Efe Ajagba hopes to become the future heavyweight champion of Nigeria, and he sees his fight against Zhan Kossobutskiy on August 26 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa in Catoosa, Oklahoma, as a necessary step in that direction.
The Nigerian will compete against southpaw Kazakh in the 10-round heavyweight match. The fight will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and via live stream on ESPN+ as the co-feature of the show that also features Anderson vs. Rudenko as the main event.
Olympic gold winner Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan will face fellow Nigerian Onoriode Ehwarieme in the telecast’s opening match. In the heavyweight division, the fight is scheduled to last eight rounds.
Jared Anderson, who was born in Toledo, Ohio, will face Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko in the main event. Additionally, in the heavyweight class, a 10-round matchup between the two will take place.
2016 Olympic champion Ajagba (17-1, 13 KOs) has made a name for himself as one of the division’s most powerful punchers. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound slugger made his professional debut in July 2017 and won six of his first eight fights by first-round knockout.
In an encounter with Frank Sanchez in October 2021, he lost for the first time. Ajagba underwent elbow surgery after the defeat and triumphantly made his comeback in August 2022, defeating the experienced Hungarian Jozsef Darmos in the second round. The 29-year-old recently defeated previously unbeaten challenger Stephan Shaw in a 10-round decision.
As he pursues his goal of becoming Nigeria’s next heavyweight champion, Ajagba says, “This is a great test for me.”
“I’m coming to Tulsa to get a devastating knockout and show everyone what I’m made of in the ring,” the fighter declared.
Southpaw Kossobutskiy, 34, of Kostanay, Kazakhstan, has a record of 19-0 with 18 knockouts. He has only fought to a decision once in his career, defeating Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko in September 2018 after six rounds.
He kept up an amazing 3-0 record in 2021, recording three knockouts. He knocked out former world title candidate Johann Duhaupas in the fifth round in 2022, and he recently overcame previously unbeaten challenger Hussein Muhamed in the third round in November.
Kossobutskiy declared, “I’m eager to make my debut in the United States against a very strong opponent.” “I want to prove that I can defeat the top heavyweights, and to do that, you have to face really difficult obstacles. On August 26, I’m looking forward to exhibiting my skills around the globe.
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