajose’s promoter, owed him a fight and found a spot for him on Hitz’s card, although the match with Griffin (6-14-2, 2 KOs) is a brutal mismatch on paper. Frankly, it’s disappointing to see such an obvious mismatch be approved by a state commission. Ajose is a world-class fighter and solid contender. Griffin is way below .500, 0-12-1 in his past 13 fights and has been stopped in six of his 14 defeats.
Nonetheless, Ajose is at least happy to be back in action for only his second fight since October 2011.
“I am so glad that I'm getting back in the ring,” said Ajose, 33, a native of Nigeria who lives in England. "This is going to be my first fight after my loss to Matthysse, and I can't wait to do my thing.”
Ajose hopes to work his way back to another title opportunity and is interested in challenging welterweight titlist Devon Alexander on May 18 after Kell Brook dropped out of the bout because of a foot injury.
“I know that Devon is currently looking for an opponent, and I would love to get in the ring against him,” Ajose said. “This is a great opportunity for me to share a ring with the champ, and I am willing and able to step in. I am sure boxing fans around the world will like this matchup, so I'm ready to give everyone an exciting fight. I'm here -- let's make it happen.”