Efe Ajagba pushed to 12-0 as the Nigerian sensation continued his prominent rise through the top division ranks by stopping Iago Kiladze.
The co-main event of Charlo vs Harrison II featured heavyweight sensation Ajagba and Georgia’s Kiladze (26-5-1, 18 KOs) slugging it out and trading knockdowns before Ajagba dropped Kiladze in the fifth round, prompting the ring doctor to call a halt to the bout.
The end came at 2:09 with Ajagba scoring a TKO victory to maintain his unbeaten record.
It was an action-packed slugfest from the opening bell as the two giant heavyweights traded heavy shots.
Late in the second round, Ajagba dropped Kiladze with a straight right down the middle. Kiladze was dazed but made it to his feet and finished the round.
In the third round, Ajagba landed another heavy shot that buckled Kiladze’s knees and sent him stumbling around the ring on rubbery legs. Kiladze never went down.
Though he was hurt, he was still dangerous as he proved when he dropped Ajagba with a thunderous right hand.
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.
“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,” Ajagba said.
“He has a lot of experience and he’s a good fighter. This kind of fight will help me perform better in the future.
“This guy was a good fighter and he can take a lot of shots. I missed a lot of shots.
“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.”