Apochi Thrills In Stoppage Win, Moreno Outlasts Melendez Salgado

It was no secret what either came to do in the cruiserweight clash that saw Efetobor Apochi stop Lucas Pontes da Silva in the fifth round.

Apochi (12-2, 12 KOs) pushed Da Silva (7-1, 7 KOs) back in a first round that saw more power than most fights see. Both were loading up, but the temperament of Da Silva was to go backward and look for big counterpunches. By the end of the second round, the two seemed to be barely missing with hard, looping punches. 

But Da Silva slowly started to show signs of wear in the third round. Neither fighter displayed a great deal of defensive mastery, as it was a brute force from both with both getting rocked in the third. 

Despite their obvious power, neither were willing to back down. The answer for absorbing power shots was throwing more power shots. The only constant was Apochi moving forward and Da Silva looking to have flurries when Apochi threw shots. 

By the fifth round, Da Silva had blood coming from his nose and with seconds remaining, Apochi dropped Da Silva with a body shot. 

Da Silva began to get far too comfortable sitting on the ropes as Apochi continued to throw punches. It wasn’t just the power, it was the punch count of Apochi that saw the fight start to turn in his favor. 

Apochi landed a good body shot that saw Da Silva drop his hands to protect his body once more and then the bout was halted by the referee after 2.33 of the round. 

Da Silva didn’t complain. 

It was Apcohi’s first win in 22 months after shoulder surgery. 

After the fight, Brandon Glanton, who defeated Apochi in 2022 in a Fight of the Year thriller, got into a heated argument. Glanton was complimentary of Apochi's talent as a broadcaster for the fight, but afterward, he went into the ring and a push occurred. 

In a welterweight bout scheduled for eight rounds, Emiliano Moreno (9-0, 5 KOs) won a unanimous decision victory over Axl Melendez Salgado (7-1, 4 KOs).

After a tentative start, Melendez Salgado landed effectively while Moreno waited patiently. The second round saw more of the same as Melendez Salgado was able to throw punches while Moreno looked to land thudding body shots. 

The 18-year-old Moreno is heavy-handed and he landed a big body shot on the 29-year-old Melendez Salgado. Despite taking hefty shots, Melendez Salgado continued to press forward in an exciting fight. 

Neither fighter was willing to give an inch. When one got the upper hand, the other would bite down and throw. Moreno started to get pushed back in the fourth round, which saw Melendez Salgado fight similarly to another Puerto Rican fighter, Subriel Matias. Moreno continued to throw thunderous hooks to the body.

It appeared clear the winner would be not just the most skilled fighter, but the tougher boxer, too. 

The fight turned into a war in round five. Neither backed down and the 18-year-old stayed composed as he appeared to land the more meaningful shots. By the end of the fifth, Melendez Salgado was no longer able to smother and he clearly felt some of the shots he had taken. Yet he never stopped coming forward. 

In the final rounds, Moreno’s body language was the better of the two. Moreno finished the final round with more energy. 

The judges scored the bout 78-74, 77-75, and 77-75 for Moreno.

Earlier this week, Moreno had spoken to ProBox TV that he wanted to become a world champion at 19-years-old. The win tonight, along with three straight victories over undefeated fighters, might see his proclamation come true in 2025.

It is worth acknowledging that Melendez Salgado took the fight on short notice