Nigeria’s heavyweight boxing sensation, Efe Ajagba, suffered his first professional boxing career loss on 9 October 2021 at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas in the hands of Frank Sanchez of Cuba, what is next for the power-punching boxer?
How it all happened.
Frank Sanchez dominated and knockdown Efe Ajagba in the 7th round before he decision him in the 10th round as the fight lasted the scheduled 10 rounds.
The Judges’ records were 98-91, 98-91 and 97-92 in favor of the 29-year fighter from Cuba, thus keeping his undefeated record intact and retaining his North American Intercontinental title.
Ajagba left the ring disappointed with his first professional career loss, leaving a dent on his impressive boxing record of 15-0-0 before the fight and a huge setback for his world title ambition.
What went wrong?
The power-punching boxer was found out and demystified as he could not land his customary killer punch.
He was lost in between the fight, as his game plan failed to work, he has to follow the pace as dictated by his opponent.
The fight exposed much weakness in his fight that he must work on if he wants to achieve his big dream of winning a world title in the heavyweight rank.
It has been shown glaringly that waiting to land a knockout punch may not work all the time, he needs to add other tricks to his boxing toolbox. Having only good punching power might not be enough to win in the heavyweight category.
The Nigerian needs to get back to the drawing board and work more on his speed, Jab and reaction time.
Ajagba failed to cope with Sanchez’s speed throughout the bout, his reaction time was late as Sanchez scored many points exploring his slow speed and reaction time.
The 27-year-old needs to throw more jabs, to keep his opponent at bay, wear them down and wait for the right time to use his potent right hand.
He must also work on his head movement, as this will help him a lot when he is on the defense.
Efe should not be in a hurry to call for a rematch, he should see the loss as a part of the learning curve for him to achieve his set out goals.
He needs to digest the lessons, correct his mistakes, improve on his weaknesses and take his strength to another level before returning to the ring as he cannot afford a back to back defeat.
If he can get all of these done, definitely he will become a better boxer.
Ajagba should keep working his way up the ladder, by getting some confidence-building fights under his belt until he is fully ready to challenge any of the top rank boxers.
And soonest, his dream of becoming a world heavyweight will come true because he has what it takes.
Olusola Adebayo is a highly-skilled, enthusiastic, self-motivated writer with over 10 successful years of experience.
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