Last night in Miami, Florida, unbeaten Nigerian man-mountain Raphael Akpejiori improved to 13-0 as a pro, with yet another quick KO. The 31 year old who stands an impressive 6’8” and is trained by the great “Road Warrior” Glen Johnson, wiped out Santander Silgado in the opening round. Akpejiori has yet to go beyond the second round of a fight. Silgado, 30-10(30) of Panama City is no world ranked fighter, in fact the 36 year old’s best days came down at cruiserweight and he has been stopped some nine times, so it’s too early to get too excited about Akpejiori; he has simply taken care of a level of opposition he should be taking care of.
When he does move up in class, Akpejiori will certainly be a heavyweight to keep an eye on, though. Big, obviously carrying some power, and aggressive and hungry, the “Nigerian Hurricane” needs plenty of experience. Having had a short amateur career, where he compiled a 13-1(10) record (this according to Wikipedia), Akpejiori arrived in America at the age of 17. Having Johnson as his trainer is a major plus for Akpejiori and it really will be interesting to see how far he can go.
Akpejiori spoke with Sky Sports this week, and he said his goal is a fight with Tyson Fury.
“He is the man at the top and my goal is to go to the top,” Akpejiori said of Fury. “He’s been doing this for a long time. I’ve been doing this for a good part of five years. I’m learning a lot over the course of time. I believe that when I get there, when I get to fighting him, I will beat him.”
Again, Akpejiori needs a whole lot of work and experience before he can even think of getting a world title shot. Of his 13 pro opponents, only three entered the ring with Akpejiori with a winning record. Guys like Mike Ford, Steven Lyon and now Santiago have been bowled over with ease. But fans love a puncher, and they really love a big heavyweight puncher. Akpejiori is certainly a puncher.