Undefeated Heavyweight Efe Ajagba Signs Promotional Pact with Top Rank
In a bit of a surprise move, promising undefeated heavyweight Efe Ajagba left Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports and signed a long-term promotional agreement with Top Rank on Wednesday, Top Rank and Ajagba announced in a joint press release.
Ajagba, 26, had fought exclusively on Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions cards, building 13-0 record, with 11 knockouts. He’s 6-foot-6 and weighs 242 pounds. He owns six first-round knockouts also the record for the fastest victory in boxing history when Curtis Harper walked out of the ring one second after the opening bell sounded during their scheduled six-rounder on August 24, 2018.
Ajagba leaving Ringstar was first reported by Keith Idec and Boxingscene.
Ajagba told The Ring that he will make his Top Rank on ESPN debut probably in September 2020 on a to-be-determined bill. He has also said that he split with original trainer Ronnie Shields, one of the finest boxing teachers in the country, and enlisted the services of manager James Prince and head trainer Kay Koroma.
“During the pandemic, it opened my eyes about where I am as a boxer and where I’m trying to go,” Ajagba said. “It was easy to make that decision, because there were no fights for me. I’m in a better situation.”
In the release put out by Top Rank, Ajagba said, ““I made this decision to become a better boxer and to advance my career. That’s why I signed with James Prince and Top Rank,” Ajagba said. “When I return to the ring soon, you will see a new Efe Ajagba. Kay Koroma and I are working on my head movement and defense, as I seek to become a more well-rounded fighter.”
“Efe Ajagba is one of the most gifted young heavyweights I’ve seen in quite some time,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He has immense physical tools and a great work ethic. I have the utmost confidence that we’re looking at a future heavyweight champion.”
The Harper disqualification ended Ajagba’s string of knockouts, and he would score four more knockouts before being taken the distance for the first time in his career. Ajagba last fought March 7 in Brooklyn, knocking out former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu in nine rounds.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.