Anthony Yarde, Callum Johnson, and Joshua Buatsi may be flying high at light heavyweight, but Bob Ajisafe says he would jump at the chance of facing any of them.
Ajisafe – the former British and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight champion, as well as an IBO World Title challenger – returns to action on November 17 at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, and the 33-year-old has the young guns in his sights.
“I’d fight any of them, and I’m confident I could beat all of them,” said Ajisafe, 17-3 (7), who is returning to action after over a year’s hiatus. “Buatsi is up and coming and looks a good prospect, and I’d love a fight with Callum Johnson.
“I’ve seen a few of Anthony Yarde’s fights, but who has he really fought? He hasn’t fought anyone in the top ten; he’s got a good ranking with the WBO because his promoter has pushed him down that route, but who has he fought domestically? He hasn’t even won a domestic title, apart from the Southern Area. When is he actually going to fight someone credible? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the process and they’re building him up, but I’d happily take that fight.”
Ajisafe – who holds wins over Travis Dickinson, Dean Francis, and Ovill McKenzie, and who once had Tony Bellew on the canvas before losing in 2010 – has previously found himself in the ‘who needs him’ club. Defensively very good, but with a solid punch, the dangerous Leeds man has been an avoided fighter in the past.
Now fully fit after recovering from various injuries that have kept him inactive, he is aiming to shed the ring rust on his November return and then start chasing the big fights. Happy to compete at either light heavyweight or cruiserweight, Ajisafe has faith in manager Steve Wood’s ability to guide him, and insists there is much more to come from him yet.
“I want to get as many big fights as I can. I’d love to get the European Title, and I’d like a world title shot again. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished in my career so far, but there’s more to come. I know I’m still not finished.
“If my career can be moved on and I get the right opportunities then I feel like I have a lot left. Steve has been trying to get me work but he knows no one wants to fight me and it’s difficult for him, but I’m a loyal person and I’m confident he can do it.
“Whatever the right opportunities come up, then I’ll fight at cruiserweight or I can get down to light heavyweight. I’m not going to burn myself out though if there aren’t any suitable opportunities at light heavy.
“For now, I’m looking forward to getting in there on November 17th and putting on a good display; put on a good showing and move on from there. It’s just going to be good to get active again, it’s been a frustrating time being out with injuries, but it’s good to be back on the scene, and I want to stay busy.”
“I still believe Bob can get to the top,” said Steve Wood, “he’s already shown the kind of ability he has by winning the British Title and fighting for a version of the world title, and it’s just a shame that injuries have stalled his career a little.
“He’s back now, injury free, and we’re looking to get him active in 2019. Obviously if he keeps on winning then the top fighters won’t be able to avoid him, and we’ll be able to get him into the kind of fights where he belongs. He’s a good addition to the Victoria Warehouse card, and it’s a good opportunity for Bob to put on an exciting performance to remind everyone what he’s about.”
VIP Promotions presents an evening of boxing at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on November 17. Appearing will be Middleton’s Liam Taylor; Salford’s Luke Evans and Luke Vaughan; Manchester’s Charlie Schofield, Brad Rea and Kane Gardner; Delph’s Andy Kremner; Leeds’ Bob Ajisafe; Rochdale’s Muhammad Ali; Oldham’s Joe Eko; and Liverpool’s Adam Farrell.
Tickets priced at £35 (general), £60 (ringside) are available from all boxers, or at vipboxing.tv and Eventim.co.uk
The show will also be streamed live and free at vipboxing.tv
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