From tweets posted by Steve Kim (@StevESPNKim) yesterday we may be set to see two very highly regarded Uzbek hopefuls in action in July on DAZN as both men look to continue their perfect starts and move towards big bouts by the end of the year.
The first of those would be Bektemir Melikuziev (1-0, 1) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] who recently took out Argentinian veteran Martin Fidel Rios (23-20-4, 13) inside a round with a debilitating body shot. He is looking like he could be in action on July 18th, as per Kim's tweet, on the a Golden Boy card. At the moment little has been confirmed for this show, which will take place at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, though Melikuziev would be a brilliant addition.
The 23 year old "Bek Bully" was a true amateur star taking medals at the Olympics, World Amateur Championships, Asian Championships, Uzbek national Championships and the youth versions of the Olympics, World and Asian Championships. Given how promoter World of Boxing are pushing their Uzbek fighters we would expect a notable opponent if he is indeed on this July card.
The second fighter being spoken about for a July date is Light Middleweight Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3) [Исроил Мадримов], who could be in action just 9 days later on July 27th. The talented Madrimov is already in the world rankings, and has been on the fast track since his debut, which came in a 10 round bout. The talk circulating around Madrimov is that he could be in a huge bout by the end of the year, and this July bout could be one final gate keeper type contest for the incredibly talented, exciting and confident 24 year old.
The July date would see Madrimov added to a card headlined by a Light Welterweight unification bout between Jose Carlos Ramirez and Maurice Hooker in Arlington, Texas. It should be noted however that there's a chance that Madrimov's may slip to August to fill up a different undercard a week or two later.
Last night in Hollywood we saw the professional debut of former Uzbek amateur standout Bektemir Melikuziev (1-0, 1) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев], though unfortunately it was little more than a cameo for the talented Uzbek.
The debutant was up Argentinian veteran Martin Fidel Rios (23-20-4, 13), and Rios really never looked comfortable with Melikuziev's pressure, with the Uzbek applying very intelligent pressure from the off.
The Uzbek southpaw managed to catch Rios when the Argentinian was trying to close the gap, with an excellent left hand to the body. It seemed the perfect shot, and although Rios was trying to land his own shot at the time he just dropped to the canvas in agony, forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
Although Rios has now lost 9 of his last 10, no one would have expected a 99 second win for the Uzbek, who left a real impression here.
Given how short the bout was, and how little Melikuziev was caught, we're really hoping we'll see him out again sooner rather than later, and there is a very real chance we'll see him in with another "name" opponent, like Rios was.
Yes, Rios has lost his ambition, but that would hardly matter given the shot Melikuziev landed, and hopefully we'll see a lot more of his quality before the end of 2019.
Later today, as part of a Golden Boy Promotions card, we'll see former Uzbek amateur standout Bektemir Melikuziev (0-0) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] make his professional debut, as he faces off with Argentinian veteran Martin Fidel Rios (23-19-4, 13) at the Avalon in Hollywood.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in and they were significantly different in terms of their weight on the scales, with the Uzbek having a big weight advantage.
On the scales Melikuziev was 173lbs, looked in good shape and looked really ready to make his debut. It seems clear he could cut a few extra pounds, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him competing at Super Middleweight down the line, though it seems there was no point in boiling down too much to begin his career. Rios on the other hand was 166.75lbs for the bout, only slightly heavier than he was when he was taken out in a round by Dominic wade back in February. Although once regarded as a tough and rugged journeyman he has gone 1-8 in his last 9 and suffered 4 stoppage defeats, with another expected to come tonight.
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
Over the last few years we've seen a steady string of top Uzbek amateur fighters turn professional, such as Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Israil Madrimov, Bakhodir Jalolov, Shakhram Giyasov, Abdurasul Ismoilov, and Fazliddin Gaibnazarov. Between them they've had some mixed performances, but have shown some real promise and Akhmadaliev looks set to have a world title fight later this year whilst Madrimov is arguably the fastest rising prospect in the sport today.
It's now been revealed that Bektemir Melikuziev (0-0) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] is going to be the next top Uzbek to make his professional debut.
Melikuziev will kick off his professional career on June 13th in at The Avalon in Hollywood, and will see him take on awkward Argentinian veteran Martin Fidel Rios (23-19-4, 13), in a tough looking 6 round bout.
On paper Rios doesn't look anything special, but he is awkward and a master of the dark arts, who knows how to make things incredibly hard for his opponents, as his foul fest with Jamie Cox showed a few years ago. Despite being awkward he has gone 1-8 in his last 9, and it does seem like he's losing his desire to really be a test.
Although not an Olympic champion Melikuziev was an elite level amateur. He's a 2-time Asian Champion, 2015 and 2017, an Olympic Silver medal winner, 2016, a 2-time World Championship medal winner, picking up a silver in 2015 and a bronze in 2017, and a Youth Olympic champion. Given that amateur background he is expected to bee rushed through the professional ranks in a fashion similar to that of Madrimov.
Earlier this week Olamsport revealed that former Uzbek amateur star Bektemir Melikuziev (0-0) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] had signalled that he intends to begin his professional career, and that he would be doing so in the US.
The 22, soon to be 23, year old Melikuziev was a genuine amateur star. He claimed a gold at the 2014 Youth Olympics, a silver medal at the 2o15 World Amateur Championships, and a bronze 2 years later at the same competition, a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and gold medals at the 2015 and 2017 Asian Championships.
At the moment he hasn't decided on a promoter, though it does seem likely he will sign with World of Boxing, joining several other standout Uzbek fighters.
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
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