LAS VEGAS – Esquiva Falcao made the most of his return to the United States.

The unbeaten middleweight continues his knockout ways, taking out former middleweight title challenger Artur Akavov after four one-sided rounds Saturday evening at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

No knockdowns were scored in the bout, though Falcao proved too much for Akavov whose corner decided their charge was done for the night in between rounds four and five.

Falcao boxed early, sticking his jab in Akavov’s face and controlling every aspect of the bout. Akavov looked for proper range to find a home for his right hook, though with minimal success.

Action picked up in round three, with Falcao turning up the pressure. A right hook by the unbeaten Brazilian drove Akavov to the ropes, with Falcao continuing to catch him clean upstairs.

Akavov seemed worse for the wear in round four, showing a willing heart but his offense sorely lacking. Falcao continued to fight with patience, jabbing his way inside and then connecting with right hooks and straight lefts. The pattern held true for the balance of the round, prompting a hard conversation in Akavov’s corner in between rounds.

It didn’t take long for Akavo’s team to decide that he was done for the night, as referee Michael Ortega was informed to halt the contest.

Falcao improves to 28-0 (20KOs) with the win, his first in the U.S. since the pandemic. It also marks the fifth straight knockout for the 2012 Olympic Silver medalist from Vitoria, Brazil, who is chomping at the bit to find his way into middle contention.

Akavov falls to 20-4 (9KOs), suffering his second loss within his last three fights. The 35-year old southpaw was stopped in the 12th round of his Jan. 2019 title bid versus WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade.

Falcao-Akavov served as part of a seven-fight card, topped by WBC junior lightweight titlist Miguel Berchelt versus former featherweight beltholder Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22KOs).   

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox