Nigerian cruiserweight boxing sensation Efetobor Apochi continued his rise in the category with a third round knockout victory over former undefeated prospect Deon Nicholson in a 12-round WBA title eliminator at the Shrine Explosion Centre in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The 33-year-old improved his record to 11 wins in as many professional fights with a 100 per cent knockout ratio.
He landed 93-of-198 total punches (47 per cent), including 53-of-90 power shots (59 per cent), according to Compubux.
Both fighters went into the bout undefeated, with Nicholson, who had won his previous 14 fights, ranked fifth in the WBA ratings, while Apochi sat in sixth position. But that did not matter as the ‘Nigerian Pitbull’ went to work on his opponent from the sound of the bell, scoring two major knockdowns before finally dismissing the American, producing a stoppage at 1:12 of round three.
“I knew I had him hurt after the opening round,” Apochi told Fox Sports after the fight. “I told my trainer, Ronnie Shields. He told me, ‘Finish him! Finish him!’
I just get better with every fight, right from when I started boxing from my first fight, I’ve seen the transformation and I know I can only get better.”
With the victory, the Delta State-born pugilist becomes the mandatory challenger to France’s Arsen Goulaimirian (26-0, 18KOs), who holds the WBA Super Cruiserweight title, and Belgium’s Ryad Merhy (29-1, 24KOs) who holds the WBA world version of the title.
Apochi stated that he is ready for the bouts.
“This is the elimination isn’t it? Where’s the title, that’s what we talking about, bring it on I want the strap.”
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