Efe Ajagba’s World Boxing Council (WBC) title fight on Saturday against Australia’s Joe Goodal is the Nigerian’s biggest fight since he lost on unanimous decision to a tactically superior Frank Sanchez in 2021.
The fight against the Cuban ‘dancer’ was an undercard in the Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder blockbuster.
Since that night in Las Vegas, Ajagba has risen to become the WBC Silver Heavyweight champion, a position Goodall is fighting for.
Both fighters are no strangers to each other as the Australian won a controversial Commonwealth Games heavyweight bout at the Glasgow 2014 edition of the Games.
Saturday’s battle is the main event of the night at Tahoe Blue Event Centre in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA. It is the first boxing event at the venue, which opened earlier this month.
Ajagba and Goodall fought as amateurs, with Goodall earning a decision in the semifinals of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, where the Nigerian later won a bronze medal.
Ajagba’s last fight was his WBC silver heavyweight championship winning bout with Zhan Kossobutskiy in August, when his opponent was disqualified. Goodall, on the other hand, last fought in July when he knocked out Stephen Shaw.
Ajagba, 29, an Olympic Games quarterfinalist, 6’ 6” with a reach of 85”, has fought 19 times, winning 18; 13 by knockout and losing one.
Goodall, 31, 6’ 5.5” tall, has fought 12 times; winning 10 (nine by knockout), drawn one and lost one.
The fight is part of Texas-based Ajagba’s path to a place among the top heavyweights. He has won three consecutive fights since he lost the one-sided decision to Sanchez. He is also coming off a fourth-round disqualification victory over Zhan Kossobutskiy on August 26, the result of numerous low blows by the Kazakhstani fighter.
In Goodall, he has a dangerous opponent, who has won two consecutive fights since losing a near-shutout decision against compatriot, Justis Huni, in June of last year. These include a sixth-round knockout of solid Stephen Shaw in July. Shaw went the distance with Ajagba in a competitive fight six months earlier.