Last night in the US fans saw unbeaten Uzbek destroyer Bektemir Melikuziev (4-0, 3) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] took a clear step up, as he took on American Vaughn Alexander (15-4, 9).
The Uzbek had been blitzing solid fighters in his first two bouts but last night showed their was more to him than pure power.
Through the bout we saw how tough Alexander was, something that was never in doubt, but Melikuziev showed how good of a boxer he was. He was out landing Alexander at will, and made the American throw very little. Whilst Alexander did land with what he threw, there was so little of it that hardly mattered. The one guy who letting his hands go was the Uzbek, who was landing at will and showing an impressive variety of shots through the whole 10 rounds.
At the final bell their was no questioning the winner, with Melikuziev dominating every round. He dictated the tempo, the distance, the activity for every minute of every round.
This was a very different performance to the ones we had previously seen from "Bek Bully" who had been hyper destructive, but this was the type of performance that answered a lot of question. We now know that Melikuziev can fight at a good pace for 10 rounds, can box when his power isn't taking opponents out, and can rely on the basics of boxing.
Notably this win also sees Melikuziev claim his first professional title, the WBA Continental Americas Super Middleweight title, and on the back of his shape here it appears that he could drop further down the scales in the future.
(Photo: Tom Hogan / Golden Boy)
Last night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena there was a trio of Asian fighters in action, and they had rather mixed fortunes on the biggest show of the weekend.
The most impressive was Bektemir Melikuziev (3-0, 3) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев], who was actually extended into the 4th round by the unheralded Clay Collard (4-2-3, 1). The fast rising "Bek Bully" was up against someone wanting to fight back and show his toughness, but in the end Collard was broken down by body shots as Melikuziev continued to build his reputation as a body snatcher.
Talented Kazakh Middleweight Meiirim Nursultanov (13-0, 8) extended his unbeaten run and scored his fourth win of the year, as he out pointed tough Mexican Cristian Olivas (16-6, 13). The talented Nursultanov did what he needed to earn a shut out over 10 rounds, and does seem to be improving fight by fight, but this is his third decision win this year and we do wonder if he has the power for the next. Saying that however Olivas is tough, and has never been stopped so not getting him out, in isolation, it nothing to be ashamed by.
Sadly it was a terrible night for Filipino Romero Duno (21-2, 16) as he was stopped in just 98 seconds by unbeaten American Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16). Duno managed to land a decent right hand, but was then taken apart by Garcia's speed and combinations, and dropped after around 90 seconds. He then failed to beat the count, with his balance being totally gone. This was very much the speed of Garcia being too much for Duno, and in fairness to Garcia shows how much he has improved over the last year or so.
Earlier today Uzbek sports website Olamsport reported some details for Bektemir Melikuziev (2-0, 2) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] next bout, which is starting to come together and looks, on paper, to be a more significant match up than his previous 2, which were both very impressive.
According to the Uzbek site the unbeaten puncher will be fighting again on November 26th, in what will be first title bout, though his opponent is yet to be confirmed.
The bout will see the "Bek Bully" fight for a WBA Intercontinental title, though the specific weight for the bout is yet to confirmed, over 10 rounds.
Given that Melikuziev debuted with an opening round blow out against Martin Fidel Rios and then blew out Ricardo Adrian Luna Flores, also in the first round, there is no doubting his ambition or competition so far. So whilst there is no opponent confirmed for for the November date we can fairly assume it will not be a soft touch just to get Melikuziev his first professional title, and instead his opponent will likely be a top 50 type of guy, if not better.
Although Melikuziev has only fought 2 rounds as a professional so far he has already built a lot fanfare and attention, thanks to his power, body shots and aggressive style. Fighting for a title, even if it is only a minor title, this early in his career will only increase that growing fan attention and should secure him a world ranking in the very near future.
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
After making his debut in June, in a 99 second blow out win over Martin Fidel Rios, we were hoping to see Bektemir Melikuziev (2-0, 2) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] answering some serious questions yesterday when he faced Mexican Ricardo Adrian Luna Flores (22-7-1, 14). Sadly the only question the Uzbek answered was one we already knew, "can this guy hit hard?"
The Uzbek needed just 133 seconds to take out Flores, who was dropped twice in what was a brutally efficient performance from Melikuziev.
The Uzbek applied calculate pressure through out and dropped Flores with a body about 90 seconds into the fight before closing the show not long afterwards with another body shot, that left Flores in agony on the canvas. The one big take away from the performance is that his body punching is brutal.
This was another very impressive display from Melikuziev even more so when we consider Flores had seen the final bell against the likes of Ryota Murata and D'Mitrius Ballard. If we're looking for complaints though we do wonder whether or not Flores should have been competing at 175lbs and what his notice was for the fight.
Given back to back impressive wins against notable opposition it's hard to see Melikuziev's team holding him back, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him in with a top 30 type of guy in his next fight.
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