In a technical battle of undefeated Heavyweight prospects, Frank Sanchez and Efe Ajagba served in chief support as the co-featured bout of the Saturday, October 9, 2021 rubber match between bitter rivals, Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder.
The Cuban born Sanchez delivered a sound clinic in defeating Ajagba via decisive unanimous decision. Sanchez knocked down Ajagba in the seventh round and dominated the second half of the bout with his quick feet, power potshots, and thudding counter punches.
The participants among the most highly touted Heavyweight prospects in the world presented a truly interesting matchup with both fighters in their prime risking their undefeated records against an equally distinguished opponent in what presented the biggest step up in class for both men.
The tension and anticipation arose in the air as the introductions were presented and both fighters approached the ring center and the first bell rang. Both fighters immediately began to feel each other out working behind feints and subtle jabs.
The first connected punch of the fight a stiff jab to the nose of Ajagba was countered with a right hand over the top as both fighters attempted to bait the other into opening up.
Sanchez started the second using lateral movement along the perimeter of the ring while Ajagba attempted to cut the ring and establish his jab. Both attempted to establish a rhythm and set up a power punch, feinting and analyzing with caution.
The chess match continued as Ajagba jabbed to the midsection of Sanchez and patiently looked for an opening to land the right hand. Sanchez continued to feint and switch stances to provide different looks to Ajagba. Sanchez felt the tides shifting as he jabbed from the outside and successfully began to counter the pawing jab of Ajagba with big overhands over the top.
The ebb and flow continued into the first half of the fourth round as both fighters worked to establish themselves, the slower pace favored the Cuban as he controlled the ring and landed the heavier punches albeit in single blows, with powerful jabs and leaping hooks.
Ajagba became more hesitant to let his hands go after receiving counter fire through the first five rounds while Sanchez continued to nullify the aggression of Ajagba and impose his style. The sixth saw Sanchez grow in confidence moving laterally but coming in and out with greater regularity.
The seventh round was the most eventful of the bout as both men intensified their pace and set up big punches Ajagba behind the jab and right hand while Sanchez placed big overhand and short uppercuts getting the better of exchanges.
A big exchange saw Ajagba counter with a stiff jab before being met with a follow up right from Sanchez that buckled the legs of Ajagba and sent him down where he was hit again by Sanchez while on the mat. Sanchez was not docked a point and seemed to grow in confidence and perhaps smelling blood in the water moving forward with increasing regularly after the knockdown.
The last quarter of the match saw more of the same as Ajagba seemed too limited and hesitant to pose a serious threat to stopping the aggressive momentum of Sanchez who moved forward but did not over commit, leaving his opponent no chance to land any lucky big punches.
The championship rounds saw tense exchanges and precise pressure from Sanchez matched by pawing jabs and posing from Ajagba who despite the constant urging from the corner was unable to land a fight changing punch as the final bell rang and the bout went to the judges, who scored the fight 98-91, 98-91 and 97-92, in favor of Frank Sanchez.
With this victory Sanchez sets himself up for much bigger fights down the line and officially makes the move from prospect to contender arriving to the upper echelon of boxings glamour division.