The weights are in, both guys are in top shape, and tonight in the first significant heavyweight fight of 2023, Stephan Shaw will face Efe Ajagba in what is a must-win fight for both guys for different reasons.
28 year old Ajagba, 16-1(13) cannot afford another loss, his wide points defeat at the hands of Frank Sanchez coming as it did as a big disappointment to Ajagba and his fans. While the 30 year old Shaw, known as “Big Shot,” needs to win this, his breakthrough opportunity.
Both guys have clearly put the work in in the gym and tonight’s fight should be a good one. Fans and experts are pretty much split down the middle as far as who wins, but Shaw, 18-0(13) sees tonight’s fight as his ‘coming out party,’ and not only that, but the man from St. Louis says he feels he will go on to become the next world heavyweight champion hailing from America. But first Shaw must not only beat the tall and athletic warrior from Nigeria, he must look good in doing so.
“I feel like this is a great opportunity for me,” Shaw told Sky Sports. “This will bring more eyes and let the world know that Stephan Shaw is a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division. I just want to show that I belong with some of the best in the world. Not just heavyweight, just some of the best fighters in the world. Absolutely, I feel like I’m the next American world heavyweight champion.
“It’s sad almost that the eyes are only just getting on me, I’ve been a pro since I was 21 years old, and I always wanted the eyes to be on me. And here I am, my first real main event, and I’m fighting a fighter with an Olympic background.”
This is the biggest test thus far for Shaw, while to repeat, Ajagba has to know he needs to perform, that he cannot afford another bad night the likes of which he had against Cuba’s Sanchez. So who wins tonight? Shaw has been fighting under the radar and he is hungry, while Ajabga has a higher profile and he has to show that he too has still got that sheer desire. Sometimes one loss can all but ruin a fighter, other times it makes him hungrier. We will soon find out which category Ajabga falls into.
Pick: Shaw to score a knockdown early, this on the way to a pretty wide points victory.