Heavyweight Efe Ajagba and cruiserweight Efetobor Apochi, both Nigerian amateur standouts, have signed with promoter Richard Schaefer’s RingstarSports and will make their pro debuts on Sunday, Schaefer announced Thursday.
Both boxers will appear on the Premier Boxing Champions card (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 7 p.m. ET) headlined by former welterweight world titleholder Victor Ortiz against Saul Corral at the Rabobank Theater in Bakersfield, California.
“We couldn’t be more excited to add these two outstanding young men to the growing Ringstar roster of fighters,” Schaefer said. “I’ve seen these guys in action and I think boxing fans are in for a real treat. These are two of the biggest hitters I’ve seen, and we expect them to rise quickly and make a name for themselves in their respective divisions.”
The 6-foot-3 Ajagba, 23, who began boxing in 2011, was the 2016 Nigerian super heavyweight Olympic representative. In going 41-2 with 30 knockouts as an amateur, he won a gold medal at the 2015 African Games and a bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Ajagba’s pro debut will come in a scheduled six-round bout against San Antonio’s Tyrell Herndon (6-1, 2 KOs).
“I feel so blessed to have signed with Ringstar Sports and Richard Schaefer,” Ajagba said. “I have dreamed of this day for many years and yet it is bigger than I could have ever imagined. My time has come. I will show I am a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division.”
The 5-foot-11 Apochi, 29, who began boxing in 2007, was 55-6 with 54 knockouts in the amateurs and claimed the heavyweight silver medal at the 2015 African Games and a bronze meal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Apochi’s pro debut will come in a scheduled four-round cruiserweight match against Mexico’s Daniel Mejia (1-4).
“It is a big pleasure to become a part of Ringstar Sports,” Apochi said. “I have never wished for anything more. I am so grateful for this opportunity and promise to give the fans a show.”
Both fighters are managed by Hall of Famer Shelly Finkel and have relocated to Houston, where they will be trained by Ronnie Shields, one of boxing’s most renowned trainers.
“Both young men have the potential to be world champions,” Finkel said. “I’m very proud to be working with both of them.”