By: Sean Cross
Unbeaten 18-0 Stephen Shaw and 16-1 Efe Ajagba headline an ESPN televised card Saturday night from New York’s Axis Stone Resort & Casino. Their heavyweight bout was scheduled for ten rounds and was televised live on ESPN. Both men are skilled and part of a new crop of heavyweights who have made it through the ranks of the division. In other words, the fight meant a lot to these fighters.
At first everyone employed his jab, but Shaw’s was a little sharper. The second round saw Shaw doing superior foot work but Ajagba chased the man behind with a long jab. Things stayed slow in the third as each man effectively looked to the ground. While Shaw was content to maintain his distance, Ajagba continued to chase Shaw in fourth place. Shaw began firing his right in the fifth round. Still, it was clear that Shaw preferred defense to attack for the time being.
Unfortunately, the fight was boring.
Things stayed slow in the sixth. The fight was close and both men had their moments – Shaw, for one, seems to be running the temperature at the moment – but there didn’t seem to be much urgency on either fighter’s part. Ajagba fired a hard right in the seventh. In the eighth it was clear that Ajagba was at least trying to put up a fight. Shaw’s contentment was to keep things slow by fighting with great caution.
In the ninth, one had to think Shaw wasn’t feeling well. He simply did not let go of his hands. The crowd started shouting. “There’s no urgency,” said ESPN broadcaster Timothy Bradley. The tenth and final round saw a more active Shawn, but still Shawn was caught in a cautious mood. Suffice it to say that Ajagba won by one vote.