Sunday Punch: Gabriel Rosado pulls off shocking KO of ‘Bully Bek’

Gabriel Rosado knocks out Bektemir Melikuziev in El Paso, Texas. | Golden Boy Boxing

When the bully gets bullied…

On a busy Saturday in boxing, we got the rare combination of a KO of the Year contender and an Upset of the Year contender rolled into one, courtesy of the always tough Gabriel Rosado.

In the co-main event of Jaime Munguia vs. Kamil Szeremeta on DAZN, Rosado (26-13-1-1 NC, 15 KOs) took on Uzbek super middleweight prospect Bektemir Melikuziev (7-1, 6 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist and one of the crop of fighters from Eastern Europe and Central Asia looking to fast track their way into world title fights much like Vasiliy Lomachenko accomplished several years ago. For MMA fans, Melikuziev has a body shot KO win over UFC veteran and current PFL fighter Clay Collard.

‘Bully Bek’ was favored north of -1400 and his punishing body shots and general punching power figured to be a serious problem for the Philly fighter. It looked like we would see a beatdown after Rosado took a barrage of body blows and was knocked down in round one. Rosado may have 13 losses but he’s only been stopped four times (by Alfredo Angulo, Gennadiy Golovkin, Peter Quillin, and David Lemieux) and this would’ve been a major feather in Bully Bek’s cap.

…But Rosado had other ideas.

In round three, Melikuziev got far too careless trying to throw a big left hand and left himself open for the counter right. Rosado seized the opportunity and Bully Bek went face first on the canvas. Down and out and Rosado went from in trouble early to getting his hand raised triumphantly.

It’s one of the best boxing moments of 2021 and you can watch the video at the top of the page.

Not everyone can be Lomachenko. And Melikuziev’s terrible entry was duly punished by the toughest test of his career. Rosado was very unlucky not to have beaten Daniel Jacobs in his previous fight, and now he’s got a win that will elevate him to a bigger matchup. He called out Jaime Munguia (who won in the main event easily), and perhaps that’s who we see him face next.

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