A pair of heavyweight bouts graces the 2023 debut of High Rank Boxing on ESPN.

All 4 contributors have been compelled to regulate to completely different opposition than when the cardboard was first introduced however are set to collide this Saturday at Turning Stone Resort & On line casino in Verona, New York. Headlining the present, Efe Ajagba and Stephan Shaw meet in a scheduled ten-round heavyweight contest dwell on ESPN.

Ajagba was a well-distributed 235 ¼ kilos, simply three kilos greater than in a second-round knockout of Jozsef Darmons final August 27 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The win was the primary for the 2016 Nigerian Olympian—now primarily based out of primarily based out of Stafford, Texas—since a ten-round defeat to Frank Sanchez of their October 2021 battle of unbeaten heavyweights.

Saturday’s conflict was to return versus Oscar Rivas, who was compelled to withdraw as a consequence of a indifferent retina which has additionally prompted his quick retirement. He as a substitute faces the unbeaten Shaw (18-0, 13KOs), a 30-year-old St. Louis native who weighed 239 ½ kilos.

The unique announcement had Shaw going through Italy’s Guido Vianello, who will now meet Los Angeles’ Jonnie Rice within the scheduled ten-round co-feature.

Vianello (10-0-1, 9KOs) tipped the scales at 239 kilos for what marks the third combat in six months. It’s a welcomed energetic stretch for the 6’6” heavyweight from Roma, who represented Italy within the 2016 Rio Olympics however now trains in Las Vegas.

Friday’s weight is Vianello’s lightest since an October 2020 draw with Kingsley Ibeh, the lone blemish on his report.

Rice (15-6-1, 10KOs) was 274 ¼ kilos for a combat he accepted on roughly three weeks’ discover. The Los Angeles-based heavyweight has not fought since a repeat win over Michael Well mannered Espresso final New Yr’s Day in Hollywood, Florida, for which he weighed 283 ¾ kilos. The feat got here 5 months after scoring a shocking fifth-round knockout of the beforehand unbeaten Espresso in a July 2021 Fox-televised bout from Newark, New Jersey.

Headlining the ESPN+ unique undercard, Adam ‘BluNose’ Lopez and Abraham Nova meet in a junior light-weight contest scheduled for ten rounds.

Lopez (16-3, 6KOs) weighed a career-high 129 poundsfor his first combat within the 130-pound division since a controversial seventh-round stoppage loss to Oscar Valdez in November 2019. The 26-year-old from Glendale, California has campaigned at featherweight all through his hard-luck profession save for the last-minute alternative to face Valdez.

Nova (21-1, 15KOs)—born in Puerto Rico to Dominican dad and mom however who lives in Albany, New York—was additionally 129 kilos. The bout is his first combat since a fifth-round knockout loss to Robeisy Ramirez final June 18 at Madison Sq. Backyard’s Hulu Theater in New York Metropolis.

Under are the weights for the remainder of the undercard, which airs on ESPN+ starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Haven Brady Jr. (8-0, 4KOs), Albany, Georgia, 133 kilos* vs. Ruben Cervera (13-3, 11KOs), Santa Marta, Colombia, 130 ¼ kilos—8 rounds, junior light-weight

* Brady was two kilos over the contracted 131-pound restrict

Bryce Mills (10-1, 4KOs), Syracuse, New York, 143 kilos vs. Margarito Hernandez (3-3-1, 0KOs), Wapato, Washington, 144 ¼ kilos—6 rounds, junior welterweight

Floyd Diaz (8-0, 3KOs), Las Vegas, Nevada, 122 kilos vs. Edwin Rodriguez (11-6-2, 5KOs), Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, 121 ½ kilos—8 rounds, junior featherweight

Brian Norman Jr. (22-0, 19KOs), Conyers, Georgia, 149 kilos vs. Rodrigo Damian Coria (10-4, 2KOs), Cordoba, Argentina, 148 ¼ kilos—8 rounds, welterweight

Bruce Carrington (5-0, 3KOs), Brooklyn, New York, 128 kilos vs. Juan Antonio Lopez (17-12-1, 7KOs), Dallas, Texas, 127 ½ kilos—6 rounds, featherweight

Dante Benjamin Jr. (4-0, 2KOs), Cleveland, Ohio, 174 kilos vs. Emmanuel Austin (6-0, 6KOs), New Orleans, Louisiana, 175 kilos—6 rounds, gentle heavyweight

Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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