|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY February 26, 2011||
ROSADO STOPS DAVIS
Gabriel Rosado captured the Interim NABA Junior Middleweight title Saturday night with a 12th round stoppage of Jamaal Davis in the Grand Ballroom of Bally's Atlantic City. The fight was a well-matched battle with both boxers testing the other all night long. The smaller Davis utilized excellent movement, sneaky bombs and surprising strength as his key weapons, while Rosado relied on his heavy right hand and some good body work. But control of the bout shifted back and forth and the score pulled even twice - in rounds four and eight.
Davis jumped out to an early lead. He was quicker and busier than Rosado over the first two sessions. While Rosado was hesitating and just missing his punches, Davis was circling and scoring with quick labs and flashy right hands.
In round three Rosado's right started to hit the mark, forcing Davis to be more cautious in his attack. The change in tempo allowed Rosado to take both round three and four and even the score on my card.
In the fifth, Davis was back on track and winning the round before Rosado rallied. Again Gabriel's punches were harder and seemed to get Davis' attention. Rosado stepped up his work rate to pull out the round. He continued control the action in the sixth. A booming right hand hurt Davis, but Jamaal responded well. The two fighters went to war on the inside and the action was wild with both landing recklessly. Rosado's uppercuts were effective in the exchanges and he began to land well to the body. He had the advantage, however by the end of the round Rosado came away with some welting around his eyes. The marks are familiar for Rosado, but ever since suffering a bad cut against Saul Roman last year, fans have wondered if the old scar would be a recurring problem. The scar has held up over the twenty rounds he fought between Roman and Davis, so perhaps the worries should end now. There was no blood on this night either.
With the fight half over, Rosado was up by two points. However, in the middle rounds Rosado was repeatedly warned for hitting behind the head and hitting on the break. There were moments when it appeared his lead might be diminished with a penalty point. But referee Alan Huggins never made that move.
Davis started the second half of the fight as he had the first. He used his movement and quick punches to stay a step ahead of Rosado. He took the seventh round while Rosado chased him. Apparently refreshed, Davis began to muscle the larger Rosado along the ropes. He landed flush a few times and surprised him with his power. The eighth was close with Rosado again rallying toward the end, but Davis had built enough of a lead in the round to keep it in his column, which once again deadlocked the score - four rounds each.
The tide shifted again in the ninth. Rosado opened the round aggressively, focusing on Jamaal's body. It was an effective tactic that initiated the shift in momentum. One body shot strayed low and Davis went to the canvas. Referee Huggins called it a foul and gave Davis some time to recover. Rosado was warned but no point was taken. Rosado took the round.
The tenth was a war. Rosado did well early in the round but Davis responded and almost stole it by the end. After ten, Rosado was up by two rounds on my card.
In the eleventh, Davis appeared to be wearing down a bit and Rosado's size and strength started to make the difference. Gabriel was fresher, so his punches came more freely. Davis fought back hard but it was probably a mistake. With Rosado the busier fighter, his punches started to land often. Suddenly his size, thought to be such an advantage going into the fight, was paying some real dividends. Jamaal match his strength earlier in the bout, but with his energy sapping, he was in danger.
The final round began with Davis trying to turn the tide in his favor once more. He landed a hard right hard that slammed into Rosado's head. Gabe felt the punch but pushed through it. Rosado stepped up the pressure and continued to exert his strength, as he had done the round before. He hurt Davis with a right hand along the ropes and when Jamaal wobbled, Rosado jumped on him with a furious flurry. Davis held strong but could not return fire. Referee Alan Huggins jumped in to stop the bout at the 1:01 mark of the last round.
Rosado celebrated his victory by jumping into the arms of trainer Billy Briscoe who lifted him up and carried him around the ring. Before long Rosado had the NABA belt strapped around his waist and the celebration continued with Briscoe, cut man Joey Eye and Rosado's father.
