Efe Ajagba Jabs for Higher Stakes


*Sets Nigeria on another boxing heavyweight hunt

By George Oare


Nigeria’s boxing heavyweight hopeful, Efe Ajagba, is raising his profile on the world boxing stage as he features as part of the loaded Fury-Wilder III undercard. The fight, under the pay-per-view arrange, will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is expected to feature three heavyweight bouts, two of them between unbeaten fighters.
A win for him will not only set him within sight of fame and fortune, two of the category’s pecks, it will also raise the hope of Nigeria laying franchise claims over another world boxing heavy following the run of compatriot, Anthony Joshua.
The ferocious Nigerian pugilist will feature in one of the highly anticipated undercards as he squares up in a 10-round with Cubas’s Frank, the Flash, Sanchez. The winner is guaranteed moving a step towards contender status.
The one and only Ajagba, as the 27 year-old Nigerian is fondly referred to, parades a sterling 15-0 clean record, 12 of which is by knockouts. In his last encounter on April 10, he sent Brian Howard crashing to the canvas and out cold in the third round. The victory came almost seven months after a decision win over Jonathan Rice in a promotional debut with Top Rank. The win over Howard, seventh knockout in his last nine fights, is seen as an indication of his improvement in skill-set with trainer Kay Koro, as indicated in the last several months. It is something he looks forward to showcasing against Sanchez.
“I am honored to be fighting on the Fury-Wilder III pay-per-view as the co-main event. I have been patiently waiting for this opportunity to showcase my skills. My fans, and critics, can expect to see more jabs, head movement, footwork and power in both hands against Frank Sánchez. July 24 is going to be a special night for ‘The One and Only’ Efe Ajagba,” the Nigerian born pugilist said.
Obviously, Sanchez, who parades an impressive 18-0 1 NC, 13 KOs, is no push over. The Cuban also fought Brian Howard whom he dropped three times en route a 4th round knockout win on November 7. Six weeks later, the 28-year-old also dismissed Julian Fernandez with a knock out in round 7.
As part of the Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders super middleweight unification card on May 8, Sanchez dismissed Nagy Aguilera via a technical decision.
“I look forward to fighting Efe Ajagba and coming out victorious. Boxing fans want to see the best fight the best. People say Efe Ajagba is avoided and that’s exactly why I chose to fight him. Fans can expect a great fight between two undefeated heavyweights July 24,” he said.
In what appears to be another compelling clash, Robert Helenius will lock hornds with Adam Kownacki. Both fighters clashed on March 7 of last year in Brooklyn, New York with Helenius overcoming Kownacki who built an early lead until he got hurt early in round 4 until he was battered to a stop.
Helenius, a 30-3, 19 KOs holder, resurrected a pro career that stalled after being knocked out by Gerald Washington on July 2019. Since then however, his come back bid seems to have taken off on a right note as he has wrapped up back-to-back victories from five of his last six bouts.
“I’m looking forward to repeating my first performance against Kownacki on July 24. Boxing fans can expect another incredible fight with my hand raised in victory once again. All of Finland will be behind me when I show the world why I am most deserving of a world title fight. My only goal is to be world champion and unfortunately for Adam he stands in my way.”
On the other hand, Kownacki who holds a 20-1, 15 KOs, is remarkable for makes for his come-forward, aggressive style. At 32, he parades wins over countryman Artur Szpilka, Washington, Charles Martin, Iago Kiladze and, most recently, Chris Arreola.

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