Injured Efe Ajagba beats Jonathan Rice by unanimous decision
Efe Ajagba could not enhance his claims for a future fight with Anthony Joshua as he laboured to a points victory over Jonathan Rice in Las Vegas, reports skysports.com.
The Nigerian heavyweight extended his unbeaten record to 14 wins with a wide unanimous decision over Rice, but Ajagba suffered a hand injury that prevented him from producing an expected knockout.
Ajagba previously stopped 11 of his opponents with explosive power, although on this occasion he opted to control Rice for 10 rounds with his stiff jab, earning verdicts of 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92 from the judges.
The 26-year-old had recently welcomed a clash with Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF, and WBO world titles.
“The people would support Joshua because he is the heavyweight champ,” Ajagba told Sky Sports.
“Skill would beat Joshua, not power. Me and Joshua both have the power, but skills control the power.
“I have more skills.”
In the main event, former world champion Jose Pedraza sealed a points victory over Javier Molina at the MGM Grand.
Meanwhile, Tyson Fury has told Joshua he should vacate his WBO title rather than risk facing Oleksandr Usyk, reports metro.co.uk.
Joshua holds three of the four major world titles and his next two fights could be against mandatory challengers.
IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev already has his shot against Joshua in the bag, while Usyk recently insisted he had no intention of stepping aside to allow an undisputed clash between AJ and Fury.
The Gypsy King wants the fight to happen as soon as possible and offered some advice to his rival heavyweight champion.
“Rather than fight all these mandatories he’s got, I’d say just vacate those belts and fight the fight everyone wants to see,” Fury told Behind the Gloves.
“I ain’t running from you, I don’t care about you. I’ll go through you like a knife through butter.
“Come and fight the big boy, step up to the plate, and get knocked out.
“Then fight all those easy guys. No disrespect to Oleksandr Usyk – great fighter, cruiserweight world champion, probably going to be heavyweight champion if he fights Anthony Joshua – but don’t take my retirement cheque, baby.
“Don’t do it. I said to Deontay Wilder years ago, ‘do not take my retirement fund, do not fight Joshua, He’s mine. He’s mine countryman, I’m having him, I’m breaking him in!’
“But it didn’t happen. He got broke in by an unlikely suspect. It was what it was.”
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