Boxing

Efe Ajagba wants to be the best heavyweight in the world

In the opening bout on FOX and FOX Deportes, rising heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs) remained unbeaten and earned the best win of his young pro career by stopping veteran Amir Mansour (23-4-1, 16 KOs) after two rounds.
Ajagba was dominant from the outset, knocking Mansour down twice in the first round. He first landed a clean straight right to Mansour that caused him to tumble to the ground. He got to his feet but was then put onto the ground by a straight left from Ajagba.
“I’ve never fought a southpaw in the pros before,” said Ajagba. “Ronnie Shields has taught me a lot and given me the plan on how to fight a southpaw and how to use my right hand against them.”

Mansour made it to the second round but continued to take a beating as Ajagba landed flush to the head consistently. After the round, referee Thomas Taylor took a long look at Mansour in his corner decided to call the fight after two rounds.
“I want to be the best heavyweight in the world,” said Ajagba. “That’s my dream. I’m going to go home and work hard and prepare for the next fight.”

PBC Prelims on FS1 preceded the main card and featured former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (21-2, 9 KOs) defeating previously unbeaten Damien Vazquez (14-1, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision after eight-rounds of bantamweight action with scores of 80-71 twice and 79-73. Additional action on FS1 saw rising welterweight prospect and 2016 Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis (8-0, 5 KOs) score a unanimous decision victory over a game Samuel Figueroa (11-2, 4 KOs) by scores of 80-72 three times across eight rounds of action.

Veteran Amir Mansour represented the biggest test of Efe Ajagba’s young career on the Shawn Porter-Yordenis Ugas card on Saturday but he ended up like all but one of the Nigerian’s opponents.

Ajagba, the 6-foot-5 heavyweight prospect, put Mansour down twice in the first round and battered him relentlessly the second, which prompted Mansour and his cornermen to get out while he was still in one piece. He stayed on his stool rather than test Ajagba in Round 3, ending the fight.

Ajagba is best known for a fight that didn’t take place, when Curtis Harper ran from the ring at the opening bell rather than face Ajagba last September.

His next three opponents understand Harper’s feelings. Ajagba (9-0, 8 knockouts) stopped his next two foes in the first round before manhandling the 46-year-old Mansour (23-4-1, 16 KOs).

Mansour was game for a while but quickly became overwhelmed. He went down first from a short right and then again from a left in the opening round. He managed to remain on his feet in the second but, in his opinion, took too many hard punches to continue fighting.

Ajagba presumably will continue to fight better and better opponents as builds toward a title shot.

“I want to be the best heavyweight in the world,” he said. “That’s my dream.”

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