Heavyweight Efe Ajagba (pictured) will make his Top Rank debut on Saturday, Sept. 19th against Jonnie Rice in a ten-rounder as the co-feature to the Jose Pedraza vs. Javier Molina junior welterweight main event from the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (18-3 including the World Series of Boxing), who avenged a loss to Adan Gonzales on July 2nd, will fight Felix Caraballo (13-2-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-rounder at featherweight. Caraballo last fought June 9th, losing via sixth-round knockout to former featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson, the man Ramirez edged in the 2016 Olympic gold medal match. The undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the co-feature scheduled to begin at approximately 10 p.m. ET.
Also on the undercard, a pair of newly signed 17-year-olds, welterweights Jahi Tucker and Kasir “Mazzi” Goldston, will see action in separate four-round contests. Goldston, from Deer Park, N.Y., will fight Isaiah Varnell (3-2, 2 KOs), while Tucker will face Deandre Anderson (1-1).
Ajagba (13-0, 11 KOs) resumes his heavyweight world title quest with a new promoter, manager (James Prince) and head trainer (Kay Koroma). Now living in Houston, Ajagba last fought in March, knocking out Razvan Cojanu in nine rounds. Ajagba stands 6’6", weighs 240-plus pounds and is a 26 year-old former Nigerian Olympian.
Rice (13-5-1, 9 KOs) measures 6’5 and often tips the scales at more than 260 pounds. He is known for his durability, as his only two knockout defeats have come against previously unbeaten foes in the seventh and tenth rounds, respectively.
“To all my fans, the wait is finally over. I am ready to get back in the ring and do what I do best,” Ajagba said. “I haven’t fought since March 7th, and I’ve been looking for someone to devour. On September 19th, I finally get to do it. Tune in to ESPN+. You don’t want to miss it.”
Goldston, from Albany, N.Y., won three consecutive National Junior Olympic titles from 2015-2017 and back-to-back Junior Open Championships in 2017 and 2018. Last year, at the prestigious Bornemissza Tournament in Eger, Hungary, he took home a silver medal after a split decision loss to a Hungarian boxer.
Tucker, from Deer Park, N.Y., was ranked first in the nation at 138 pounds after winning the 2018 USA National Boxing Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah. A high school sophomore at the time, Tucker aimed to qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics. He picked up his first international gold medal last June at the Bornemissza Tournament and elected to turn pro rather than wait for the Olympics.
In other undercard contests:
Puerto Rican junior lightweight Frevian Gonzalez (3-0, 1 KO), who won a decision inside the “Bubble” on June 18, returns to fight Carlos Marrero (2-3-1) in a four-rounder...
Junior middleweight Leo Ruiz (7-0, 5 KOs), winner of four straight by knockout in three rounds or less, will fight an opponent to be named in a six-rounder...
Bryan Lua (5-0, 2 KOs), from California’s Central Valley, will fight for the first time in more than two years against an opponent to be named in a six-rounder at lightweight.