Ajagba recorded a unanimous decision victory against Stephan Shaw in Verona, New York on Saturday, January 14, 2023.
In what was a close fight, Ajagba did just enough to outpoint the inexperienced Shaw of St. Louis.
Ajagba challenged to improve
Days after the fight, ESPN analyst and former cruiserweight champion Andre Ward issued a challenge to Ajagba.
Ward told Ajagba that he needs to improve significantly to challenge the best heavyweights in the division.
According to Ward, Ajagba has to be more diverse in the way he attacks his opponents. He credited his maneuvering with the jab for driving the hard-hitting Shaw back.
However, he noted that there are still some adjustments that Ajagba needs to make, especially after his only professional loss against Cuban contender Frank Sánchez in October 2021.
He said: “I think you’ll have to step up.” He will have to be more creative with his offense and his defense. And that comes from being in a gym, not just doing the same reps.
"Go hit the bag for three, four rounds. Go hit the mitts for three, four rounds, where no one is really punching you.
“And I’m not saying they’re not doing this, but I’m saying that this is how these improvements come.” You drill specific things.
Tim Bradley, former junior welterweight and welterweight champion, also stressed that Ajagba has to be better with his right hand attacking his opponent.
He added: “I loved the fact that he stopped charging right-handed and actually started setting up his right hand, instead of charging with it.”
"I loved the fact that it actually showed a bit of a sense of urgency. The corner of him was trying to rev it up and get it going. And when he did that, that’s what took over the fight.”
Ajagba is now expected to fight a heavyweight contender with former champion Joseph Parker rumored to be next in May.