It wasn’t just the shock that 🇺🇸Gabe Rosado (26-13-1, 15KO) was able to overcome the 10-to-1 betting odds that was placed against him. It was also in him mustering up the type of punching power to create the dynamite effect that he was able to inflict. Uzbek standout 🇺🇿Bektemir Melikuziev (7-1-0, 6KO) is the goods, we won’t lose sight of that, or look to bring his stock down – instead, we will just bring full clarity to what transpired. Rosado took full advantage of the one major weakness that Melikuziev has, and scored perhaps the 2021 Knockout of the Year up to this point, and got the signature victory that has eluded him in his 15 years as a pro.
Most of the first round didn’t produce much of anything, as both stayed outside, looking to see the hand that the other was looking to play. Bek however changed that tune towards the backend of the round, as the southpaw began to slingshot the left hand 🖈(more on that in a minute). The power behind it was evident, and with seconds in the round, Melikuziev had Rosado pinned on the ropes, and unleashed a powerful combination that forced Gabe to take a knee for the 8-count.
At this point of the fight, I harkened back to the 🇺🇸Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs fight in Rosado’s previous encounter, where he fought Jacobs close to a draw, even forging the belief in some that he should have gotten the nod in that contest. We being that up because at this point, it was pretty astonishing that Bek the Bully was able to put this version of Rosado into that compromising situation so early in the contest, as a comparable construct. With all of that being said, what’s the one component that makes Gabe who he is it’s his heart.
He made it back to the corner, and he didn’t appear to look mentally overwhelmed, though he felt the impact of the inherent power that Melikuziev possesses. The second round came about, and Bek was doing a very good job in sneaking the powerful right hook under the left elbow. Bek would dart in and out, laying the boom, and getting out of harms way. By this point, you could see that Gabriel was trying to absorb the punishment and pick off some with his forearms, and elbows to time him coming in.
Earlier in his career, Gabe wasn’t a very good counterpuncher, but over the years, he has come a very long way in that regard…and DAMN, there hasn’t been a better example of that progress than what was about to transpire. Bek the Bully started to get more comfortable, upping his outing, and physically moving Rosado with the impact of his punches.
Now, going back to the point I was holding for a later time in the post…as good as Melikuziev is offensively, his punch delivery system is too wide, which makes him susceptible to something landing up the middle if you time it right. He also holds his elbows outward, and keeps them by his chest. His best defense truthfully is his superior footwork to get him out of harms way in the firing range.
Now as he was pressing the action, there was a 5-second gap before the inevitable end where he horribly telegraphed his desirer to spring forth to do damage, and Rosado saw it from a mile away. As Bek in the third round darted in with a wide, looping left hand, Gabriel took the opportunity, timed him, and BANG!, landed the picture perfect right hand that put Bektemir’s lights out, as he slumped face first to the mat.
The fight was immediately waived off by the Referee, and Rosado had just pulled off the massive upset, and put himself in the running for 2021 Knockout of the year, in getting his pinnacle victory, what a moment for the Philly fighter.
The shock in the room was palpable, as they seen Bek’s lights turned out on the way down. Fellow Philadelphia legend, compatriot, and friend 🇺🇸Bernard Hopkins you could see celebrating in pure jubilation, as Rosado just broke the cap off of his career that prevented him from getting over the hump to get the signature moment that he always worked towards getting, but eluded him.
Through thick and thin, Rosado is an old school fighter, who never let losses, and near verdicts that went in the other direction get to him, instead he used every outing he was in to take lessons learned, and has shown improvement every time its his turn to take to the ring.
Rosado throughout his career was relegated as a contender, stepping stone, and a gate keeper, so to see him get this moment is a testament to his hard work. Gabe’s Head-Trainer, the legendary Freddie Roach deserves praise as well, helping to fine-tune his boxing skills to match the warrior spirit that is embedded into Gabe’s DNA. A hats off to a well deserved victory, to a well deserving honest fighter.