PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                     December 09, 2010


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"King" Gabriel Rosado made his return to the ring a successful one by scoring an 8-round unanimous decision over Jose Medina at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. After a slow start, Rosado corked Medina with a lightning bolt right hand near the end of round three. The shot dipped Medina to the canvas briefly, but the knockdown was the turning point of the fight. In the 4th, Rosado jumped on his foe and had him wobbly. However, Medina stayed up and Rosado let off the gas, allowing him to survive. But Gaby never looked back and cruised through the remainder of the fight to up his record to 15-5.

Rosado continues to progress as a fighter. His win in Newark was a solid performance and an honest night's work. He was superior to Medina, but had a real opponent before him and had to work for his victory. Medina knew what he was doing and proved to be a tough customer.

Medina won the first two rounds on my card, as Gaby shook off the rust of his five month layoff. For much of the third round, they fought evenly, but then Rosado's big punch found a home. It thudded high on the side of Medina's head - above the ear, near the temple. The force of the blow dropped Medina, but he popped right back up. The action continued, but the round was near its end and Rosado didn't have the time to go for the finish.

In the corner, Medina seemed fine. He shrugged his shoulders and with a nod admitted that he didn't see the punch coming. Lesson learned.

Round four began and Rosado jumped right on his wounded prey. He fired the big right again and it landed. Left hooks and more rights followed. Medina was hurt and stumbling from the barrage. It looked like the KO was coming, but then Rosado stopped. He sat back and watched.

After Mike Jones punched himself out during a second round attack back in November, Philly fighters seem to have adopted the high profile error as the inspiration for a new golden rule. "Don't pull a Mike Jones", or some variation of this new battle cry, is a phrase I've heard repeatedly ever since MJ squeaked out a 10-round victory on the Pacquiao-Margarito under card last month. But what these guys have to remember is that Mike Jones was fighting before the biggest audience of his career, and was poised for a possible title shot if he delivered an impressive enough win to validate all the hype that has built up around him. When he hurt Jesus Soto-Karass in the second round, he saw his opportunity and he tried to seize it. He attacked Karass with everything he had and showed that he had the fighting spirit some had questioned. Certainly he went too far. He made a mistake and his reputation is paying for it right now. But Jones took a risk and tried to end the fight. If he had succeeded, he would have been a hero. But because he showed a weakness, everyone is giving him a hard time. While watching Jones against Karass, I was sucking in my breath and wincing as much as the next guy. But I like a fighter who goes all out. And Mike Jones went all out that night. Hopefully he learned his lesson and will be a better fighter for it.

I'm not sure if Gabriel Rosado had Mike Jones on his mind in round four against Jose Medina. But with a good two minutes remaining in the round and with Medina reeling from a face full of hard punches, Rosado let up on his prone opponent and allowed the opportunity for a KO to pass. Rosado reserved his energy, but he spent his chance to look really impressive. Gaby easily won the decision on the judges cards (79-72, 78-73 and 80-72). I too had it 78-73.

The truth is Gaby needed the work; so maybe a full-route eight-rounder did him more good than a mid-fight knockout. And to be fair, Medina is a pro who knows how to survive. But one can only wonder how good Rosado could be if he fully committed himself in the ring. That is not to say that Gaby doesn't try. He does. He has the instincts of a real fighter and the heart and spirit of a warrior. But in his fights, he often arrives at a moment that calls for him to step forward and turn up the heat. Too often at that moment, Rosado transforms from a dangerous pressure fighter to a passive over-thinker. Sometimes it's cost him a fight; sometimes it's cost him a knockout, and sometimes it has just made his night more difficult than it should have been. This problem is really the last piece of the puzzle that Rosado is lacking. If he and trainer Billy Briscoe can fix it, he clearly can make it to the next level. 

If Rosado was a car, I'd suggest to head mechanic Billy Briscoe that he should check the transmission. Rosado can go in reverse. Neutral is working like a charm, but the gears are slipping when he tries to move forward. First gear seems okay, but everything above that needs work.

Rosado's best assets are his size, strength and punching power. He's a good counter puncher - the knockdown he scored against Medina was a clinic in how to do it right. But Rosado needs to create his own opportunities by applying pressure, moving forward, making his opponents uncomfortable and forcing them to throw punches. If he allows them to go into a defensive shell and stop punching, he's got nothing to counter. And so he waits. And this waiting has produced the lulls that have allowed his opponents back into the fight and in a way, let them control the action passively. I think this is what has slowed his progression.

After the fight, Rosado seemed well aware of the issue. Without my usual prodding, he raised the point himself, and had it figured out that his inability to close the distance cost him the KO. He gave much respect to Medina, but truly seemed disappointed about having to go the full eight rounds. He was determined to get back to the gym and work on the issue. And I believe him. Gaby has shown much progression in the past year or two and along with Briscoe has plugged tougher holes than this one. A later conversation with Briscoe made me feel even more confident that the last piece of the Rosado puzzle is soon to be put in place. If they can do it, Gaby might truly become a dangerous fighter - and maybe even a "King".

Tomasz Adamek TKO5 Vinny Maddalone (2:17)
Patrick Majewski TKO8 Eddie Caminero (1:20)
Sadam Ali W8 Manuel Guzman (unanimous)
Tarvis Simms W6 Willis Lockett (unanimous)
Angel Concepcion W4 Lekan Byfield (unanimous)
Bryant Jennings TKO2 Randy Smith (2:18)

(Note: Above photos are screen captures from the PPV broadcast of the fight).




John DiSanto - News & Notes - December 09, 2010