Melikuziev vs Dibombe Predictions: ‘Bek The Bully’ will march on

 | 19th April | 

3 mins read

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Olympic silver medalist Bektemir Melikuziev continues his professional journey on Saturday, April 20, as he takes on unbeaten Pierre Dibombe. This super middleweight battle will take place on the undercard of Devin Haney vs Ryan Garcia at the Barclays Center in New York. DAZN is the place to be to watch this one go down. Here are my Melikuziev vs Dibombe predictions ahead of an enticing 168-pound bout.

Melikuziev vs Dibombe Tips

  • Melikuziev by knockout @ 1/4
  • Melikuziev in round eight @ 10/1

Melikuziev came into the pro game with the weight of amateur pedigree on his shoulders. Much was expected from the Uzbek and with good reason. ‘Bek The Bully’ had claimed silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games along with a silver and bronze at the World Amatuer Championships. In short, this guy was coming to the paid ranks on a mission.

It was a mission he took to well at first. Melikuziev racked up several impressive wins, including victories over UFC fighter-turned-boxer Clay Collard and able gatekeeper Vaughn Alexander. But the Olympian took on too much too soon when he met former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado.

Rosado knocked out our subject in three rounds. Melikuziev was taking on the sort of challenge few fighters would in just their seventh pro fight. It turned out to be a fool’s errand as he was caught cold by a scorching counter-right as he was backing Rosado up. The incident won The Ring’s Knockout of the Year award for 2021. The added notoriety of suffering such a high-profile stoppage loss did little for Melikuziev’s standing.

Melikuziev has rebuilt at a sensible pace, winning six fights since. One of those arrived last summer against Rosado. While he could not wreak total revenge with a highlight-reel knockout of his own, Melikuziev exorcised his demons with a points win.

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The title train is now firmly back on the track. The Uzbekistan-born stylist is world-ranked with the WBC, WBA and WBO. Now he has the chance to vanquish an unbeaten fighter in a bid to improve that standing further.

Dibombe is an interesting case. Not ranked by any of the world bodies, Boxrec’s independent analysis makes him out to be the 33rd-best super middleweight in the world. He is clearly a talent, having won the European title in his homeland of France before having his last two fights in Canada and the United States respectively. One must also applaud him for taking on such a tough challenge for his third fight away from home.

Dibombe has 12 knockouts in 22 wins, with none of those stoppages arriving in scheduled 10 or 12 round fights. This speaks to a fighter who can finish early when fighting softer opponents in keep-busy six or eight-rounders. But when he has faced better opposition at European or ranking belt level, he has tended to go the full distance.

That doesn’t discount the idea of a Rosado-esque Hail Mary punch of course. But then the same could be said of any fighter in any fight. What Rosado engineered to see off Melikuziev was the sort of knockout that manifests once or twice in a career if you’re lucky. While we know Melikuziev can be stopped in spectacular fashion, I see nothing across the fullness of his career to suggest Dibombe is pulling off such a result.

I feel Melikuziev will do his job here. This is a fight designed to make him look good on a glitzy undercard and I think it will do exactly that. Dibombe has never mixed at this level before and Melikuziev is not the man you’d ideally choose to face in these circumstances. I’m taking Melikuziev by knockout in round eight at 10/1. 

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

 

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