Efe Ajagba, 2016 Nigerian Olympian and rising heavyweight contender made a statement in an emphatic manner as he knocked out Brian Howard in the 3rd round Saturday.
A right hand put Howard down and out in front of a sold-out crowd at Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Ajagba was fighting for the second time since signing with Top Rank, which was also accompanied by a switch in trainer from Ronnie Shields to Kay Koroma in the greater Houston area.
Nigerian Heavyweight Boxer, Efe Ajagba increases his unbeaten run to 15-0 (12 KOs) following a devastating KO against Brian Howard in the 3rd round.pic.twitter.com/C9lL5Bo0Ec
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) April 11, 2021
The first bout under than union produced a decision win over Jonathan Rice, though in an uneven performance.
There was nothing unsatisfactory about Ajagba’s latest performance.
The undefeated prospect was measured in the opening round, walking down Howard who was fighting with a heavy heart as he was forced to bury his passing mother earlier in the week.
Action was steady through two rounds before Ajagba punched for the highlight reel in round three. A right hand caught Howard clean on the chin, sending him sprawling to the canvas in forcing an immediate stoppage. Medical attention was sought as Howard (15-5, 11KOs) was down for several minutes before making it to his feet and out of the ring under his own power.
Ajagba improves—in every sense of the word—to 15-0 (12KOs) with the win.
“It feels really good,” Ajagba told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna. “I listened to the corner, they told me to start to the body and then go to the head. When I started with the jab to the body, it caused him to drop his hands. Then came the right hand.”
Ajagba-Howard served as the televised opener of an ESPN telecast, headlined by the vacant WBO light heavyweight title fight between Joe Smith Jr. (26-3, 21KOs) and Maxim Vlasov (45-3, 26KOs).