Super middleweight prospect Bektemir Melikuziev stayed unbeaten with an easy win over extremely short-notice opponent Oscar Cortes tonight in Anaheim, California.
Uzbekistan’s Melikuziev (5-0, 4 KO) is a fast-rising and ambitious prospect, training with Joel Diaz in California, a 23-year-old, hard-hitting southpaw who wants to fight for a world title by the end of the year.
Cortes (27-6, 14 KO) replaced Marco Antonio Periban in this fight as of yesterday, not even weighing in until today, and the fight was moved up to a 175-pound limit to accommodate him. It didn’t matter; Cortes is grossly overmatched at this level, period, as we saw last October when he was thrashed in two by Kamil Szeremeta at middleweight, and Szeremeta is a good fight but hardly known as a puncher. Cortes also turned pro at featherweight and in all reality is just cashing checks with fights like this.
Melikuziev said he hopes to reschedule with Periban, a 35-year-old who hasn’t won a fight since 2016.
“That wasn’t supposed to be my opponent. I did what I was supposed to do,” Melikuziev said. “Hopefully my next opponent will be the guy I was supposed to fight today, but we’ll see. I didn’t learn anything in the ring. I got my experience in training camp. It’s not the best thing to learn in a fight. I learned in camp. Here I got my experience with another ring walk and seeing another crowd.”
Alejandro Reyes UD-4 Nelson Colon
Reyes, 20, was originally slated to be the curtain jerker on this show, but got bumped to the DAZN broadcast because he sold some “hundreds” of tickets with local support in the Los Angeles area. He’s now 3-0 (2 KO) after a fun little four-round lightweight bout, which I thought could’ve been even (in fact, I scored it 38-38). Colon drops to 4-2 (3 KO).
Evan Sanchez KO-2 Daniel Evangelista
Sanchez, 21, is a six-foot tall, power punching welterweight. You can look at him and understand why Golden Boy think there might be something here. He’s very young and very much in the formative stages of his career, and Evangelista (20-12-2, 16 KO) is 29 and probably not actually as good as his record, as this is his fifth straight loss, all by stoppage, and the last three have all come within the first two rounds.
Sanchez (7-0, 6 KO) dropped Evangelista about two minutes into the first round, then finished him off with another knockdown about two minutes into the second. Evangelista got up again, but referee Jerry Cantu waved it off, understandably. Evangelista showed an ability to switch hit and generate power out of his right hook in the short outing.
Sanchez is fighting out of Parlier, California, a small city with a population of about 15,000, and says he wants to bring some fame to his hometown.
“That’s my goal, to put Parlier on the map,” he said. “A kid from a little town. I had a little bit of pressure coming in. In the first round, I was a little stiff, doing dumb things. But they told me what to do, relax, and that’s what I did in the second round. We’re gonna go back to the gym on Monday and try to fix the mistakes.”