Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Efe Ajagba To Make Top Rank Debut In September

Unbeaten heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba has created an entirely new team around him.

In recent weeks, Ajagba (13-0, 11 KOs) parted ways with manager Shelly Finkel and promoter Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports. In short order, he brought on James Prince in a managerial and advisory role and inked a pact with Top Rank. The 26-year-old former 2016 Nigerian Olympian also split with trainer Ronnie Shields and will now be coached by Kay Koroma.

The plan is for the new-look Ajagba to be featured in a Top Rank show by late September, Carl Moretti, Top Rank's vice president of operations, told in an interview.

“In today’s heavyweight world, if you have the record of Ajagba, you’re an attractable heavyweight to begin with,” said Moretti. “You can never have enough of them. He’s a little raw but I think he’s physically very strong. With each fight, he can be a better fighter. You can see that there’s a lot of room for improvement. We still need to see him against different styles and just get him active again, and then we can start targeting certain heavyweights. I don’t think there is anyone specific heavyweight we’re targeting. Given today’s heavyweight landscape, with a year of development, we should have him ready for title contention.”

efe-ajagba (8)

Top Rank is stacking up a sizable heavyweight roster, which also includes Tyson Fury, Kubrat Pulev, Oscar Rivas, Carlos Takam, Tony Yoka, Guido Vianello, Jared Anderson and Sonny Conto.

Bob Arum and company can kick the tires on Ajagba and match him up with the likes of game veterans like Rivas, Takam or Pulev in 2021 to figure out how seasoned their newly signed fighter is after his promotion debut, which likely would be on either Sept. 19 or Sept. 26 if Moretti’s plans don’t change.

In the WBC rankings released Monday, Ajabga is positioned as the division’s No. 14-ranked contender.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Ajaba is coming off a TKO win over Razvan Cojanu in March, his last fight before leaving PBC.

In December, Ajagba survived a wild slugfest against Iago Kiladze, picking himself off the canvas from a knockdown to score a fifth-round KO.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 08-21-2020

What ever happened to Rivas? He is also Top rank, righ? He lost to Whyte in close fight, but nothing to hear of him since than. I hope he comes back to world level fights.

Comment by Bonduu on 08-20-2020

[QUOTE=Oldskoolg;20715096]Al haymon in control on fox and showtime while prince is taking the reigns with ESPN talent.....looks like an American takeover that’s for sure but not the kind of takeover Edward and his minions foresaw[/QUOTE] Eddy took a girl off…

Comment by Counterleft on 08-20-2020

Not ready to step up yet. He is young and there is no rush with plenty to work on.

Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 08-20-2020

Ajagba - Dinu would be fireworks. Somebody wins with early KO.

Comment by Oldskoolg on 08-20-2020

Al haymon in control on fox and showtime while prince is taking the reigns with ESPN talent.....looks like an American takeover that’s for sure but not the kind of takeover Edward and his minions foresaw

Top Headlines
Hasim Rahman Jr. Tests Positive For COVID-19, Fight vs. Rashad Coulter Canceled on Tyson-Jones Jacobs: I Need To Be Spectacular; If Not KO, At Least Dominate Rosado Every Round Daniel Dubois, Joe Joyce - Ready For Heavyweight War Florian Marku Inks Promotional With Eddie Hearn Gabe Rosado: Freddie Roach Just Brings The Best Out Of Me Yeleussinov: My First Time Fighting Former World Champion, This Is My Night Dubois-Joyce ESPN+ Weigh-In Report From Westminster, England Gabe Rosado: Jacobs Is Feeling Himself, Looking Past Me; I Wanna Humble Him Daniel Jacobs: Saunders Fight Definitely Appealing To Me; Could Be Made Easily Julius Indongo: Yeleussinov Will Be Easy Work Jack Catterall Motivated To Win in Style, Secure Big Fight in 2021 Raphael Igbokwe, Genc Pllana Set To Collide in Houston, Texas Roy Jones' Coach: Fans Keep Thinking of 80s/90s Tyson & Overlook His Inactivity Panya Pradabsri Shocks Wanheng Menayothin, Wins WBC Title & Snaps Record Ben Davison Expects Mike Tyson, Roy Jones To Have 'Real Fight' Zach Parker Aims To Land Billy Joe Saunders Mandatory Shot A Look At Daniel Jacobs' Options Beyond Gabe Rosado Fight, End Of His DAZN Deal Zab Judah Warns That Mike Tyson Will Look To Inflict Pain on Roy Jones Alberto Puello To Defend WBA-Interim Against Coria on December 17 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Jeyson Minda - Set For Battle Steven Butler vs. Francis Lafreniere Set For January 30 Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce Predictions - Fury, Haye, Hatton, Frampton, More Daniel Jacobs, Gabe Rosado - Get Very Tense at Weigh-In Yoka-Hammer ESPN+ Weigh-In Report From Nantes, France WBC Prez: Wilder Deserves Another Opportunity at World Title! Daniel Dubois, Joe Joyce - Face-Off at Final Press Conference Daniel Jacobs-Gabe Rosado Weigh-In Results From Hollywood, Florida Joe Joyce To Be Without Salas, Who Tests Positive For COVID-19 Sergio Martinez's Fight Card To Move Forward, With Some Changes Menayothin-Pradabsri Weigh-In Report From Thailand Jacobs: Let's Be Clear, Rosado Was Given This Opportunity - He Didn't Earn It De La Hoya Has Designs On Fighting Golovkin in Comeback Fight. Seriously. Haye Cautions That Joyce Needs To Fight With More Care Against Dubois Nakathila Promoter Is Furious with WBO For Herring-Frampton Voluntary Waseem vs. Boca Set To Headline Amir Khan Card on Dec. 19 Tyson vs. Jones Promoter: KO is Possible, Winner Will Be Announced Oleksandr Usyk Intends To Push Very Hard For WBO Mandatory Shot Mike Tyson-Roy Jones: Embracing Curiosity 2020 National Championships Are Postponed Due to COVID-19 Andrew Moloney Legal Battle Continues Over Franco Rematch Outcome
Latest Forum Threads