Efe Ajagba Looking to Make a Statement Against Undefeated Stephen Shaw
Heavyweight hopeful Efe Ajagba (16-1, 13 KOs) returns to the ring on January 14 as he faces undefeated Stephen Shaw (18-0, 13 KOs) at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York. The bout will air live on ESPN.
2022 was a mostly quiet year for Ajagba. His only fight during that year was a second-round TKO over Jozsef Darmos in August 2022. A serious argument can be made that Ajagba is still trying to recover from the sting of the only loss of his career against Frank Sanchez in October 2021. In that fight, Ajagba was outboxed and out-thought in a unanimous decision setback. The win over Darmos was against a clearly overmatched foe, so you don’t know what lessons he has learned from the defeat against Sanchez.
EAGER TO FIGHT
Ajagba hopes to answer the questions the critics still have about him in this upcoming bout against Shaw, who is a late substitute for his original opponent, Oscar Rivas. During the final news conference for the boxing press, Ajagba was in good spirits and is promising to bring his A-game.
“I’m ready to put on a show. I’m going to put more pressure on. I can’t wait. I’m so excited to be here on Saturday night.”
There’s never been a question about Ajagba’s punching power. The 28-year-old from Ughelli, Nigeria is one of the hardest hitters in the division. What has fans and pundits ringing their alarm bells are questions about his skills, overall development, and ability to take a punch.
Is Ajagba just a one-trick pony with a big punch, or will he show that he is a complete, well-rounded fighter? The task against Shaw is not only to win but to prove there is more than one dimension to his game.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.