Joe Goodall couldn’t believe what he was watching.

Zhan Kossobutskiy, presented with the biggest opportunity of his career, seemed hellbent on getting disqualified by continually hitting Efe Ajagba below the belt August 26. The strong southpaw from Kazakhstan had some success in the first round against Ajagba, but the previously unbeaten Kossobutskiy later landed so many low blows that referee Chris Flores had no choice but to disqualify him early in the fourth round of a scheduled 10-round encounter ESPN televised from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“The fight was real weird,” Goodall, who will face Ajagba on Saturday night, told “He kept fouling him over and over again. I thought the guy was looking for a way out. Maybe he felt Efe’s power and he just thought, ‘F--- this!’ I don’t know. But I did think he was looking for a way out of that fight. He got a few rounds in, but ultimately I don’t think you could [take] much out of that fight.”

Flores first deducted a point from Kossobutskiy (19-1, 18 KOs) just 31 seconds into the third round. Another low blow by Kossobutskiy caused Flores to take another point from him 30 seconds later.

Flores sternly warned Kossobutskiy for yet another punch below Ajagba’s belt with 20 seconds to go in the third round. Once Kossobutskiy strayed low again approximately 30 seconds into the fourth round, Flores disqualified him.

“I don’t get it,” Goodall said. “This is a crazy sport. It’s high-risk, high-pressure. Some people, they’ve got tempers on ‘em. Maybe he’s had one too many punches to the head, and he’s a bit crazy. I don’t know. But you’ve gotta be a warrior and do your job in there. You can’t lose your cool like that. That’s a recipe for unraveling and losing in a way like that, which is almost worse than just losing, you know?”

Australia’s Goodall (10-1-1, 9 KOs) undoubtedly will take a much different approach to his 10-round fight with Nigeria’s Ajagba (18-1, 13 KOs), the main event of a card ESPN+ will stream from the brand-new Tahoe Blue Event Center in Stateline, Nevada.

Ajagba is listed as a 7-1 favorite by DraftKings sportsbook, but Goodall upset St. Louis’ Stephan Shaw (18-2, 13 KOs) by sixth-round technical knockout in his last fight July 22 at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Ajagba barely beat Shaw by unanimous decision in Shaw’s previous appearance, a 10-rounder ESPN aired January 14 from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

Goodall, 31, also edged Ajagba in an amateur match nine years ago. Ajagba, 29, later qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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