Efe Ajagba outworks Stephan Shaw to win unanimous decision

Efe Ajagba did the work. And he was rewarded.

Neither he nor opponent Stephan Shaw landed many eye-catching punches but Ajagba generally was the more-aggressive, busier fighter in their 10-round bout on Saturday at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

As a result, the heavyweight prospect left the ring with a unanimous-decision victory, his second consecutive win since he lost to Frank Sanchez.

All three judges scored it 96-94, six rounds to four for Ajagba (17-1, 13 KOs).

Shaw (18-1, 13 KOs) was handed the biggest opportunity of his career when he was offered a place in a main event on ESPN a few weeks after Ajagba’s original opponent, Oscar Rivas, pulled out with an eye injury.

However, the product of St. Louis didn’t fight with the urgency one would expect in such a situation.

In fact, it was Ajagba who pushed the action most of the fight and threw more punches. The 6-foot-6 Nigerian essentially won the decision with his long jab, which he landed consistently from beginning to end.

Shaw also jabbed well at times and landed a handful of power shots, but he fought on his back foot and let Ajagba dictate the action.

Ajagba landed almost twice as many jabs as Shaw did, 90-48, according to CompuBox.

“I went back to the corner and they told me to let my hands go, keep throwing punches, my jab,” Ajagba said. “I controlled the fight, so that’s how I won the fight. He tried to land the big shots.

“I watched him to see what he was going to do. He kept throwing the jab, using the jab more.”

Ajagba was one of the hottest young heavyweights in the world when he lost a one-sided decision to Sanchez in October 2021, after which he had surgery to repair injuries in both elbows and took time to heal.

He returned to stop relative unknown Jozsef Darmos in two rounds this past August. And now he has a victory over the capable Shaw under his belt, which could lift the 28-year-old back into the rankings and a step closer to title contention.

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie