Ajagba vs Vianello Predictions: Efe could be in for a long night

 | 12th April | 

4 mins read

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The big men take centre stage on Saturday, April 13 when Efe Ajagba faces Guido Vianello. The bout is part of a heavyweight double-header, with Jared Anderson taking on Ryad Merhy on the same card in Corpus Christi, Texas. Sky Sports Arena will televise this convergence of heavy-hitters. Here are my Ajagba vs Vianello predictions ahead of an intriguing heavyweight collision.

Ajagba vs Vianello Tips

  • Ajagba on points @ 7/2
  • Fight to go the distance - Yes @ 11/5

Ajagba has long-established a reputation as a man to be feared in boxing circles. Just ask Curtis Harper. ‘The Hurt’ left the ring one second into a bout with Ajagba, a decision for which he was immediately disqualified. While Harper insists it was due to a contractual issue rather than any lingering fear, it remains the quickest victory in boxing history.

Not that you have to look far on Ajagba’s record to find quick victories. Seven of his 19 wins have come in the first round. ‘The Silent Roller’ tends to go a bit longer these days, but only one of his last four opponents have taken him the distance.

As dominant and destructive as Ajagba sounds on paper, the reality is that he does have some vulnerabilities. Iago Kiladze knocked him down before succumbing himself via knockout. Frank Sanchez, the unbeaten Cuban, had him on the canvas before wreaking Ajagba’s only professional defeat. This is a fighter who can be hurt and ultimately, is far from unbeatable.

Sanchez might just have shown the blueprint to beat the Nigerian. Their fight didn’t set the world on fire from an entertainment standpoint and that actually seemed to favour the Cuban. A considered boxing display frustrated Ajagba, who never truly got going in this battle of the unbeatens. The fact he sacrificed his unblemished record so meekly set Ajagba’s development back just when he should have been knocking on the door of the elite level.

To his immense credit, Ajagba has course-corrected very effectively. The Nigerian has won four in a row since the Sanchez reverse. Those efforts have landed him in the WBC, WBO and IBF world rankings. His WBC situation in particular is very appealing, with ‘The Silent Roller’ sitting at number four in their latest ratings. 

The Vianello fight is more about fortifying that standing rather than improving upon it. The Italian may have been a 2016 Olympian as an amateur, but his professional journey has failed to hit those heights. A draw with Kingsley Ibeh and a cut stoppage loss to mutual opponent Jonathan Rice have blemished his 12-1-1 record. Interestingly, Vianello also went the full eight rounds with conscientious objector Curtis Harper. Say what you will about this fight but there is something about it that feels predestined.

Ajagba’s destiny has long been touted as one of great achievement. In an era where the four belts were scattered to the wind, he may have even challenged for one by now. But in the hyper-competitive modern era, it’ll take more than a win here against Vianello to catapult him into the picture. 

Ajagba is in a similar position to Jared Anderson, who boxes on the same card. Two fine heavyweight prospects who have been tipped for success, with each lacking the signature victory to get them there. 

This is where things get interesting. This is actually the fourth time that Ajagba and Anderson have competed on the same card. Perhaps it is time for their paths to cross, should they both emerge victorious on Saturday. Each man needs a standout win in order to enter the elite mix. With both men handled by Top Rank Boxing, such a match surely wouldn’t be hard to make. The rewards for the victor would be well worth the risk of taking part.

But for now, Ajagba must concentrate on Vianello. It’s a fight I believe he will win, though the Italian should prove durable. I can see Ajagba racking up the points rather than pulling off a highlight reel knockout. Vianello looks well-equipped to stay in there and make a fight of it, even if the judges are left unimpressed by his industry. My pick is a 7/2 shot, Ajagba via decision.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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