Quick schedule update: news broke last week that Robeisy Ramirez would likely defend his WBO featherweight title atop a November 4th ESPN+ show in Lake Tahoe. That’s no longer the case, as Top Rank announced yesterday that Efe Ajagba vs Joe Goodall will serve as the main event.
Salvador Rodriguez and Keith Idec both report that Ramirez’s fight with Rafael Espinoza will instead land on December 9th, with Top Rank forgoing its tradition of holding a Madison Square Garden show on Heisman weekend. Seems like a weird choice to me; Luis Alberto Lopez wants the unification and can probably by ready by January/February. The longer the wait, the bigger the chance the IBF puts their foot down and makes Lopez fight Reiya Abe.
Ajagba (18-1, 13 KO) becomes one of few noteworthy heavyweights to fight three times in 2023. He gritted out an uneventful decision over Stephen Shaw in January, then played the role of Riddick Bowe to Zhan Kossobutskiy’s Andrew Golota last month. He now faces a former amateur rival in Goodall (10-1-1, 9 KO), who sports a loss to Justis Huni but went on to stop Shaw in six.
Seems like a nice, competitive matchup of similarly skilled heavyweights. Not blockbuster material, though I suppose it doesn’t have to be when the evening’s other show is a Don King PPV starring Adrien Broner.
“This is a great opportunity for me to close out the year with a big victory and move closer to a world title opportunity,” Ajagba said. “Goodall is a big, powerful heavyweight, but I am confident in my preparation, and I will do what it takes to be victorious.”
Goodall said, “Efe Ajagba is a world-class boxer and a huge challenge for me. This is an opportunity, though, for me to come to America and show the world what I am capable of. It’s a massive show and I’m genuinely honored to be a part of it. When I signed with DiBella Entertainment, I told Lou that I only wanted the big fights. I want to put myself into a position to fight for a world title, and I believe beating Efe will do that.”
The previously revealed co-feature between Raymond Muratalla (18-0, 15 KO) and Diego Torres (18-0, 17 KO) remains intact. The pair were supposed to fight in August before Muratalla withdrew due to injury.
Muratalla said, “We were supposed to fight in August, but unfortunately, injuries happen. I am 100 percent healthy and ready to put on a show against a tough, undefeated fighter like Torres. I believe I am the future of the lightweight division, and I look forward to showing that on November 4.”
Torres said, “I am very excited that this fight is back on schedule. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to face another unbeaten fighter. I am going to show that I was born for this and that I’m going to do great things in this sport. I’m coming with everything.”
In addition to the Top Rank debut of Brandon Moore (12-0, 8 KO) and the latest from undercard regulars like Antonio Mireles (8-0, 7 KO), Omar Rosario (11-0, 3 KO), and Lindolfo Delgado (18-0, 13 KO), the prelims feature a genuinely interesting battle between undefeated super featherweights Henry Lebron (18-0, 10 KO) and William Foster III (16-0, 10 KO).