Curtis Harper ducks out of his match against Efe Ajagba just after the opening bell. (FSI/Twitter)

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Boxer Ducks Out of Ring Directly After Opening Bell in Protest

Curtis Harper stuck around for the opening bell, but he certainly didn't answer it.

Instead of fight, boxer Curtis Harper chose flight just after the opening bell of his match against Efe Ajagba was rung on Saturday night in Minnesota.

Directly after the bell was sounded, Harper slipped out of the ring and departed via the same ramp and tunnel he had just used to walk in to face Ajagba moments earlier.

Harper, a journeyman fighter from Jacksonville with 13-6 record (9 KOs), told a ringside reporter that the reason he walked was he didn’t feel he was getting paid enough to fight Ajagba — and he wanted more respect.

Now, he likely won’t get paid at all and will almost certainly be suspended by Minnesota’s state boxing commission.

According to Ajagba’s promoter Richard Schaefer, Harper’s abrupt exit had nothing to do with money.

“There’s absolutely zero doubt that he saw Efe and probably [soiled] his pants,” Schaefer said of Harper. “Is he going to tell the reporter he was scared? No, he knew how much he was going to get paid. He had signed the contract. We had a fight, but then the guy … leaves. This was like the Fear Factor. ”

Ajagba (6-0, 5 KOs) was ruled the winner by way of disqualification at one second of the first round.

Read the full story at ESPN