By Keith Idec
Curtis Harper took one look at huge heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba on Friday night and decided whatever he was supposed to be paid wasn’t enough.
After hearing instructions from referee Celestino Ruiz and standing face to face with the hard-hitting Ajagba, Harper walked out of the ring before their scheduled six-rounder even began. He was immediately disqualified by Ruiz.
A perplexed Ajagba watched Harper take the long walk from the ring to his dressing room as one of the strangest scenes in boxing history unfolded inside The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 6-feet-5, 236½-pound Ajagba was heavily favored to beat Harper (13-6, 9 KOs), a 6-feet-2, 254-pound veteran from Jacksonville, Florida, who has been knocked out three times in his eight-year career. Ajagba (6-0, 5 KOs), who fought for Nigeria at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, had knocked out the first five opponents of his pro career, four of them in the first round.
Jordan Hardy, FS1’s roving reporter for Friday night’s broadcast, said Harper told her he was displeased with his undisclosed purse for facing Ajagba. His purse will be withheld by the Minnesota Office of Combative Sports, and he’ll likely face a suspension and a fine.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.