Frank Sánchez proved exactly what he said before Saturday night, that he could take . Ajagba’s right hand away and get him out of the box.
The Cuban-born Sánchez carefully highlighted the huge Nigerian knockout artist in his 10-round heavyweight fight on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder undercard at T-Mobile Arena. Judges Lisa Giampa (98-91), John McKaie (97-92) and David Sutherland (98-91) rated Sanchez as a convincing winner of this high-stakes pay-per-view co-feature.
Sánchez (19-0, 13 KOs) defended well against Ajagba’s right hand and occasionally landed power shots on the slower Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs). The 29-year-old Sánchez didn’t exactly entertain the crowd, but he boxed in a cautious manner that allowed him to win quite easily.
Ajagba struggled to land clean shots during the ninth and tenth rounds, when he seemed to need a knockout to win. Sanchez didn’t play much in those rounds either, but he landed enough to take advantage of his advantage.
The best exchange came in the 10th round, when Ajagba hit a right and Sanchez hit a left almost simultaneously.
Sánchez, with his back to the ropes, landed a three-punch combination early in the eighth round that beat him. He didn’t land many more effective shots for the remainder of that round, but Ajagba couldn’t connect with any significant shots in those three minutes.
Sanchez appeared to score a knockdown with less than 30 seconds to go in the seventh round. Sanchez hit Ajagba with a right hand that appeared to make Ajagba kneel.
Sanchez hit him again, however, with a left hook while Ajagba was down. Ortega did not count it as a fall.
Sánchez stayed away from Ajagba for most of the sixth round, ultimately causing the crowd to boo. Ajagba landed a left hand late in the sixth round and although Sánchez fell in that sequence, Ortega ruled that Sánchez slid to the mat.
Neither fighter did much during the fourth round, but Ajagba was aggressive early in the fifth round.
Sánchez connected with a right hand over 55 seconds of the third round. An uneventful third round turned around when Sanchez lunged at Ajagba with a forehand that thrilled the crowd with 1:15 remaining.
Sánchez fell back to avoid Ajagba’s right hand from long range about 25 seconds into the second round. Sánchez counterattacked Ajagba with a hard right hand with about 1:25 left in the second round.
Sanchez sneaked in with a right hand around 1:15 in the first round. Sanchez also jabbed towards the end of the first round, in which Ajagba struggled to land.