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Boxing: Dabiri-Erewa hails Ajagba’s victory


The chairperson of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission ( NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has congratulated Nigerian-born  boxer, Efe Ajagba, for defeating his American opponent, Jonnie Rice, in a keenly contested bout on Saturday night at the Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa gave the commendation in a statement by NIDCOM’s Head of  Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Sunday in Abuja.

She said that the victory over the American boxer is not only a thing of pride to Nigerians, but to Africa as a whole.

“I congratulate you on this wonderful feat, for winning this tensed but  historical fight.

“We are truly proud of you and urge you to continue to use your professional prowess to extol the virtues of Nigerian heritage.

“Your shinning beacon serves as inspiration to the youth of Nigeria.

“Your victory is also a testimony to the fact that Nigerians are great people, contributing in many ways to the development of the country and the continent as a whole,” Dabiri-Erewa stated.

She noted with satisfaction that in spite of the challenges being faced by the 26 year-old Mr Ajagba in his career, he has remained determined, focused and did not allow that to lure him into any form of criminality or depression.

This is only the second time Ajagba would be winning a fight via a10-round unanimous decision.

While Mr Ajagba has had it ‘easier’ in most of his other fights, he was pushed to the limits against Rice; claiming a ten-round unanimous decision over the 33-year-old American boxer.

As reported by Boxing Scene, Judge Max DeLuca had the bout 98-92, while judges Adalaide Byrd and Dave Moretti scored it 99-91 in favour of Ajagba.

This is only the second time Ajagba would be winning a fight via unanimous decision having knocked down all his previous challengers.

The last of such occasions where Mr Ajagba was taken this deep was against previously unbeaten Ali Eren Demirezen last July at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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The fight saw 26-year old Mr Ajagba fight through an injured elbow for much of the night but was still able to get the win.

While Mr Ajagba has improved his record to 14 straight wins, his Saturday opponent, Mr Rice, has now suffered his second straight defeat in falling to 13-6-1 (9KOs), both coming versus unbeaten opposition.

Though Ughelli-born Mr Ajagba has extended his winning streak, the 2016 Olympian still has a lot to do if his big dreams of unseating Anthony Joshua is to be fulfilled.


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