In the third round of a heavyweight bout against Brian Howard, Efe Ajagba unleashed a massive right hand that immediately knocked out Howard. The fight was the co-main event to the Joe Smith Jr.-Maxim Vlasov WBO light heavyweight title fight at the Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The 26-year-old from Nigeria and fighting out of Houston landed his quickest knockout since he stopped Michael Wallisch in 2019. As soon as Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs) landed the punch, referee Tony Crebs momentarily thought about giving Howard a 10-count before he immediately dropped to his knees, waved his arms over his head and called for the ring doctor.
In his postfight interview on ESPN, Ajagba said he wanted to set up his right hand with a left jab to the body. Howard (15-5, 12 KOs) stayed on the canvas for several seconds before he finally got to his feet.
The budding prospect said he worked on fundamentals and footwork in the fight camp with trainer Kay Koroma, which resulted in what he called the best training camp of his pro career. That work also resulted in a performance that showed what he might be able to do against better opposition.
"It's my time to shine," Ajagba said. "I'm coming for the heavyweights to become the heavyweight champion of the world."
Anderson stops Karpency, extend KO winning streak
One body shot hurt Jared Anderson's opponent. The second one finished him.
Anderson's walloping right hand left Jeremiah Karpency kneeling in the second round and wanting no more punishment. Anderson, 21, a heavyweight prospect out of Toledo, Ohio, landed a nearly identical punch at the end of the first round to knock down Karpency. Anderson (9-0, 9 KOs), not in the mood to stray from a good thing, used the body punch to end his night early.
"I knew he was going to find a spot to fall. I respect him for getting in there and showing up today," Anderson said after the fight. "It's a man's sport. I'm just grateful to be here, thankful for the opportunity.
"I [saw] the shot. His hands kept going up. I kept throwing my jab, looking for openings, feinting, moving around the ring, and it just came. It was a good shot, and he didn't want to get back up."
Anderson has been active as he looks to find his footing in boxing's biggest division. Seven of Anderson's pro fights have occurred since the start of 2020, including five inside Top Rank's Las Vegas bubble.
"Everybody who says they're the biggest and the baddest, come see Big Baby then," Anderson said when asked about his next fight.
Bell goes the distance to earn decision win
Albert Bell's eighth round was key in earning a unanimous decision victory over Manuel Rey Rojas. The 28-year old from Toledo, Ohio, used range and distance in the final three minutes to show his dominance over Rojas, who spent the middle rounds pressuring Bell and closing the distance.
Bell connected on 16 of his 43 power shots in the eighth round, according to CompuBox, which were both fight-high numbers for either man.
But when Bell (18-0, 5 KOs) stayed on the outside, Rojas (20-5, 6 KOs) was outmatched. Bell's lack of power will always be an issue at the 130-pound division, but if he can make the most of his reach, he'll be able to outpoint opponents like he did on Saturday night.
Conceicao stops Ahumada late to stay unbeaten
Robson Conceicao (16-0, 8 KOs) used a bruising jab and precise punching to eventually pick up a seventh-round TKO over Jesus Antonio Ahumada. After numerous rounds of one-way punishment, Conceicao finally stopped a very game Ahumada with a beautiful combination.
The 32-year-old from Brazil feinted with a couple of throwaway jabs before unleashing a straight right to the body and a left hook to the head, with the last punch sending Conceiao to the blood-spocked canvas.
Ahumada (17-4, 12 KOs) endured a massive beating. Blood flowed from early cuts throughout the fight. The referee asked the ring doctor to evaluate Ahumada after the sixth round. Ahumada, from Mexico, wanted to continue even after the knockdown in the seventh, but the referee waved off the fight after Ahumada's legs wobbled after the 10-count.
Morrison wins when Bergman retires with injury
Trey Lippe Morrison (17-0, 17 KOs) won a very strange fight when Jason Bergman couldn't continue after suffering a right leg injury in the third round.
Bergman (27-20-2, 18 KOs), 36, had moments of success throughout the evening against Morrison, who was fighting in his hometown of Tulsa. All positive momentum immediately halted when Bergman appeared to injure his right ankle after he missed on a punch. Bergman immediately went down and the fight was stopped. He was unable to put any weight on the leg when he got up.
That wasn't the only unfortunate break for the fighter out of Adah, Pennsylvania.
In the first round, Bergman was incensed after he appeared to knock down Morrison, 31, with a short left hook off the ropes. The referee ruled it a push and Bergman spent the next several seconds aggressively asking why it wasn't a knockdown. At one point, Bergman put his gloves into the referee's torso, but Bergman was not reprimanded as he was implored to continue the fight.
Ragan outpoints Clark and cruises to victory
Cincinnati's Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) had a unique test in his short professional career against Charles Clark, before earning a unanimous decision victory. Clark (3-7-1, 1 KO) clearly didn't possess the same skill level as Ragan and tried to aggravate Ragan throughout their six-round fight.
But the 23-year-old prospect wasn't rattled. Ragan used a wide arsenal and showcased his speed and precision, and didn't drop a single point on all three scorecards (60-54, 60-54 and 60-54). Even though Ragan never knocked down Clark or even appeared to hurt him, he made the most of an opponent who gave Ragan limited opportunities for big punches.
Milton demolished Dafney
Jeremiah Milton impressed his hometown Tulsa fans with a devastating one-punch knockout in the first round of a four-rounder against Jayvone Dafney. It was an outcome that was brewing from the opening bell.
Dafney (2-3, 2 KOs), 33, from McComb, Mississippi, had the refined technique of someone in a viral video of a street fight, throwing wide, slapping punches with his chin in the air against Milton, who employed a more traditional approach.
It paid off for Milton (3-0, 3 KOs), 26, of Tulsa, when he landed a thudding, overhand right that had Dafney knocked out, seemingly frozen with his back against the ropes. Milton showed incredible restraint in not following up a punch before the referee eventually realized that Dafney was out on his feet and stopped the fight at 1:19 of the round.
Conto stops Cortes in Round 1
Heavyweight Sonny Conto wasn't in the ring long. He knocked out Waldo Cortes in the first round of a four-round fight. But Conto's craftsmanship is something boxing purists will love.
Conto (7-0, 6 KOs), 25, of Philadelphia, landed a strong jab often. He tripled it up at one point as Cortes (6-4, 3 KOs), 29, of Phoenix, was constantly flustered by the lead left. That jab set up the big, straight right hand that floored Cortes, forcing the referee to stop the fight at 1:41 minutes.
Conto has won his past three fights in the first round, totaling 6:49 minutes of fight action since October 2019.