Just moments ago in El Paso Texas we got an Upset of the Year and KO of the Year contender as Uzbekistani fighter Bektemir Melikuziev (7-1, 6) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] was taken out by former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado (26-13-1, 15) in sensational fashion!
The fight started incredibly tamely with Melikuziev applying intelligent pressure, but neither man landing anything of real note for around 100 seconds. The first real shot of note was a left from Melikuziev and soon afterwards he hurt Rosado with a body shot, which hurt the veteran. Rosado began to back off and Melikuziev could smell blood, chasing his man and then sending him down with burst of shots to the mid section. Rosado beat the count, getting up at 9 before the bell ended the round.
In rounds 2 and 3 it seemed that Melikuziev was building on his good opening round, pressing and smashing Rosado to the body. It seemed that the "Bully" was going to break down Roasdo, who looked in agony at times in round 3 whilst Melikuziev was getting more and more confident. Sadly for the Uzbekistani fighter that confidence became over-confidence and as he pressed forward he left an opening, which Rosado took with a perfectly timed over-hand right. The shot landed perfectly, and sent Melikuziev down face first with one of the most eye catching and brutal KO's of the year so far.
Tomorrow at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, we'll see a Golden Boy Promotions featuring the heavy handed Bektemir Melikuziev (7-0, 6) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] taking on former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado (25-13-1, 14) in a bout for the WBO International and WBA Continental Americas Super Middleweight titles.
Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men scaled the Super Middleweight limit of 168lbs dead on.
For Melikuziev the weight is one of the lightest of his career, with the Uzbekistani fighter usually fighting above the Super Middleweight limit, and it's only the third time he has weighed 168lbs or less. As for Rosado the weight is among his heaviest with the veteran having made his name at Light Middleweight and Middleweight, though his last two bouts have been around the Super Middleweight limit.
Despite being the naturally lighter man it is worth noting the Rosado is the taller, longer man and could end up being the heavier man in the ring tomorrow. Regardless he will certainly be the under-dog against the heavy handed "Bek Bully"
Tomorrow on a show promoted by Golden Boy Promotions we'll see fast rising Uzbekistani prospect Bektemir Melikuziev (7-0, 6) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] take on former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado (25-13-1, 14) in a major step up in class for the "Bek Bully".
Despite Melikuziev stepping up here he's regarded as an almost unbackable favourite. In fact he is 1/18 to win and maintain his unbeaten record whilst the much more proven and experienced Rosado is a huge 10/1 to win. The draw, for those who like to back the unexpected, is widely available at 25/1.
As for the method of victory market also strongly favours one outcome, with a Melikuziev expected to win inside the distance, with odds of 2/7 for the "Bully" to notch his 7th stoppage. The unbeaten man is 4/1 to win a decision for those thinking Rosado will use his experience to survive. Rosado is currently priced 20/1 for either a stoppage or a decision win.
Given Melikuziev is strongly backed to win inside the distance it should be little surprise that the bout isn't expected to go the distance. In fact it's 2/9 to finish earlier and 7/2 to completethe schedule.
Earlier today UZreport reported that fast rising Uzbek fighter Bektemir Melikuziev (7-0, 6) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев] had now recieved a 4 year ban from AIBA for a doping violation, which means he'll be banned from all AIBA related competition until February 2024. He will also have all his medals and results from 2020 wiped out.
The fighter had originally tested positive Furosemide in 2018, with a second issue arising in 2019.
Olamsports spoke to Tulkin Kilichev, the coach of the Uzbek amateur team, about the situation who explained that Melikuziev hadn't actually tested positive a second time. Instead he bad failed to meet the obligations that expected of him. The coach explained that Melikuziev was unavailable on 3 occassions for a WADA drug test, including being at an airport during one of the tests when he was on route to an amateur tournament.
Olamsport also report that it's unlikely to affect Melikuziev's career, as this is an AIBA anti-doping violation, and that fighters are tested before professional bouts. As a result it's expected that his scheduled bout with former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado (25-13-1, 14) on June 19th will go ahead without any issues.
Similar Sports.uz have also spoke about the ban, and explained that it's been misinterpreted as a second positivie test. In actuality he failed to have a control test, or a random test rather than another failed test, and that this ban won't extend into his professional career, where he has been tested with every fight and passed clean with every fight.
For those curious about furosemide, it's a drug used as diuretic, and is often given to people with heart failure, liver disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure. Melikuziev reportedly took the drug during an abscence from the ring with an injury. The drug may be familiar with baseball fans as it laned Robinson Cano an 80 game suspension in 2018. It can be used as a masking agent. In boxing the chemical was found in Guillermo Jones' sample, following his bout with Denis Lebedev and forced the cancellation of their rematch, and was also found in a sample given by Heather Hardy in 2019, which resulted in Hardy having a 6 month ban.
The UZreport article, stating the ban can be read here, whilst the Olamsport article stating that it was essentially 3 missed tests, can be read here (note neither article is in English)
Earlier today Golden Boy Promotions announced the ring return of fast rising Uzbek prospect Bektemir Melikuziev (7-0, 6) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев], who we now know will be in action on June 19th. Not only that be we also know that he will be up against former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado (25-13-1, 14) on the undercard of Jaime Munguia's bout with Maciej Sulecki, which will take place at the Don Haskins Center, in El Paso, Texas.
For the 25 year old Melikuziev the bout will be his first since beating Morgan Fitch back in February, in a hastily put together bout after Sergey Kovalev failed a drug test. On paper this is, by far, the toughest match up of his career but also a great chance to the "Bully" to prove he's as legitimate as one of the top prospects in world boxing today. In fact a win over Rosado would help establish Melikuziev as more of a contender than a prospect, and be the perfect step up as he begins the pursuit of a world title.
Although Rosado has suffered 13 losses during his career the exciting American is a fan friendly fighter who always comes to win, even when he's a huge under-dog. Not only that but he is also a multi-time world title challenger, who has challenged Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin in world title bouts, and has faced the likes of Alfredo Angulo, Jermell Charlo, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr, Martin Murray, Maciej Sulecki and Daniel Jacobs, in his long career. Notably he was last seen losing a very close decision to Daniel Jacobs back in November, in a bout that saw Rosado come close to scoring the biggest win of his career.
Whilst Rosado is no world beater he is a legitimate opponent, in fact he's essentially a gate keeper, and a win over him still means a lot. Saying that however a stoppage over him means a significant amount more and we suspect that Melikuziev will be looking to stop him, rather than just claim a win. If he can do that it would be a huge statement but the unbeaten man from Uzbekistan has always been one who has fought like he has a point to prove, and we genuinely think that he will indeed be looking to become the 5th man to stop the now 35 year old Rosado.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!