Fresh from a fourth-round knockout defeat of old foe, Joe Goodall, on Saturday, Texas-based Nigerian fighter, Efe Ajagba, says his focus now is to get his hands on any of the world heavyweight boxing titles held by Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
Ajagba celebrated his 14th knockout victory as a pro and revenge on Goodall, nine years after he had lost to the Australian via a split decision in Glasgow.
The 29-year-old rocked Goodall early in the fourth round with a right hand and a subsequent flurry of punches. Ajagba’s dominant win could push him closer to a shot at one of the heavyweight titles. He has won his last four bouts since losing to Frank Sanchez via unanimous decision in October 2021 on the undercard of Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder III.
The Nigerian extended his professional record to 19-1 as referee Tony Weeks halted the fight just under a minute into the fourth round, handing Goodall the second loss of his career but first inside the distance.
Ajagba demonstrated just how much better he’s gotten since his loss to Goodall at the Commonwealth Games. He began the contest by landing jabs and right hands, though Goodall had some success in closing the distance.
He then began landing right uppercuts in round three that wobbled Goodall. In round four, a one-two combo initiated a series of combos that forced Weeks to stop the fight at the :50 mark.
“It’s been long. I was out of boxing for a long time. When I came back with Stephen Shaw (in January 2023), my confidence was not there. I had just come back from surgery, and I had to get back into shape. But right now, I came back with full confidence. That’s why I took him out,” Ajagba said.
He added: “(My team) pushed me in training camp. They made me work extremely hard in this camp to make sure I win the fight. I sparred a lot of different guys to make me stay strong.”
Before the fight, Ajagba acknowledged that it would get him closer to a world title and from there, “I’m going to see where we go.” But there are speculations that the next stop for the Rio 2016 Olympics quarterfinalist is unbeaten Chinese stalwart, Zhilei Zhang.
A victory over the Chinese monster is a sure path to a clash with either Fury or Usyk and the WBC Silver Heavyweight champion says, “whoever they offer me to fight, I’m ready to go. I will go back with my team to talk about that.”