I’m not going deep into the archives for this week’s Sunday Punch because there were just an assortment of violent endings from Saturday’s boxing action. This one is a special double dose of knockouts from the heavyweight division, both from a Top Rank on ESPN show in Oklahoma.
Nigerian heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs) was perhaps best known for winning via his opponent leaving the ring as soon as the bell sounded. Ajagba was with Premier Boxing Champions before signing with Top Rank late last year, and after a rather uninspiring win over Jonathan Rice it felt like Ajagba’s career was beginning to stall out instead of continue its upward trajectory.
Well against Brian Howard (15-5, 12 KOs), Ajagba might have reignited interest in him with a right hand from hell that twisted Howard’s body in cartoon-like fashion. Just listen to the sound of this punch!
Howard is a journeyman with four knockout losses in five defeats but he does have some decent wins on his record, so he’s not a can. That was one of the most vicious sounding shots you will ever hear.
Ajagba has only been a pro for four years so this win may lead to him getting a step up in competition, as heavyweight ideally restocks with fighters who are promising and not 173 years old.
As for the other KO, have you ever seen a standing one-hitter quitter before? Well this is Jeremiah Milton (3-0, 3 KOs) against Jayvone Dafney (2-3, 1 KOs) from the early prelims. If the ropes weren’t there then Dafney obviously would’ve been flat on his back, but they were there and he was out on his feet. Milton showed tremendous restraint and sportsmanship by not throwing any follow-up punches and causing serious damage.
We’re picking up on a theme here tonight …
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) April 10, 2021
The main event was also a really fun, grueling battle between Joe Smith Jr and Maxim Vlasov for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title. Smith Jr won a certainly debatable majority decision and presumably he’ll unify with IBF and WBC champion Artur Beterbiev in the fall, which should be great.