Efe Ajagba vs. Stephen Shaw: Fight Card, Odds & Predictions

min read
Nigeria's Efe Ajagba, right, punches Romania's Razvan Cojanu during the seventh round of a heavyweight boxing match.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Jan 12, 2023, 7:27 PM
  • Efe Ajagba is the underdog at +125.
  • Stephen Shaw is the favorite at -140.
  • Stephen Shaw replaced Oscar Rivas as Ajagba’s opponent.

Due to an injury, Efe Ajagba’s (16-1) original opponent Oscar Rivas has been forced out of their heavyweight showdown, but undefeated contender Stephen Shaw (18-0) has stepped in to replace Rivas to save the main event match this January 14 which will take place inside the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Veronica, New York. Both boxers are known to be knockout artists, with a combined 26 TKO/KO wins among them.

Although he is the late replacement opponent, Shaw is going to be the slight favorite in the boxing odds at -140, while Ajagba will assume the underdog role in online sports betting at +125. One primary reason for this is Shaw’s perfect record of 18 wins with no defeat compared to Ajagba, who, despite having the less professional bouts, already has a dent in his record with one loss.

Efe Ajagba Recent Fight Result

Efe Ajagba was a former Olympian who participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics and was a multiple-time gold medalist in various amateur tournaments in European tournaments. He made his professional debut in July 2017 and knocked out Tyrell Anthony Herndon in the opening round. Then, he piled up four successive stoppages of Luke Lyons, Rodney Hernandez, Antonio Johnson and Dell Long.

Ajagba’s first non-TKO/KO victory came in August 2018, when he picked up the disqualification win against Curtis Harper for walking out of the ring at the start of their match. Following this unique win, the Nigerian continued his path of destruction by stringing up another four straight stoppage wins over Nick Jones, Santino Turnbow, Amir Mansour and Michael Wallisch.

The now-Texas resident collected his first decision victory in July 2019 after unanimously beating Ali Eren Demirezen and resumed his TKO/KO victories with a fifth-round knockout of Iago Kildze and Razvan Cojanu. Ajagba added two more wins over Jonathan Rice and Brian Howard to secure his maiden title fight.

His 15 straight victories earned Ajaba a title shot against Frank Sanchez in October 2021 for the WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Title and WBO NABO Heavyweight Title. However, he was outpointed by Sanchez and received his first-ever defeat via unanimous decision to fall short of his first attempt to become a world champion. The 28-year-old instantly bounced back from that setback and defeated Jozsef Darmos in August 2022 via second-round TKO.

Stephen Shaw Recent Fight Result

Stephen Shaw was also a decorated amateur boxer after being the PAL National Champion and USA National Champion in 2013. He carried this success in his professional career as he scored three straight victories by way of TKO/KO in his first three bouts against Jose Hermosillo, Kyle Mcnutt and Kevin Howard.

“Big Shot” followed this dream start with six more wins over Rex Harris (unanimous decision in April 2015), Randy Easton (first-round TKO in September 2015), Dan Biddle (first-round knockout in December 2015), Danny Kelly (unanimous decision in May 2016), Jonathan Rice (unanimous decision in August 2016) and Kristopher Renty (first-round TKO in May 2017). 

Shaw sustained a dent on his record after his fight with Joel Caudle was ruled a no-contest in February 2018.This small bump on the road didn’t deter the Missouri native as he racked up four straight stoppage triumphs against Aaron Chavers, Donovan Dennis, Willie Jake Jr. and Gregory Corbin in December 2019. 

Despite these impressive rows of victories, he hasn’t received a major title bout yet. But Shaw continued his immaculate run with five more wins over Lyubomyr Pinchuk, Nick Davis, Joey Dawejko, Bernardo Marquez and Rydell Booker. A victory against Efe Ajagba this weekend will guarantee him a bigger fight in the future.

Efe Ajagba vs. Stephen Shaw: Tale of the Tape and Fight Analysis

The tale of the tape leans toward Efe Ajagba as he will have a one-inch height advantage at 6-foot-6 compared to Stephen Shaw’s 6-foot-5 frame; also, Ajagba will enjoy a four-inch reach edge with 85 inches against Shaw’s 81 inches of reach. Both boxers have an orthodox stance, but Ajagba will come in as the younger athlete at only 28, while Shaw is now 30.

In terms of record, Shaw has the better tally with a perfect record of 18 wins, including 13 TKO/KOs, which is equivalent to 72%; on the other hand, Ajagba has 16 wins with 12 TKO/KOs but with a lone defeat in his professional record so far. The only advantage the Nigerian will have over the American is his experience fighting for a world title.

Stylistically, both boxers have incredible power on their hands which is very evident in their knockout victories, but the speed and agility will be in favor of Stephen Shaw because he is faster than Efe Ajagba. Additionally, he has more variations and combinations to his arsenal because he only targets the head and directs punches to his opponent’s body.

Regardless of the differences in their style, speed and level of opponents, this match will undoubtedly be entertaining. It will be a game of who will land the power punch first on their opponent because it will be the deciding factor for this heavyweight clash. To everyone who will tune in to this bout, I have an extra tip: don’t blink!

Efe Ajagba vs. Stephen Shaw Fight Prediction

Official prediction: Second-round TKO/KO victory for Efe Ajagba.

See the entire Efe Ajagba vs. Stephen Shaw odds and wagers here.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.