Oscar Rivas Out Of Ajagba Fight With Eye Injury
Bad news for the scheduled headlining heavyweight contender fight for Top Rank Boxing in January as Oscar Rivas is out of the bout with Efe Ajagba due to an eye injury.
Rivas’ promoter, Yvon Michel, confirmed the injury from sparring on social media Wednesday afternoon,
We have just informed @trboxing that Oscar Rivas unfortunately has to withdraw from his fight on January 14 against Efe Ajagba in Verona. He injured an eye during his last sparring and his doctor forbids him to enter the ring under these conditions.
— Yvon Michel (@yvonmichelGYM) December 21, 2022
“We have just informed Top Rank Boxing that Oscar Rivas unfortunately has to withdraw from his fight on January 14 against Efe Ajagba in Verona. He injured an eye during his last sparring and his doctor forbids him to enter the ring under these conditions,” Michel said.
As we wrote in late November, Ajagba was looking forward to the challenge from the veteran Rivas on the Top Rank/ESPN card at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.
Ajagba (16-1, 13 KOs), a 2016 Nigerian Olympian, quickly established himself as one of the division’s heaviest hitters, as he tallied six first-round knockouts in his first eight bouts. Then, in April 2021, Ajagba utilized his big right hand to blast out Brian Howard in a Knockout of the Year contender.
Ajagba suffered his first pro loss later in October 2021 on a decision defeat to Frank Sanchez, Ajagba then had surgery on both his elbows, before returning this past August to stop Hungarian veteran Jozsef Darmos in the second round.
Rivas would have been solid challenge
Rivas (28-1, 19 KOs) is a 2008 Colombian Olympian who moved to Montreal in 2009 to start his professional career. He notched a signature win at the Turning Stone Resort in January 2019, knocking out former world title challenger Bryant Jennings in the 12th round.
His then lost controversially six months later when he traveled to England and dropped a unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte after knocking Whyte down in the ninth round. It was learned after the bout that Whyte had tested positive for a banned substance, but didn’t inform Rivas and his camp and was still allowed by the British Boxing Board of Control to fight.
Since the Whyte defeat, Rivas had fought twice, knocking out Sylvera Louis in three rounds and outlasting Ryan Rozicki by unanimous decision in an all-Canadian showdown while winning the WBC Bridgerweight title. Rivas had two other bouts postponed by his opponents and has been on a nearly 15-month layoff.
Now, he has the eye injury.
We await whether Top Rank will be able to locate a suitable opponent in time for Ajagba to remain as the main event for January 14th or not?