In the aftermath of the fight, Jamaal Davis and his trainer Sharron Baker were understandably disappointed. They had performed well but came up short. When a fighter loses a fight, he is inconsolable afterward. The weight of the loss hangs in the air. There is nothing to say. Compliments ring false in their ears. All they see is the bottom line - they did not win. Such was the case with Jamaal after the fight. He was numb back in the dressing room. Baker was angry. But even though they could would not hear in those moments after the bout, the truth is they had a pretty good night. Yes, they lost the fight, but Davis came in as the underdog. He performed well, fighting evenly with Rosado until the final few rounds. Even then, he was in the fight. It was one of Jamaal's best performances ever. He showed a lot - not just toughness. Davis displayed good skills and Baker had an excellent plan in place.
Needless to say Rosado was happy after the fight. He recapped the course of the fight in the dressing room and noted how tough Davis was to fight. He credited his win with being in top shape, needing the win and the plan and preparation trainer Billy Briscoe had put together. Rosado got dressed, put on sunglasses to cover the slight bruising and debated the best way to wear his new belt back out into the arena (over the shoulder or around the waist). He strapped it around his waist and headed back out. Before he got there, he was met by Jamaal Davis in the corridor. The two fighters embraced and talked over the fight's shifts and milestones. They assured each other they were still friends before they shook hands one last time and headed out in their own direction.
It was a memorable fight; a well-waged war. The two Philly fighters fought hard and each proved themselves. Rosado left with the bragging rights, but he was not about to exercise them. This was a tough fight physically and emotionally. He was happy and proud but knew that he had been seriously tested and that he still had some work to do before stepping back into the national scene. At 16-5 (9 KO) he moves on with a regional title and hopefully an entry-level world ranking. Davis slipped to 12-8 (6 KO).
I still say the fight should have been in Philadelphia, but understand the economic reasons why it wasn't. The Grand Ballroom was packed and a near sellout. The bottom line is that I'm glad the fight happened. Doing it in Philly would have been the icing on this action-packed cake.
The Peltz Boxing show was complete with seven other bouts.
In the co-feature, Ronald Cruz, Bethlehem, PA, halted Dillet Frederick, Fort Meyers, with a crushing right in round three of their scheduled 8-round junior welterweight bout. Frederick got up from the knockdown, but after some hesitation, referee Sammy Viruet smartly stopped it at 2:00. Cruz improved to 11-0 (8 KO); Frederick fell to 7-4-4 (4 KO).
Heavyweight Bryant Jennings won a 6-round unanimous decision over Theron Johnson. The fight was a shutout on my card and two of the three official scores. One judge gave Johnson one round.
Junior welterweight Julio DeJesus won his highlight-reel brawl against Hector Collado by 4-round unanimous decision. The two fighters traded bombs all the way with both landing hard. However, DeJesus (now 5-2-1 with 3 KOs) managed to drop his foe three times (once each in rounds one, two and three). I had the war 39-36. The official scores were 39-35, and 39-34 twice. Collado left 0-3-1.
Junior lightweight Tyrone Luckey of Middletown, NJ, stopped Philadelphia's Gustavo Dailey at 1:20 of the fourth and final round after dominating the first three rounds. Luckey remained undefeated, 3-0 (3 KO), while Dailey continued his 6-fight skid. He is now 4-11 with 1 KO. The referee was Sammy Viruet.
The show opened with a scheduled 4-round featherweight bout between Philly's Paul Fernandez and Tommy Garcia of Hartford, CT. The fighters traded rounds one and two before Garcia lowered the boom in the third. The fight was stopped at 49 seconds of the third by referee Lindsey Page. Fernandez never went down but was too hurt to continue. He fell to 5-4-2 with 3 KOs; Garcia raised his record to 3-3- with 2 KOs.
The walkout bout pitted DeCarlo Perez and Dontre King in a 4-round junior welterweight fight. Perez won a majority decision to improve to remain undefeated at 3-0-1 (1 KO). King left with a record of 3-9-2 (1 KO).