Ajagba “ready” for Shaw this Saturday on ESPN

By Boxing News - 01/12/2023 - Comments

By Sam Volz: Heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba says he’s ready for this Saturday’s 10-round headliner against unbeaten Stephen Shaw, and he wants to “put on a show” for the boxing fans watching on ESPN and at ringside at the Turning Stone Resort Casino, in Verona, New York. The card begins at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+.

(Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

YouTube video

Shaw (18-0, 13 KOs) will be looking to put on a show of his own by sending Ajagba down to his second career defeat and picking up the best win on his 10-year pro resume, which is filled mainly with no-name opponents.

The 30-year-old Shaw is a replacement for Oscar Rivas, who suffered an injury training for the Ajagba fight and had to be replaced. Shaw has got to make his move down by defeating Ajagba if he wants to accomplish his goal of capturing a world title.

The 28-year-old Ajagba (16-1, 13 KOs) can’t afford the type of performance he put in, losing a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision against top 10 contender Frank Sanchez in October 2021.

The talented Cuban Sanchez totally outboxed the 6’6″ Ajagba, exposing him as a robotic, one-dimensional fighter incapable of throwing combinations or adjusting. The scores were f 98–91, 98–91, and 97–92.

Since that loss, Ajagba has fought just once, stopping journeyman Jozsef Darmos (14-6-3, 10 KOs) by a second round knockout last year in August.

Undercard fights:

  • Abraham “El Super” Nova vs. Adam “BluNose” Lopez
  • Bryce Mills vs. Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington
  • Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello vs. Jonnie Rice

I’ve made adjustments for Saturday night. We’ll see how it goes. I’m ready for him,” said Ajagba. “I wanted to fight Oscar Rivas before. But that changed. But now Shaw has the opportunity to fight me.”

I’m ready to put on a show. I’m going to put more pressure. I can’t wait. I’m so excited to be here,” said Ajagba.

It would be wise for Adjagba to throw combinations because his punch accuracy isn’t good enough for him to count on defeating a fighter of Shaw’s class by throwing single shots, hoping to poleax him like he’d been doing up until meeting up with Sanchez in 2021.

“I’m a third-generation fighter. I’m looking to become a world champion. Saturday night, I’m going to make my mark,” said Shaw.

Top Rank won’t be happy if Shaw defeats Ajagba because it could be the final straw. Losing to Sanchez is one thing, but getting beaten a second time might be the end.