Bektemir Melikuziev Bests Pierre Dibombe In Grinding, Bloody Affair

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Posted on 04/20/2024

By: Sean Crose

Supermiddleweights Bektemir Melikuziev and Pierre Dibombe engaged in a scheduled 12 rounder Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The 22-0-1 Dibombe fought the 13-1 Melikuziev patiently at first, choosing to remain on the outside for most of the opening round. Dibombe, however, had what appeared to be a serious cut at round’s end. And indeed it was a serious cut, just over the left eye. With that being said, the fighters continued to throw and move with patience in the second. The doctor checked Dibombe’s eye before the end of the round, though he allowed the fight to continue.

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Although he was cut, Dibombe proved to be a game opponent for Melikuziev, employing hit and run tactics and counter-punching in a way Melikuziev may have found surprising. Melikuziev became more active in the fourth. Dibombe’s cut came from a headbutt rather than a punch, but if the fight was stopped early it would still go to the judge’s cards. That meant Dibombe had to fight the blood from the cut as well as his opponent. Without the cut, it may have been a completely different fight.

A quick shot sent Dibombe to the mat briefly in the fifth. Yet Melikuziev now had a bad cut himself. Both fighters may have been fighting the clock at this point in the match. To make things even odder, Melikuziev pushed Dibombe to the mat twice within the round. And, to add to all that, the fight came close to being stopped before the round ended, as a now weakened Dibombe was suffering the impact of Melikuziev’s heavy blows. A slip sent Dibombe to his knee in the sixth. Once again, the man got to his feet. He even landed well. Melikuziev, though, had now taken control of the fight.

By the seventh, Melikuziev really began piling the punches on. To his credit, though Dibombe fired back. The man was nothing if not impressively courageous and game to fight. The doctor stopped the bout in the eighth after checking Melikuziev’s cut. The fight subsequently went to the cards. Needless to say, the judges ended up ruling in favor of Melikuziev.

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