Moving on up: Efe Ajagba cracks WBC top 10

Nigerian heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba has cracked the top 10 in the latest World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings.

The 27-year-old from Ughelli, who now resides in Texas, has moved up from #11 to #9 in the rankings which were released this week.

Ajagba now in WBC top tier

Ajagba is now in rarified company with the likes of Deontay Wilder, Oleksandr Usyk, Andy Ruiz and Dillian Whyte as they all jockey for position and a future title shot.

Efe improved to 15-0 (with 12 wins inside distance) via a highlight-reel knockout of Brian Howard in Tulsa in April.

YouTube video

That was Ajagba’s second fight under the Top Rank banner since he joined Bob Arum’s all-powerful operation. His first had been underwhelming as he outpointed Jonathan Rice last September. It transpired though that Ajagba had been battle elbow problems in that bout.

Now we wait to see who will be next for the Nigerian ace, with Arum surely ready now to start moving him up in class.

The WBC title of course will not available to any of the contenders for a little while yet. Current belt holder Tyson Fury is signed up to fight IBF, WBA and WBO king Anthony Joshua twice – with the first bout apparently set for Saudi Arabia on August 14.

Heavyweight prospects

The heavyweight picture right now is fascinating, with the big guns Fury, Joshua, Wilder, Usyk, Ruiz and Whyte all tracked by a slew of promising younger prospects.

They include Ajagba along with heavy-hitting Croatian Filip Hrgovic, unbeaten Brit Joe Joyce, French Olympic champion Tony Yoka and ‘Cuban Flash’ Frank Sanchez.

Fury vs Joshua should result in the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis back in 1999. But then the division is set for a shake-up with the winner unlikely to be able to keep all of the sanctioning bodies happy on an ongoing basis.