Sunday, May 28, 2023  |



Bektemir Melikuziev, Evan Sanchez, others notch victories on Garcia-Fonseca undercard

Bektemir Melikuziev
Fighters Network

ANAHEIM — Bektemir Melikuziev maintained his perfect record and his ranking with a two-knockdown blowout of Oscar Cortes. Streamed live on DAZN, the super middleweight contest was scheduled for ten rounds.

Melikuziev, otherwise known as “Bek the Bully”, didn’t waste any time in getting rid of an opponent on very short notice of this fight after Marco Antonio Periban fell hours before the weigh-in. Cortes (27-6, 14 KOs) seemed itching to go down after feeling the power of the prospect from Uzbekistan. A right hand off the jab put Cortes down first before a body shot put him back on the mat a final time. Referee Edward Hernandez Sr. waved off his count as Cortes was writhing in pain. Melekuziev (5-0, 4 KOs) did what he had to do under the underwhelming circumstances, but he gets through his fifth win unscathed, holds onto his WBA trinket, and maintains his No. 15 super middleweight ranking within the sanctioning body.

Alejandro “Pin Pon” Reyes received a unanimous decision (via two 40-36 tallies and 39-37) over Puerto Rico’s Nelson Colon after four rounds of lightweight action.

Reyes, a 20-year-old Mexican-American out of Los Angeles, California, was given a much tougher fight than the scorecards indicated. Colon (4-2, 3 KOs) smiled at the first right hand Reyes landed on his face — seemingly welcome to the type of fight given to him. Reyes enforced a basic style that was predicated on the power of his right hand, but it wasn’t ever close to hurting Colon. Nonetheless, what transpired was a fight in close quarters that provided good action and Reyes (3-0, 2 KOs) may’ve gotten the edge in all four close rounds based on his punch output.

Making is Golden Boy debut, Evan Sanchez scored two knockdowns en route to a second-round knockout victory over Daniel Evangelista. The welterweight contest was scheduled for six rounds.

Fighting out of Parlier, California, Sanchez put on a show for the small section of fans who came to see the 21-year-old’s biggest night so far. Sanchez constantly switched stances when trying to gauge what shot would work against his Mexican foe. A right hook from the southpaw stance floored Evangelista in the first round and that same punch would drop[ him again midway through the second. Evangelista (20-12-2, 16 KOs) got up well-enough in time to continue, but referee Jerry Cantu didn’t like his demeanor. Sanchez (7-0, 6 KOs) sported good size for a welterweight and certainly dug into seemingly every hook he threw to force the result he desired.

Opening the Golden Boy Promotions card, Tenochtiltan “T-Dog” Nava edged Anthony Casillas to earn a unanimous decision (three scores of 58-56) win after six rounds of featherweight action.

In a well-matched, physical affair taking place on the inside, Nava overcame a slow start to eventually set the tone and take control by fight’s end. Casillas (8-2, 4 KOs) used one-twos from the outside to keep Nava gun shy in the first round. A right hand caught Nava off-guard early on, but the 26-year-old stuck with his jab and started to turn things around stemming form a big left hook in the third round. That would be Nava’s best weapon the rest of the way, and it would corral Casillas into fighting in close quarters, which played into his favor. By the end, Casillas was a tired fighter unable to reestablish his early success and Nava (8-2, 1 KO) ended a two-fight losing streak.