On Perhaps the busiest fight card in the US, since the pandemic struck, that featured two major cards in the Lone Star State it was the co-main event on Saturday’s matinee card in El Paso, that captured the attention of boxing fans all over the world. A fan favorite, blood, and guts warrior “King” Gabriel Rosado, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, picked himself up off the canvas and scored a picture-perfect right hand to the side of Bektemir Melikuziev’s jaw that dropped him face-first into the canvas and Gave the Philly native, the 26th victory of his career, the 15th knockout, the front runner for knockout of the year, the vacant WBO International Super Middleweight Title as well as the WBA Continental Americas Super Middleweight Title and our Fighter of the Week award.
It was supposed to be a star-making performance at the Don Haskins Center, in El Paso, Texas. It was supposed to be a changing of the guard. A career-best performance from a young upstart that sends a blood and guts warrior into his retirement. In the opening rounds, it appeared to be going according to plan. Bek the Bully was living up to his nickname and slugging Rosado to his body and overwhelming him in the opening round and a series of body shots put the Philadelphian to his knee. However, Rosado got to his feet and survived the storm, and made it out of the first found. Melikuziev stayed on the aggressive in round two trying to swarm Rosado with power shots. Rosado was much more successful in the second round in avoiding the big shots from the youngster. However, offered up very little offense of his own. Being very conservative in his punch output he appeared to be looking for something. That something presented itself in the third round and after shooting a few quick right hands in the opening seconds of the third, measuring the distance and then as Melikuziev tried to back Rosado into the ropes and land something big a quick right hand came in from the King and put the Uzbek down face first in a Pacquiao-Marquez IV type fashion. Giving Rosaod a knockout of the year type KO and moving his record to 26-13-1 (15)
Rosado has secured himself yet another bug money mega-fight. The 35-year-old veteran’s career seems to have nine lives and whenever he is counted out and discredited, figures out a way to string together one impressive performance after another putting himself back into world championship discussions and keeping his name relevant at the elite level. He has been called out by undefeated middleweight and former junior middleweight champ Jaime Munguia. If that fight can’t be made, which it likely will be, fights with Callum Smith or John Ryder would be intriguing stylistic matchups. Rosado would also love a rematch with Daniel Jacobs, who he lost a very close and controversial decision to back in the fourth quarter of 2020. In a fight that many, if not most thought he won. It’s not often that a 35-year-old with 13 losses finds himself in the world title discussion, but that’s squarely where the King from Philly finds himself.