Tony Luis defeats Karl Dargan

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- It was supposed to be the coming-out party for unbeaten lightweight Karl Dargan. But as the old adage goes, nobody bothered to tell Tony Luis.

Behind a mauling style that routinely pinned Dargan against the ropes, Luis took over control of the pace and distance of the bout in Round 2 and never looked back in the main event of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights."

Luis (19-2, 7 KOs), a native of Canada, took home a unanimous decision (99-90, 97-92 twice) to pull off a clean upset at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

"I couldn't believe it was 7-1 odds," Luis said. "When I heard that, I knew I should have bet on myself."

Philadelphia's Dargan (17-1, 9 KOs) was simply unable to keep the rugged Luis off of him. Dargan, a slick boxer, was never able to establish his jab and was relegated to one punch at a time off the ropes.

"I started doubling up on my jab and used it to take away his jab," Luis said. "I began to work and counter off his jab. When I would faint and get him to commit first, I was able to counter his counter."

Luis went to the body early and often, but had his best success by doubling and tripling his left hook at close range. He appeared to cleanly drop Dargan with a combination in Round 3, but referee Johnny Callas ruled it a slip.

"The referee tonight did a great job, but he did miss a knockdown in third round," Luis said.

Dargan appeared to steady himself early in Round 4 with movement and quick flurries on the inside. But Luis quickly closed the gap and appeared to hurt Dargan after cornering him with a series of unanswered shots.

From that moment on, Dargan was never the same as Luis continued to fight on his terms and only got stronger as the fight continued.

"[Dargan] was everything you guys said he was going to be," Luis said. "I was just better tonight. He showed a lot of heart to stay in there."

By Round 8, Dargan was bleeding and showing serious swelling to his eyes, which caused the ringside doctor to take a closer look before the start of the next round. Luis went on to score a knockdown in the 10th and final round to cap what was a one-sided drubbing.

"I had the superior strength and I proved that I'm quick and strong, too," Luis said. "I adjusted to the style that was in front of me. I know he didn't like pressure so I had to come forward and push the pace. I had to be intelligent about it.

"Everyone underestimated my hand speed and my boxing ability. But the fundamentals completed the package tonight."

Dargan appeared at times as if his right hand was hurt throughout the fight, but was unwilling to make excuses afterward, saying, "No, I'm not going to go there." He iced his hand in the locker room afterward, but did not need further medical attention.

"We don't want to take anything away from [Luis]," said Dargan's trainer, Naazim Richardson. "It was a terrific fight. Tony Luis proved he could be a champion tonight. Karl Dargan proved he could stand and fight."

The victory was a big one for Luis, who dropped a disputed decision to unbeaten prospect Ivan Redkach in 2014.

"The sky is the limit," Luis said. "Make me an offer I can't refuse and I'll fight anybody."