Efe Ajagba continued his rise through the top heavyweight division ranks by stopping Iago Kiladze with a fifth round knockout victory at the Toyota Arena, Ontario, California on Saturday.
The scheduled 10-round heavyweight affair saw Ajagba and the Georgian slugging it out and trading knockdowns before the Nigerian dropped Kiladze in the fifth round, prompting the ring doctor to call a halt to the bout.
Ajagba was knocked down for the first time in his professional career when Kiladze dropped Ajagba with a thunderous right hand in the third round.
This was after Ajagba had dropped Kiladze with a straight right down the middle late in the second round.
In the fifth round, Ajagba dropped Kiladze again, but he got up on unsteady legs.
Ajagba was unloading unanswered shots on Kiladze when the ring doctor climbed on the apron waving a white towel, signaling that the fight was over, giving the Nigerian his 12th straight professional win.
Ajagba admitted after the slug-fest that he made some mistakes during the fight, adding that he would return to gym with his coach Ronnie Shields to rectify them.
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“This guy was a good fighter and he can take a lot of shots. I missed a lot of shots,” Ajagba told Worldboxingnews
“Ronnie Shields, my trainer, kept telling me to work behind the jab and come back with the hook. It’s something that I have to learn to do.
“I made some mistakes, but I will go back to the gym and work on it. I’ll do better next time.
“When I got knocked down, I didn’t see the punch coming. I tried to hit him with the left hook and that’s when I got caught.
“He has a lot of experience and he’s a good fighter. This kind of fight will help me perform better in the future.”
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