Ajagba vs Shaw: Stephan Shaw Is Ready To Capitalize On Big Opportunity
By Vince D’Writer: In the sport of boxing, reaching the next level in your career is sometimes based upon receiving that elusive opportunity, and due to a main event participant’s withdrawal, Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw (18-0, 13 KOs) will attempt to capitalize on his big opportunity as he steps in to face Efe Ajagba (16-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday, January 14th at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Back in November 2022, Top Rank announced their January 14th card would feature a collision between two strong punchers, as Efe Ajagba was scheduled to face Oscar Rivas (28-1, 19 KOs). A month later, Rivas announced his withdrawal from the bout due to an eye injury he suffered during training camp.
Stephan Shaw was scheduled to face unbeaten Italian heavyweight prospect Guido Vianello (10-0-1, 9 KOs) in the co-feature on the January 14th card, but when Shaw was offered the chance to fill the void that Rivas left, he was willing to accept the assignment.
Now Stephan Shaw will take on a more notable opponent, as he will participate in the main event of a fight card that will be televised live on ESPN. Shaw wants to be recognized as a legitimate heavyweight contender, and a victory over Efe Ajagba will have his stock trending in the right direction.
Back in October 2021, Efe Ajagba had a chance to elevate his status from a highly touted prospect to a legitimate Top 15 contender, but unfortunately, Frank Sanchez defeated Ajagba by way of a unanimous decision. Ajagba is still recognized as a top heavyweight prospect, and if Stephan Shaw is able to score the upset, it will be a game-changer for Shaw.
A product of St. Louis, Missouri, Stephan Shaw was a two-time winner of the national Silver Gloves Tournament, and shortly after, he quit boxing at the age of 13. Six years later, Shaw returned to the sport of boxing in 2011, and after the extremely long layoff, he was still able to make the 2012 National Olympic team as an alternate.
Shaw made his pro debut in December 2013, and he scored a first round knockout against Jose Hermosillo. Most recently, Shaw posted a first round knockout victory over Bernardo Marquez in July 2022, and four months later, he scored a unanimous decision victory over Rydell Booker.
At the present time, heavyweight prospect Stephan Shaw is on the verge of stepping into the ring with his toughest opposition to date, and if he’s victorious, the win could lead to opportunities to face opponents who are on the contender level.
Stephan Shaw has been living a modest life trying to build his boxing career, as the 30-year-old often trains in an elementary school basement in Jennings, Missouri. His boxing journey has included multiple bumps in the road, but Shaw is hoping to take a detour to a smoother career path, and it all starts with a win on Saturday night.
Efe Ajagba is a heavy-handed puncher who likes to press forward, stand in the pocket, and land hard shots. Stephan Shaw is a sharp puncher who has good hand speed, he’s patient, fundamentally sound, and his key to victory is to outbox Ajagba.
Going into his 10th year as a pro, Stephan Shaw is finally in a position to elevate his status. During the final press conference, Shaw spoke on overcoming the hardship he has experienced.
“Well, I got God on my side. God makes all the situations that I’ve faced my entire career; he’s made it work. I’ve faced adversity that the average man wouldn’t be able to deal with. Me coming from St. Louis, beating the odds to just being here on this stage and just having my moment. I’m ready to thrive in it, and I’m ready to seize the moment.”
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