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Two-time Olympian Alberto Melian Looks to Impress on Golden Boy’s Thursday Night Fights

Alberto Melian (right) vs. Khedafi Djelkhir. Photo credit: Eric Baledent/AIBA Pro Boxing
16
Jul

Alberto Melian, who represented his native Argentina at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics will look to steal the show Thursday night when he takes on Leonardo Baez at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, in Indio, California. It will be the co-feature to this month’s Golden Boy/DAZN Thursday Night Fights headlined by the Jason Quigley-Tureano Johnson middleweight bout.

The event will be streamed live on RingTV.com and on Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. The series will also be available on regional sports networks around the nation. To see when and where the series is available in your area, click here.

Melian, nicknamed the “Argentinean Lomachenko” for his standout amateur career and quick ascent up the professional ranks, realizes he has a target on his back every time he enters the ring.

“I don’t mind the comparison to Lomachenko because I am flattered by it,” Melian told RingTV.com through an interpreter. “It means a lot to me to be spoken in the same breath as Lomachenko, but I am not there yet.

“He’s a world champion and one of the best boxers in the world. I am still trying to get the big world title fights and to prove myself against the best.”

Melian (5-0, 3 knockouts) is being moved along in a quick fashion as evidenced by the level of opposition the 29-year-old has faced thus far, including his knock out pro debut victory over Diego Santillan, who entered the fight 23-2.

This past April, Melian was pushed by his most recent opponent, Isaac Zarate, who floored Melian in the seventh and 10th rounds. Melian was able to fight back to gain a decision victory.

“I just got overly anxious,” Melian admits. “I thought he was hurt and of course I wanted to finish him, but he caught me with a good shot. It’s okay. It’s a learning experience and I still did I what I needed to do to win.”

Melian believes the transition from amateur to pro became smoother when he changed his mental and physical preparation.

“For me, it was realizing a fight now can last 10 or 12 rounds,” Melian points out. “It’s a different world then you are trying to win an amateur fight on points. I believe I adapted well and my coach helped me understand this concept.

Melian knows he’s in against the upset-minded Baez (15-2, 9 KOs), someone capable of standing in Melian’s way of a future title opportunity.

“We watched Baez and know he is a strong fighter,” Melian explains. “We have to be careful with him, but I also know the camp we had here in Santa Monica, and physically this is the best I have felt going into a fight. I want to win convincingly and earn a world title shot this year.”

Melian’s signature amateur victories included 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Robeisy Ramirez from Cuba and French Olympian Khedafi Djelkhir, who won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008.

 

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