As many of us expected, short-notice opponent Sebastian Lujan of Argentina was too much for Top Rank prospect Mark Melligen in tonight's Friday Night Fights main event, scoring a ninth round knockout of the Filipino and impressing the audience with fearlessness and relentless pressure.
Lujan (38-5-2, 24 KO) started slow and looked very much like a fighter coming in on about a week's notice, as he was tapped late to replace the injured Freddy Hernandez in the role of step-up opponent for Melligen (21-3, 14 KO). But once he found his bearings, Lujan's pressure and toughness paid off, and he chopped Melligen down in dominant fashion, knocking the younger man down four times in total.
The fight wasn't exactly a defensive boxing fan's dream, as Lujan refused to fight defensively and Melligen simply failed to. But it was action-packed, including the early rounds where it looked as though Melligen might have a shot at eventually stopping Lujan. Stamina became a major issue for Melligen, who by the final knockdown had absolutely nothing left in his legs, while it seemed as though Lujan simply got stronger after struggling early.
In the co-feature, Mickey Bey Jr improved to 17-0-1 (9 KO) with an easy fourth round stoppage win over Alejandro Rodriguez (12-4, 6 KO).