Tony Luis: “If I’d Known the Odds Were 7-1 Against Me vs Dargan, I’d Have Bet on Myself”

“I didn’t know the odds were 7-1 against me, or I would have bet on myself!” laughed Canadian lightweight Tony “Lightning” Luis (19-2, 7 KOs).

In the first boxing upset of the new year, Luis picked up the WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Championship and ruined the undefeated record of IBF #15 rated Karl “Dynamite” Dargan (17-1, 9 KOs), last Friday night at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, by way of a 10-round unanimous decision. Luis clearly dominated Dargan and dropped him in rounds three (the referee mistakenly ruled it a slip) and 10 to cap off a very impressive performance.

The career-changing victory is the latest in a hot streak for the 27-year-old Luis, from Cornwall, Ontario. Dargan’s was the second “0” in a row that Luis has taken, as he handed New Jersey’s Wanzell Ellison his first loss last July as well. It would be his third consecutive if not for some questionable scoring against Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach last January. The combined records of Luis’s last three opponents were 43-0-1, 27 KOs. 

“Words can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now,” continued Luis. “It hasn’t even sunk in yet. It seemed like it took so long to get there, with all the highs and lows of training camp, but now that it’s over, it feels like it happened too quickly.”

Luis says that while it may have appeared to be an easy win for him (scores were 97-92, 99-90, and 97-92), looks are deceiving. “I didn’t think it was going to look as easy as it did. It wasn’t easy in any way, I had to work hard in there to get the win, but watching it, it looks like I had an easy time. I’m just grateful to my promoter, Greg Cohen, for the opportunity and for the fair judging and officiating we received this time.”

2015 is starting out smashingly for Luis. Not only will he now sky rocket through the world rankings as a streaking contender (he is currently #13 in the WBA), he and fiance Manon Latulippe are expecting their first child any day now.

“The year is starting off with a bang. I couldn’t be happier. I’m going to enjoy my baby and then, soon as he’s born, I’ll be right back in the gym.”

Promoter Greg Cohen says he’s excited about the future for his Canadian slugger.

“Tony works very hard in the gym and has all the heart you could ask for and it shows in his fights. He outworks his opponents and overwhelms them with his relentlessness aggression. This is his second consecutive win over a well-regarded, undefeated fighter, and should actually be his third. I am proud to be working with such an outstanding fighter and his team.  Tony is ready to fight for the world title and we are going to do everything we can to deliver him a title fight or title eliminator.”

A substance abuse counselor back home, Luis says the reception in Cornwall has been tremendous. “Everybody. My family, all my friends and so many fans from back home are ecstatic. I’m overwhelmed by the support I get. It’s an honor.”

Tony Luis Hands Karl Dargan First Career Loss. Captures WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Championship  

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Lightning Luis
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

The much-anticipated main event featured Philadelphian Karl “Dynamite” Dargan (17-1, 9 KOs)* against Tony “The Lightning” Luis (28-5, 18 KOs) for the WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Championship.

The first round started slow with both fighters feeling each other out. Luis appeared to control the second round keeping Dynamite on the ropes. Dargan was down in the third and the referee ruled it a slip. Luis continued to be the aggressor in the fourth. Dargan began to return fire late in the fourth and Luis thew a punch after the bell that enraged Dynamite.

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Dargan and Luis
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Tony continued to throw bunches of punches to start the fifth including an aggressive body attack. In the later rounds Luis continued to be the aggressor keeping Dargan up against the ropes. Dargan suffered an injury to his left eye in eighth round but the doctor deemed him okay to continue to the ninth round.

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Luis and Dargan
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
 

Dynamite landed a hard shot in the tenth but Luis countered and knocked down Dargan. He managed to finish the fight but, unfortunately, the cards were not in his favor. Tony Luis won via unanimous decision with the final score 97-92, 99-90 and 97-92 and handed Dynamite his first career loss.

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Lacy and Barrera
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

In the middle fight of the telecast, Cuban sensation Sullivan Barrera (15-0, 10 KOs) stopped veteran Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy (27-6 18 KOs). Barrera knocked Lacy to the canvas in the first round but he managed to recover and finish the round.

Both fighters settled in by the third round. However, it was short lived because in the fourth round Lacy could no longer withstand Barrera’s attack and the referee stopped the fight with Lacy still on his feet.

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Lamour and Falowo
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

The live ESPN2 Friday Night Fights telecast began with an eight round battle for the New England Middleweight Championship between Thomas “The Souljah” Falowo (13-3, 8 KOs) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island and Russell “The Haitian Sensation” Lamour (11-1, 5 KOs) of Portland Maine. The Foxwoods’ crowd was fired up from the beginning for this local showdown. These fighters were not strangers as they had faced each other several times as amateurs. They took no time to feel each other out and came out swinging from the first bell.

Falowo, who only has one amateur win against Lamour, was clearly the aggressor in the early rounds. By the sixth round, Falowo started to tire and Lamour took advantage of his fatigue, but Falowo managed to end strong.

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Lamour and Falowo
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

The seventh round was uncharted territory for both competitors. Prior to the fight Falowo said the later rounds would be the difference-maker for him. He continued to put the pressure on Lamour in the seventh round.

In the eighth and final round Falowo looked determined to secure a knockout. By the end of the fight the crowd was on their feet at Foxwoods and Lamour and Falowo were both trading big shots.

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Falowo and His Corner
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Falowo walked away with the unanimous decision victory and the New England Middleweight Championship with scores of 78-74 and 77-75 (twice). He also handed Lamour his first professional defeat and only his second victory over “The Haitian Sensation.”

