When it comes to the fighter who scored the KO of the Year in 2021 – the distinction had to go to veteran ring warrior Gabriel Rosado in the opinion of many; with the folks at Ring Magazine no less giving warrior Rosado the trophy. Fighting unbeaten Uzbek prospect, former amateur standout Bektemir Melikuziev in El Paso, 35 year old Rosado was very much in the role of underdog; he was a name that would look nice on the 25 year old’s pro record.
After all, Rosado, 25-13-1(15) coming in, had lost two of his previous three and he was, in the opinion of plenty of fans, a faded force. Not so. Rosado did get knocked down in the opening round of last night’s super-middleweight fight, this by a Melikuziev body shot. But Rosado is as tough as he is full of heart, and in round three it happened.
With the younger, faster and stronger man coming forwards, Rosado threw a perfect right hand bomb that landed flush on the southpaw’s jaw, Melikuziev going down hard on his face. It was one of those punches that, the split-second it detonated, fans, and commentators, let out a big, ‘Oh!’ The stricken Melikuziev tried his best to get up but he was out of it. One expert said on air how the KO reminded him of the stunning KO Juan Manuel Marquez scored in his final battle with Manny Pacquiao.
It was that special. It was the KO of the Year (for many people).
Rosado has since fought and lost to Jaime Munguia (this fight itself one of 2021’s highlights) but he may score more KO’s here in 2022. Rosado can never be counted out.