The bell rang, and Curtis Harper walked right out of the ring.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 25, 2018
Sometimes it’s best to expect the unexpected in boxing, but even this move has caught people off guard, saying they had never seen anything like this, and leaving people scratching their heads.
Heavyweight Curtis Harper was scheduled for a six-round bout with Efe Ajagba on the Aug. 24 Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But as the opening bell sounded, Harper left the ring, walking up the ramp and out of the arena to a chorus of boos.
The bout was officially scored as a disqualification win for Ajagba at 0:01 of the first round, improving his pro record to 7-0.
“He defined what the most feared man in boxing means — no punch necessary,” Ringstar Sports CEO Richard Schaefer, Ajagba’s promoter, told ESPN. “A look and the opponent runs, runs out of the ring.”
Per ESPN, Harper will likely not be paid for the bout and likely will face suspension. PBC ringside reporter Jordan Hardy said she spoke with Harper, who stated he’s “not getting paid enough to fight and that he wants respect.” Harper did reportedly sign a contract with the set purse, however.
— Jordan Hardy (@PBCJordanHardy) August 25, 2018
Schaefer, however, continued to state Harper was driven out of the ring because Ajagba can deliver pure fear to opponents without needing a punch.
“This was legendary,” Schaefer said. “We waited a long time to have another heavyweight who instills fear in his opponents by just being in the ring and looking at them. The last time a fighter instilled that kind of fear in an opponent was Mike Tyson. The heavyweight division has a new star, and his name is Efe.
No doubt that he is the biggest puncher in the sport. He won the knockout award at the Rio Olympics for the most spectacular knockout. He is must-see TV, and all of us are excited to follow his journey in the heavyweight division, which undoubtedly will lead him to the heavyweight championship of the world.
Original Story: ESPN