Despite what the odds may say, Australian Heavyweight star Joe Goodall (10-1-1, 9 KOs) has very little reason to doubt his ability.
Entering his last contest against Stephen Shaw (18-2, 13 KOs) in July as a substantial underdog, the Queenslander proved that fights are won on canvas, not paper. His pounding left and rights not only forced a sixth round stoppage, but were also the cause of one of boxing’s biggest upsets this year.
Fast forward to this weekend, and Goodall is set to face another stern challenge in the form of the WBC’s seventh ranked contender, Efe Ajagba (18-1, 13 KOs).
Once again, his opponent will be the wide betting favourite, but good luck telling ‘Big Bad Joe’ that the result is a foregone conclusion.
“This is a big clash. Efe Ajagba’s a top fighter,” Goodall told the media.
“I believe I’m up there with the top fighters in the world.”
“It means everything to me.”
Aside from the fight changing power he carries, the 31 year old may also be spurred on by his familiarity with Ajagba.
The pair have not only sparred in the past, but have shared the ring as amateurs as well. On this occasion, Goodall took a unanimous decision to advance to the gold medal match of the 2014 Commonwealth games tournament.
Though not the be-all and end-all, he concedes that such knowledge may play a key factor in proceedings.
“I never really talk about sparring. Sparring is sparring, fighting is fighting for me,”Goodall said.
“We know each other well, we’ve been around the traps of the top level in the boxing world.
More Combat Sports News:
“There’s a few things that he might see that’ll work for him in this fight and there’s a few things I see working for me in this fight.
“It’s just up to me to execute.”
Conversely, Ajagba has other ideas in mind.
While he has carved out a solid start to his professional career, boasting 18 wins marred by a lone defeat, the Nigerian admits he is still plagued by the 2014 encounter.
As the pair gear up to headline Top Rank‘s show in Lake Tahoe, revenge is at the front of his mind.
“We’ve sparred each other a long time ago,” Ajagba told.
“I lost to him in the Commonwealth games in 2014. That’s the guy I lost to. This is a rematch to me.
“This fight means a lot to me.”
Efe Ajagba vs Joe Goodall goes down on November 5 and will air live from 10:30am (AEDT) on Fox Sports/Kayo, here (subscription required).