Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Efe Ajagba: My Performance In My Last Fight Was Terrible

NEW YORK – As usual, Efe Ajagba won his last bout by knockout.

Nevertheless, the unbeaten Nigerian heavyweight couldn’t have been less satisfied with his performance against Iago Kiladze. The promising prospect suffered his first knockdown as an amateur or pro, and got sloppy while trying to finish off the experienced, resilient Kiladze. 

“After the fight, I was so mad,” Ajagba told following a press conference Thursday at The Tillary hotel in Brooklyn. “I was not happy because my performance was terrible. It was terrible. I made a lot of big mistakes. So, for this fight Saturday night, I need to come back strong.”

ajagba-kiladze-fight (19)

The 25-year-old Ajagba (12-0, 10 KOs) will fight for the first time Saturday night since stopping Kiladze (26-5-1, 18 KOs) in the fifth round December 22 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The 2016 Olympian is scheduled to meet Romania’s Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

If he hurts the 6-feet-7½, 270-pound Cojanu (17-6, 9 KOs), who has suffered second-round knockout defeats to Luis Ortiz and Daniel Dubois within the past 18 months, the 6-feet-6, 240-pound Ajagba will take a more measured approach to trying to finish him.

When he wobbled Kiladze in the third round, Ajagba recklessly attempted to knock him out. A surprising right hand by Kiladze sent Ajagba flat on his back with 38 seconds to go in that round.

“I took a lot of punches, but the one I didn’t expect, that’s the one when I went down,” Ajagba said. “I didn’t see that punch. Any punch you see coming, you don’t feel it. But any punch you don’t see coming, that’s when you feel it.”

Ajagba recovered quickly, came back to drill Kiladze with a right hand that dropped him in the fifth round and unloaded several more power punches that made Kiladze’s trainer, Shadeed Suluki, throw in the towel later in the fifth.

“When I went down and I stood up, I didn’t know what happened,” Ajagba said. “I didn’t know where the punch came from. It was very quick. When he threw the punch, I wasn’t hurt. I was trying to finish him off. I was surprised. I was like, ‘What happened?’ But this is boxing.”

Ajagba-Cojanu will be the second of three fights FOX will broadcast Saturday night, starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The opener of the tripleheader will feature Cuban heavyweight prospect Frank Sanchez (14-0, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder against Philadelphia’s Joey Dawejko (20-7-4, 11 KOs). In the main event, Brooklyn’s Adam Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) will face Finland’s Robert Helenius (29-3, 18 KOs) in a 12-round WBA heavyweight elimination match. 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 03-07-2020

Yes it was. You are not ready for any top dogs in division.

Comment by Oldskoolg on 03-07-2020

Yep, but fighters have them

Comment by YoungManRumble on 03-07-2020

That fight ruined a beauty of a parlay I had by one round. Don't let dudes just stagger around like a drunken sailor then recover ever again please...

Comment by TheMyspaceDayz on 03-07-2020

Step on the gas and don’t stop until you’ve won. Don’t suddenly grow a heart in the middle of a fight when you’re fighting a 230+ pound behemoth.

Comment by Squared.Circle on 03-07-2020

No need to worry about one terrible performance; Wilder has had 40 of them and look where he got to in his career.

Top Headlines
Alexander Besputin To Return on Beterbiev vs. Deines Card Jackson England Aims To Clean Out Domestic Scene in Australia Lomachenko Manager: If Lopez and His Team So Tough - Will They Do Rematch? Chocolatito Expects a Very Competitive Fight With Gonzalez WBC Prez Praises Teofimo Lopez, Says Lomachenko Could Not Adjust Walter Matthysse Jr. Positive For COVID-19, Pro Debut Pushed Back Lomachenko Undergoes Right Shoulder Surgery, Had Shot Before Lopez Fight To Alleviate Pain Leo Santa Cruz Grinds Hard For Gervonta Davis Clash Gassiev Focused on Heavyweight Debut, Will Keep Eye on Usyk-Chisora Chisora: Lomachenko Feeds Off The Crowd - Me And Usyk Do Too Lipinets: I'm Prepared To Make a Statement Against Clayton! Mark Heffron-Denzel Bentley Rematch on November 13, BT Sport Marshall vs. Rankin Title Fight Lands on Usyk-Chisora Undercard Lopez-Lomachenko Fight Peaked At 2,898,000 Viewers; Averaged 2,729,000 Million Patrice Volny vs. Patrick Wojcicki - IBF Middleweight Eliminator on Nov. 14 Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz Open To Staying At 130, Moving Up To 135 Eddie Hearn: Deontay Wilder Has Vanished From Earth; Maybe He Wants To Retire Teofimo Lopez: I'll Take Haney Fight Just To Shut Him Up, Destroy His Career Donaire, After Oubaali Fight, Wants 115 Title Shot & Would Love Chocolatito Fight Andreev vs. Abdullaev, Romanov vs. Liakhovich on Nov. 7 in Ekaterinburg Coldwell Pumped That Amy Timlin Landed Slot on Usyk-Chisora Bradley: Teofimo Lopez Beat The Top Guy at 135 - Time To Go To 140! Joshua is Eager To Hear Wilder Break Silence on Fury Trilogy Situation Luke Boyd Making Moves To Further His World Title Mission Loma-Lopez Mea Culpa: Making Sense of a Pick Gone Bad Bradley: Teofimo Lopez Kind of Reminds Me of a Young Roy Jones Michael Conlan Has No Issue Facing Isaac Dogboe on December 5 Teofimo Lopez Sr: Judge Who Had It 119-109 For My Son Had The Best Score Belmar Preciado vs. Rodolfo Hernandez Tops Telemundo Season Finale In Kissimmee Trainer: I Knew Lopez's Talent After Watching Him Spar Rigondeaux Danny Roman Wants Luis Nery as Next Opponent Cuadras Produces Follow-Up Negative COVID-Test; Rematch With Estrada Remains Intact Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Moises Calleros Now Set For Mexico City Card Murat Gassiev Gets New Opponent, Sefer Seferi Out With COVID-19 Edgar Berlanga's KO Streak Has Caught Attention of Mike Tyson Pedraza Shakes Head at Scores, Felt Lomachenko Beat Lopez Kambosos vs. Selby: Both Eager To Secure Lopez Mandatory Shot Ritson-Vazquez: Judge O'Connor To Appear Before British Boxing Board Sor Rungvisai: Whoever Wins Between Estrada And Cuadras, I WIsh To Meet In My Next Fight Bob Arum: Lopez Won The Fight - But Those Scores Were Ridiculous!
Latest Forum Threads