PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                  August 07, 2009 - News & Notes


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Gabe Rosado had a tough night in his first nationally televised main event Friday evening on ESPN2. He faced a determined Alfredo Angulo who was coming off his first-ever professional loss. The bout was held at Buffalo Bill's Star Arena in Primm, Nevada, before a big live crowd of about 3,000 and who knows how many on TV. Rosado started well by using his jab, a little movement, and some well-timed right hands to send the message that he had come to pull off a big upset against the #6 ranked jr. middleweight in the world. He brushed off the 6.5 to 1 odds against him, as well as the concerns that he had been matched way over his for this one.

Although their pro slates appeared to be in the same ball park, 12-3 for Rosado and 15-1 for Angulo, the California-based Mexican definitely had more seasoning in his young career. Further, Angulo's amateur credentials - including an appearance in the 2004 Olympics - outshined Rosado's 14-3 amateur run. Clearly this was a big step up for the Philadelphia fighter, but as usual, he seemed to have the confidence, attitude and game plan to pull off yet another surprise win.

Rosado had previously shocked undefeated James Moore (also on ESPN2) and most recently outworked former champ Kassim Ouma to score his biggest and perhaps most surprising ring victory. So "King" Gabriel planned to do more of what he does best - enter dangerous territory (both geographically and promotionally), work hard, and be an over-achiever. But Angulo had a reputation as a wrecking machine (12 KOs in 15 wins), and had been just one win away from a title shot when he lost a WBC eliminator to Kermit Cintron in May. So with something to prove, and his career momentum on the line, Alfredo Angulo figured to be Gabe's worst nightmare.

In the first round, Rosado showed that he perhaps had the stuff to win the bout. He took the session, by being a cautious and thinking puncher, whipping his right hands with perfect timing. More importantly Rosado showed confidence and sent the message that he belonged in there. Angulo was in low gear for the whole three minutes, but kept chugging forward looking to find his groove. His opportunity came in the second and he showed how he had earned his reputation.

Rosado continued his good work in the second. However with the round about halfway gone, he reached in to clinch a forward-moving Angulo. Just a moment before their arms had begun to tangle. But when Rosado grabbed for his opponent's shoulders up near his neck, it freed Angulo's hands. And then Angulo did what he does best, he kept punching and coming forward.








Angulo landed a looping right that went right over Rosado's suddenly groping limbs and crashed right on the side of his jaw. Gabe tumbled over and hit the canvas. But he appeared clear-headed, and while still seated on the floor, argued with referee Russell Mora that he had been hit in a clinch. Rosado had a point. But it was he that failed to protect himself in the situation. He rose from the knockdown and continued to fight. But he was clearly upset by his perceived slight. Rosado fought with distraction while Angulo bit down and waded in for the kill. 

Angulo fired a crushing right hand to the chin that doubled Rosado over for knockdown number two (below left). Again, Rosado stood up quickly and looked plenty lucid. But as the action resumed, his eyes showed an awareness that he was in trouble.

Angulo stepped in and landed a hard left hook that backed Rosado into the corner. Another right followed that made Rosado sag down like a baseball catcher against the corner pad (below left). Referee Mora waved his hands and the fight was over at 2:13 of round two.

It was a good win for Angulo who now goes on to an already scheduled date in November. For Rosado the experience was a bitter pill to swallow. It was hard for him to accept the result. He tried to explain to the ref, to the doctor, to his corner, even to Angulo, that the TKO was kicked off with an unfair punch. But the possible offense was in the gray area and certainly not flagrantly, if at all, foul. Rather, it was Rosado's error - a failure to defend himself - that undid his big opportunity.

It was a tough one. Tough for Gabe to experience, and tough for his fans to watch. The hope that we brought into the fight, momentarily bolstered by his encouraging headway in round one, was dashed halfway through the second. It was tempting to blame a possible foul for Gabe's downfall. But that wasn't it. It came down to what we had feared all along - this was not the right opponent for Rosado at this point in his career. He wasn't quite ready yet. Those nagging issues that exist with holes in his defense really bit him this time. It is his one problem area in the ring, and needs to be corrected before he can get to the next level. He and trainer Billy Briscoe figure to be back at it at the Allegheny Rec Center before long. They are a good team and can make the adjustments that are needed. 

Right now it is time for Gabe to first, be a new father; second, to get this loss into per-spective; and third, to do what other fighters in his position have done - shake off the setback, ignore the doubt, and learn from this very tough lesson.

Rosado is still a solid prospect, but he is also still a work in progress. He's in a tough spot right now. He needs good competition to gain necessary experience. But he can't get exactly what he needs in the parade of lesser opponents he'd be matched against locally. Gabe Rosado needs an advocate in the boxing world who can see his promise and help guide him along the rocky road a fighter must take. He's worth the effort and can still be a crowd-pleasing contender - maybe even more.

(Note: The above photos are screen captures from the original ESPN2 broadcast.)




John DiSanto - News & Notes - August 07, 2009