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Foster and Pryor
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

In the first fight of the night to go the distance, local light heavyweight Charles “The Truth” Foster (7-0, 3 KOs) defeated Washington, DC native Larry Pryor (9-9, 5 KOs) via unanimous decision. The bout was six rounds and the judges scores were: 60-54, 59-55 and 60-54 in favor of Foster.

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Mosley Jr. and Machado
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Middleweights Shane Mosley, Jr. (3-1, 3 KOs) and Rafael “The Penguin” Machado (0-3) were scheduled for four rounds of action. However, Mosley, Jr. knocked down Machado twice in the third before the referee stopped the fight.

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Mosley Sr., Mosley, Jr., and Mayweather, Sr.
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Working Mosley, Jr.’s corner were his father “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather, Sr.

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Oltmanns and Tapia
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Heavyweight Keith “Machine Gun” Tapia (13-0, 8 KOs) of Santurce, Puerto Rico stopped Jesse “Street Fighter” Oltmanns (10-5, 7 KOs) of Bartonsville, PA in the first round in the second bout on the card. 

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Whitmore and Reyes
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

In the first fight of the evening, Philadelphia’s Khalib “Big Foot” Whitmore (6-1, 5 KOs) squared off against Carlos Reyes of Kuarny, AZ (7-5-1, 5 KOs). Reyes knocked Whitmore down twice in the second before the referee called the fight to an end at 56 seconds into the second round handing Whitmore his first career defeat. 

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Wilson and Rodriguez
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

In the final bout of the evening, David Wilson (5-0, 1 KO) of New Haven, Connecticut knocked out Michael “The Reason” Rodriguez (0-3) of New York, New York in the final round of the four-round middleweight swing bout. 

Cassius Chaney’s bout was cancelled after his scheduled opponent failed a medical exam and a replacement could not be found in time. 

*Note: All records have been updated to reflect tonight’s results.
 
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Quotes & Photos: Karl Dargan – Tony Luis Presser

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“Dynamite” Dargan
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Karl “Dynamite” Dargan
“I feel like I was just here at Foxwoods yesterday. I want to thank Tony for accepting this challenge. We had a great camp. I go into every fight looking at it like it’s a world championship fight. Tomorrow night they might like “Lighting” but when “Lighting” strikes “Dynamite” it is going to blow up. We will see what happens. Get there are early to see [Khalib] Whitmore and [Shane] Mosley, Jr.”   
 

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“Lightning” Luis
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events 
 
 
Tony Luis
“It is a pleasure to have everyone here. We are ready to give you guys a great show tonight and I am ready to put on the fight of my life.”  
 

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Russell Lamour
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events 
 
 
Russell Lamour
“I am glad to be here. I feel blessed to be fighting on this card. Come out tomorrow because I am going to put a show on and show the world what I can do.”
 

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Thomas Falowo
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events 
 
 
Thomas Falowo
“Fighting is the easy part. I don’t like this part. I feel grateful to be here. It is going to be great. I feel stronger than ever. I am ready to steal the show tomorrow.”  
 

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Kathy Duva
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events 
 
 
Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events
“Tomorrow, Friday Night Fights on ESPN2 starts at 9:00. This show has been the product with a lot of hard work. I could not have done it without my good friend Al Valenti.
 
“There is going to be “Lightning” and “Dynamite” in the ring and that is a combustible combination. We are very excited to show “Dynamite” in his first nationally televised main event.
 
“This fight is Karl stepping up in competition. Both “Dynamite” and “Lightning” came here to win.”  
 

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Al Valenti
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events 
 
 
Al Valenti
“Foxwoods has been a major player in boxing for over 23 years. It is so great to be here with Kathy and Main Events, the premiere in professional boxing. We have great confidence in this event. This is the coming together of a great boxing fraternity. There is a great local match. Russell Lamour and Tommy Falowo have met several times in the amateurs. This co-feature shows that the amateur program in the US is alive and producing future stars like these two. Tommy and Russell are here because they know the next step to becoming the next Karl Dargan is to perform well tomorrow night”
 

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Greg Cohen
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

 
Greg Cohen, Promoter for Tony Luis
“It is always terrific to do business with Main Events. This is going to be a special fight. Tony is one of the most professional fighters I have ever worked with. Tony just beat an undefeated kid (Wanzell Ellison) on ShoBox. Other fighters might shy away from fighting Dargan. There were other fights on the table but Tony jumped at this opportunity. I believe in him. He had an unbelievable training camp. Everybody should get ready because “Lighting” is going to strike tomorrow.”
 

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Brother Naazim Richardson
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events 
 
 
Naazim Richardson, Trainer for Karl “Dynamite” Dargan
“I would like to thank Kathy Duva and the staff at Main Events. I watched tape on Tony Luis and I like what I saw. He is an exceptional young athlete. My little cousin [Dargan] is something special also. We are going to put on a performance that will let the world know we are ready for the next level. The card is exceptional.”  
   
About January 30
Presented by Main Events in association with Greg Cohen Promotions, the Jan. 30 edition of Friday Night Fights on ESPN2 and will take place at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT. It features a ten-round lightweight battle between undefeated contender Karl “Dynamite” Dargan (17-0, 9 KOs) against Tony “The Lightning” Luis (18-2, 7 KOs) for the WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Championship in the main event. The co-feature is an eight-round middleweight bout between Thomas Falowo (12-3, 8 KOs) against Russell Lamour (11-0, 5 KOs). Bouts are subject to change. Tickets are $40, $60 and $75 and available now through Foxwoods.com and the Foxwoods box office. The doors will open at 5:00 PM ET and the Friday Night Fights telecast will begin at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN2.