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Matthysse vs Ajose: Mauro Ranallo, Mark 'Too Sharp' Johnson to Join SHO Boxing Team

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.


Showtime's boxing team will have a new look this Saturday night for the Lucas Matthysse vs Olusegun Ajose card (he's officially Olusegun Ajose now, by the way, since that's how the network is listing him), as combat sports veteran Mauro Ranallo will be handling play-by-play duties, and Hall of Fame fighter Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson will serve as an analyst with Al Bernstein for the card.

Most of you probably will know Ranallo at least a little bit, as he's best-known for his time with Strikeforce and previously PRIDE in the world of mixed martial arts.

"I am very excited about joining the Showtime Championship Boxing team," Ranallo said. "Having covered combat sports for over two decades, I look forward to calling some of the best boxing action on the planet.

"My first main event could redefine the Big Bang theory with one of the sport's biggest punchers, Lucas Matthysse, looking to showcase his preternatural punching power. However, it won't be easy against a slick technician such as the undefeated Olusegun Ajose."

Johnson is equally excited about being added to the mix.

"It is a great honor and privilege to join a network like Showtime, which has produced some of the greatest shows and memories in boxing history," Johnson said. "I'm as excited to be a part of the world-class Showtime Championship Boxing team as I was when they first told me I would be finally getting my first world title shot after waiting three years for it. This is a dream come true for me. I've been studying and I'm ready to go. I look forward to bringing a unique insight to the Showtime audience.

"There are not too many places that you will be able to see and hear two boxing Hall of Famers at once, so to be granted this opportunity and to work alongside Al Bernstein, whom I entered the boxing Hall of Fame with this year, makes it that much sweeter."

Johnson, the youngest man to ever be inducted into the Hall, offered some early analysis on the main event, as well.

"The fight between Olusegun Ajose and Lucas Matthysse is going to be very exciting," Johnson said. "Although Matthysse feels like he didn't close the gaps and could have possibly won those fights against Devon Alexander and Zab Judah, he came back with a great knockout against Humberto Soto this past June where he was able to use his strength and outwork him.

"Ajose is a guy who has 30 wins with 14 knockouts and no losses and is a surely a power puncher. However, we will see how well he adjusts outside of his comfort zone, the U.K. when he comes to the bright lights of Nevada against the experienced Matthysse. This will be the first time both of these guys get to be front and center as the main event on a platform like Showtime Championship Boxing."

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