Efe Ajagba vs Joe Goodall Preview November 4th, 2023
Hard-hitting heavyweight prospects Efe Ajagba of Nigeria and Joseph Goodall of Australia meet in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for a 10-round battle this Saturday, November 4th. The fight can be seen live in America on ESPN+ while those in the UK and Ireland can see it on Sky Sports Arena. Ajagba last fought in August when he defeated Zhan Kossobutskiy in the fourth round when his opponent was disqualified for continuously hitting Ajagba below the belt. Goodall was last in action in July when he stopped Stephan Shaw in the sixth round.
Ajagba vs Goodall Betting Odds
- Joe Goodall +425
- Efe Ajagba -650
The 29-year-old Ajagba is a bright prospect who now fights out of Stafford, Texas and climbs through the ropes with a fine mark of 18-1 with 13 Ko’s. He’s obviously got good power in his fists as 72.2 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage. He also has plenty of size as he stands 6-feet-6-inches tall with an 85-inch reach. Ajagba enjoyed a successful amateur career and made it to the quarterfinal of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the super heavyweight division. He also won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014.
Ajagba turned pro in 2017 a year after the Olympics and has been pretty busy ever since. He’s fought 18 times but has boxed only 75 pro rounds due to his power. He’s been the distance just four times as Ali Eren Demirezen took him 10 rounds in July, 2019, Jonathan Rice went 10 rounds in 2020, Frank Sanchez beat him via a 10-round unanimous decision in 2021 for his only pro defeat and Stephan Shaw went 10 rounds in January, 2023. The loss to Sanchez was for the WBC Continental Americas, and WBO NABO Heavyweight Titles.
The only other man Ajagba failed to stop was Curtis Harper in 2018 when Harper was disqualified after walking out of the ring before the opening bell, giving Ajagba two wins by DQ so far. Ajagba’s other opponents up to now have included Michael Wallisch, Iago Kiladze, Jonathan Rice, Brian Howard, Razvan Cojanu and Amir Mansour. While he hasn’t fought many elite-level opponents as of yet, at least each one of Ajagba’s foes entered the ring with a winning record. His chin hasn’t really been tested but it should be noted that Kiladze decked him in the third round in December, 2019 before Ajagba stopped him in the fifth and Sanchez scored a flash knockdown in the seventh round, so the jury’s still out on how well he can take a punch.
As for the hard-hitting Goodall, he’s 31 years old and carries around a record of 10-1-1 with 9 Ko’s and has banked just 37 rounds since making his pro debut in 2018. Before that he also enjoyed a fine amateur career which saw him reach the semifinals of the 2013 and 2017 Australian National Championships, the quarterfinals in 2011 and win the event in 2014 and 2015 event. He also won the 2015 and 2017 Oceanian Championships along with a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the 2017 World Championships. Goodall lost to Joe Joyce in the amateurs but met Ajagba in 2014 and beat him by unanimous decision.
At just over 6-feet-5-inches tall, Goodall is just half an inch shorter than Ajagba, but unfortunately he has an unlisted reach. He’s got plenty of power as 90 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage. His lone defeat came at the hands of Justis Huni by way of 10-round unanimous decision in June, 2022 in a shot at the vacant IBF, Oriental and Pacific, and WBO Oriental Heavyweight Titles. His lone draw was a six-round affair with Christian Ndzie Tsoye in 2019 in a rematch after Goodall beat him by four-round unanimous decision a year earlier. In fact Tsoye and Huni are the only two men Goodall hasn’t stopped as a pro.
Ajagba seems to have all the tools to become a legitimate heavyweight contender, but doesn’t use them often enough during a fight. He looked lethargic against Frank Sanchez and often doesn’t let his hands go as he shows no urgency. As for Goodall, he beat Ajagba in the amateurs so should be confident here and he also stopped Stephan Shaw in the sixth round while Ajagba beat him 96-94 on all three scorecards. If Ajagba stays busy each round I think he can leave the ring with a win but he obviously needs to be wary of Goodall’s power and his chin will have to hold out. This is a very close matchup as it can easily go either way with a draw a possibility. I’m leaning toward Ajagba though as he’s faced stiffer opposition as a pro.
This is a close call with Ajagba having a slight edge in skills.
Play Ajagba -650 @ BetOnline.ag
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