The Top Rank on ESPN 2023 slate kicks off with a heavyweight doubleheader on January 14 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The 10-round main event is a battle of big-punching Olympians as WBC bridgerweight champion Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas (28-1, 19 KOs) faces Efe “The Silent Roller” Ajagba (16-1, 13 KOs) in a non-title bout.
“I’m proud of my WBC Bridgerweight title and will be defending it soon, but this opportunity Top Rank gave us at heavyweight was too good to pass up,” said Rivas. “I also have a lot of respect for Ajagba, and while I agree with him that it will be spectacular for the fans, my skills and my experience will be the difference.”
In the 10-round co-feature, 2016 Italian Olympian Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (10-0-1, 9 KOs) takes a seismic step up in class against fellow unbeaten Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw (18-0, 13 KOs).
Ajagba-Rivas and Vianello-Shaw will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ and includes a 10-round junior lightweight tilt between Adam “BluNose” Lopez (16-3, 6 KOs) and Abraham “El Super” Nova (21-1, 15 KOs).
Also seeing action will be junior featherweight Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (8-0, 3 KOs) and junior lightweight Haven Brady Jr. (8-0, 4 KOs) in separate eight-rounders against opponents to be named.
Junior welterweight prospect Bryce Mills (10-1, 4 KOs) aims to increase his winning streak to five against Margarito Hernandez (3-3-1) in a six-rounder. Light heavyweight Dante Benjamin Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs) fights in his first scheduled six-rounder against fellow unbeaten Emmanueal Austin (6-0, 6 KOs).