Heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba will face unbeaten Stephan Shaw in a scheduled 10-round main event Saturday night on ESPN and ESPN+.
Efe Ajagba (16-1, 13 KOs) vs. Stephan Shaw (18-0, 13 KOs)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 14
Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
Where: Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York
TV/Stream: ESPN, ESPN+
Division: Heavyweight (no limit)
Weights: Ajagba 235¼, Shaw 239½
At stake: No major titles
Pound-for-pound ranking: None
Odds: Even (average of multiple outlets)
Also on the card: Guido Vianello vs. Jonnie Rice, heavyweights; Adam Lopez vs. Abraham Nova, junior lightweights
Prediction: Ajagba KO 8
Background: Efe Ajagba continues his comeback against unbeaten late replacement Stephen Shaw in a main event on ESPN. Ajagba is a Houston-based Nigerian who is known for his size (6-foot-6) and punching power. The 28-year-old was a fast-rising contender until he was soundly outpointed by Frank Sanchez in October 2021, which seemed to expose his limitations. He rebounded in his only fight since, a second-round knockout of Jozsef Darmos in August. Ajagba had been scheduled to face Oscar Rivas but Rivas pulled out with an eye injury. Shaw, who was scheduled to fight on the undercard, agreed to step up to face the hulking young contender on two weeks notice. Shaw has been busy, fighting three times last year. He’s coming off an eight-round shutout decision over Rydell Booker in November. However, he has taken part in only one scheduled 10-rounder and that was more than three years ago. This is by far the biggest opportunity for the 30-year-old product of St. Louis, who turned pro in 2013.