Fight Week: Heavyweight Efe Ajagba back in action, Joe Cordina to defend title


Heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba will face hard-punching Joe Goodall on Saturday. On the same day, 130-pound champ Joe Cordina will defend his belt against Eduard Vazquez.

EFE AJAGBA (18-1, 13 KOs)
VS. JOE GOODALL (10-1-1, 9 KOs)

  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 4

  • Time: 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Tahoe Blue Event Center, Lake Tahoe, Nevada

  • TV/Stream: ESPN, ESPN+

  • Division: Heavyweight (no limit)

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Odds: Ajagba 6-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Raymond Muratalla vs. Diego Torres, lightweights; Henry Lebron vs. William Foster III, junior lightweights

  • Prediction: Ajagba KO 5

  • Background: Ajagba continues to battle for a place among the top heavyweights. The 6-foot-6 Texas-based Nigerian has won three consecutive fights since he lost a one-sided decision to well-schooled Frank Sanchez in October 2021. The 29-year-old is coming off a fourth-round disqualification victory over Zhan Kossobutskiy on August 26, the result of numerous low blows by the Kazakhstani fighter. Goodall could be a dangerous opponent. The 6-foot-5½ Australian lost a near-shutout decision against countryman Justis Huni in June of last year but he bounced back to win two consecutive fights, including a sixth-round knockout of solid Stephen Shaw this past July. Shaw went the distance with Ajagba in a competitive fight six months earlier. Nine of Goodall’s victories have come by knockout.


JOE CORDINA (16-0, 9 KOs)

  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 4

  • Time: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Super featherweight (130 pounds)

  • At stake: Cordina’s IBF title

  • Odds: Cordina 9-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Sivenathi Nontshinga vs. Adrian Curiel, junior flyweights (for Nontshinga’s IBF title); Souleymane Cissokho vs. Isaias Lucero, junior middleweights; Julissa Guzman vs. Ramla Ali, junior featherweights

  • Prediction: Cordina UD

  • Background: Cordina is scheduled to make his first defense in his second reign as IBF titleholder. The 2016 Olympian from Wales has had an up-down-up last year and a half. He won the belt by stopping Kenichi Ogawa in the second round in June of last year, his first major belt. He was then stripped after a hand injury forced him to pull out of a defense against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov that was scheduled for last November, after which Rakhimov stopped Zelfa Barrett to win the title. And, finally, Cordina defeated Rakhimov by a split decision to regain the belt on April 22. The 31-year-old resident of Cardiff has said he’d like to face WBO beltholder Emanuel Navarrete. Of course, he must get past Vazquez first. The 28-year-old is a fringe contender from Fort Worth, Texas. He has won four consecutive fights since he lost a split decision to still-unbeaten Raymond Ford in February of last year, although he hasn’t faced top-level opposition. He last fought on July 29, when he defeated Brayan De Gracia by a unanimous decision.


VS. ANABEL ORTIZ (33-5, 4 KOs)

  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 4

  • Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Cartago, Costa Rica

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Strawweight (105 pounds)

  • At stake: Valle’s IBF and WBO titles

  • Odds: NA

  • Prediction: Valle UD

  • Background: Valle, a major figure in her home country of Costa Rica, is one of the top women boxers in the world. The 31-year-old won the IBF strawweight title by outpointing Joana Pastrana in 2019 and has successfully defended nine times, adding the WBO belt by decisioning Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen in September of last year. She’s coming off a near-shutout decision over Maria Micheo Santizo this past Sept. 16. Valley held the IBF atomweight (102 pounds) belt in 2016. She has won 16 consecutive fights since losing back-to-back bouts in 2017 and 2018. Ortiz is also accomplished. The 37-year-old Mexican had two reigns as a 105-pound champion before running into trouble in 2021, when she lost her WBA belt to Seniesa Estrada by a wide decision and failed in her bid to take Marlen Esparza’s 112-pound title in her next fight. She has won two bouts since, including a unanimous decision over Santizo a year ago.




  • Janelson Figueroa Bocachica vs. Alberto Palmetta, welterweights, Plant City, Florida (ProBox TV)


  • Noel Mikaelian vs. Ilunga Makabu, cruiserweights (for vacant WBC title), Miama (FITE)

  • Louie Lopez vs. Salvador Briceno, welterweights, Long Beach, California (Fox Deportes)

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie