Ajagba tops Shaw in snoozer

Ajagba Shaw 3
Photo: Bob Newman

By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside

Nigerian heavyweight Efe “Silent Roller” Ajagba won a ten round unanimous decision over St. Louis’ Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw to close out the show on Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Ajagba was looking to make it two in a row after his lone setback to Frank Sanchez in October 2021, while Shaw was looking to remain undefeated.

Things opened up cautiously, each man looking to establish their jab in round one. Ajagba move forward in round two, again behind his jab, while Shaw opted to use good lateral movement, countering on occasion and initiating the action only when Ajagba stopped his forward momentum. At the end of the fourth, the first sign of crowd dissatisfaction showed as boos cascaded the ring due to the tactical, if not scintillating action. With two heavyweights known for their knockout power, this was a very carefully fought match, with neither man wanting to risk getting caught in a wild exchange.

Yet, after each round, Shaw would pump his right fist in the air as he walked to his corner, if not to convince the judges that he won that round, then to convince himself. Despite the fact that the action had been an instant replay of itself round after round, the crowd rained down another avalanche of boos midway through the ninth. Late in the tenth round, the cacophony boos repeated itself which seemed to Ajagba to unleash a Gatling gun of jabs that snapped Shaw’s head back violently. While each man appeared to employ very different game plans it appeared Ajagba’s was the more successful. In the end, the judges agreed as all three scored it 96-94 in favor of Ajagba, now 17-1, 13 KOs. Shaw loses his first at 18-1, 13 KOs.

“I went back to the corner and they told me to let my hands go, keep throwing punches, my jab. I controlled the fight, so that’s how I won the fight,” said Ajagba. “He tried to land the big shots. I watched him to see what he was going to do. He kept throwing the jab, using the jab more.”

Photos: Bob Newman
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  • You knew Shaw was doomed when he came into the ring with that weak-azz sunglasses rapper. Even Tim Bradley was embarrassed for him.

    • You must not know your hip hop. That was mobb deep out there playing a classic. Anyways, boring fight I can agree on that. Efe clearly won.

  • Yeah that was terrible. I stayed up for that trash. Shaw won the first 3 rounds for me….. and then he pretty much did nothing for the rest of the fight. I’m going to bed.

  • I was once a fan of Shaw. Now I would rather watch flys **** then watch another fight of his. Booooorring

  • I don’t know what the judges saw, clearly for me EFE won 8 of the ten rounds, it was not close at all.This Shaw did nothing at all except to avoid any kind of fight. EFE needs to watch Holyfield to see how to throw 20,25,30 punch combos, because at this point EFE is too mechanical.

    • Efe doesn’t need to watch Holyfield. He could watch Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Larry Holmes, hell even old fat George Foreman was far busier than either Efe or Shaw was.

  • Clearly a horrible main event, by any standards. Ajagba clearly won just on his jab. The judges’ close scorecards were laughable but not surprising in New York.

  • Again the ESPN team did everything they could to will Shaw to a victory…didn’t work, boys.

  • Once again a top rank card goes up against a night of ufc and other sports and puts on a terrible televised card. Why would sparrow vs Lopez not be televised if you want to put on tv friendly matches? The co main wasn’t exciting either and yet top rank keeps on with this type of card.

  • Glad you called it a snoozer because I had to come to fight news to find out what happened 🙂 I blinked and the football highlights was playing.

  • I turned off the dreadful fight & instead watched Larry Holmes vs. Butterbean on YouTube. Holmes & Butterbean fought like men. Ajagba & Shaw fought like timid cowards!

  • So much for Shaw saying that he would beat Whyte after what happened tonight, forget it.
    Shaw can maybe fight Miller or Anderson.

  • Highly disappointed in Shaw his overly concern about getting caught and decision to not take chances has disallowed his ability of being the far more skilled and quicker fighter to be not displayed as expected.
    I’m wondering was this his decision or his corner’s instructions to fight so cautiously and not taking chances or his own?

  • Shaw was an embarrassment to St. Louis as he fought not to lose. To get a shot in a nationally televised bout to fight only to survive till the end. I was afraid they were going to rob Ajagba who clearly made the fight. Don’t know how any judge managed to give Shaw 4 rounds.

  • Shaw needs to retiree he brings nothing to the table and might very well get hurt if he keeps going.

    • Shaw should retire because of one fight? This was Shaw’s first big time fight. He fought timid. Various heavyweights through boxing history fought timid in their first big fight. Especially against a guy known as a big puncher like Efe. If Shaw continues to fight that way then he should think about quitting the sport though.

  • I’m 44 and have been a boxing fan my whole life. I bused to love boxing, but I see garbage fights like this far too often nowadays. The main goal of current boxers, including Canelo, is to get in there, jab their way to a decision, and pick up their paycheck. I rarely see passion or fire anymore. I think of Gatti-Ward, or Edison Miranda and Arthur Abraham. When is the last time you even saw blood in a modern boxing fight? They need to incentivize KOs, or pay these guys less or something. Fights like this are why people watch UFC instead. The only people giving it their all in today’s era are Fury and Wilder.

  • Lol the UFC ratings aren’t higher than boxing, second boxers bleed all the time. Third most UFC fights are basically guys rolling around the cage grinding on each other. 4th most heavyweight fights end in KO. Only one of Deontay Wilder’s wins came by decision. 5th Tyson Fury giving it his all? You mean by running or hand picking opponents like Derek Chisora? Clearly you haven’t been watching boxing for that long.

  • Shaw did not come to lay down… That said, it appears he didn’t come to fight either.
    I could not have been more bored watching this accurately defined “snooozer.”

  • This fight was hard to watch all the way to the end. But, I would still like to see Efe against Joe Joyce next.

  • And believe it or not, I would still like to see Big Baby Anderson vs Shaw next. Big Baby would force Shaw to fight with his high volume punching style.

  • The skill level here was unbelievably low. Really made me realize how much I miss boxing in earlier eras. Just pathetic.

  • Tim Bradley Awful..I can tell Andre Ward rolls his eyes when he talks..joe tessitore is worst homer ..they sound like we were watching Tommy Morrison Joe Hipp in all action war..bob papa needs ti replace

  • Stephan Shaw tasted Ajagbe’s power and did everything to avoid the right hand his only success were a few sharp counters. Ajagbe just pumped the jab all night and Shaw played it safe to avoid getting hurt. Ajagbe may not be a slick boxer but his jab was good enough against Shaw.

  • Efe did what he had to do to win. I was really expecting a KO by either one of these men. For those criticizing these 2 fighters… I wonder how many of them have actually laced up gloves and have gotten in the ring?

    • Having been in the ring, trust me, no competitive fighter would ever be okay with hearing boos for being boring. People pay money to see a fight, not some safety-first sparring session. If Shaw & Ajagba were fine with their performances, they are not true fighters; merely athletes going through motions!

  • terrible fight hope they dont put shaw and abego on tv again its really bad for boxing

  • I think that the Disney Corporation has to look seriously at upgrading their ESPN boxing announcing staff. I do respect the intellect of Andre Ward, however, who never insults the viewers’ intelligence.

  • Ajagba is damaged “goods” since the big Cuban steam rolled him. This is why I appreciate Wilder. Both Ajagba and Wilder are raw talents but Wilder maximized and is still maximizing his raw talents against guys who technically have more skills than him.

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