PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - January 06, 2019  
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Story by Ken Hissner


In his most recent fight on November 17, 2018, North Philly middleweight “King” Gabriel Rosado, 24-11-1, 14 KOs, fought Luis Arias, 18-1, at the Kansas Star Arena, Mulvane, KS, in a 12-rounder for the interim WBO Latino middleweight title. The fight was streamed live on DAZN, Boxing’s latest international broadcast platform. It was a good fight that Rosado appeared to win, after hurting Arias in rounds nine and twelve. However, two of the three judges saw the fight very differently that this writer.

Judge Mike Munoz got it right with his 116-112 score in Rosado’s favor. This score matched mine, but David Sutherland saw it 116-112 for Arias, while Karen Holderfield couldn’t pick a winner and scored it a 114-114 Draw. The result was a split decision draw.

Afterwards Arias complained that he usually fights at 147, and not the middleweight limit of this fight.   

“I thought he got robbed and thought Gabe out boxed the guy,” said Billy Briscoe, Rosado’s trainer. “The face of Arias showed who the winner was at the end of the fight.”   

Arias had not fought since losing to Danny Jacobs over 12 rounds, one year ago. Rosado hadn’t fought for 13 months, since stopping Glen Tapia in six rounds.

The way things work in boxing, and given Arias’ connection with the fight’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, don’t look for Rosado to land a re-match with Arias.

This was the latest in a long line of bad decisions for Rosado, a fighter who, over the years, has run afoul of boxing’s politics and the poor decision-making of judges and referees alike on many occasions. 

Back on October 26, 2013, Rosado received his second world title opportunity, when he met WBO world middleweight champion Peter Quillin, aka “Kid Chocolate”, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. After a good battle over the first nine rounds, the fight was stopped by the ring physician at 0:40 of the 10th round of the scheduled 12 round bout.

Though Rosado, then 21-6, was knocked down in the second round, badly cut on his left eye lid, and behind on points after nine rounds, he had Quillin, then 29-0, in trouble in the tenth and on the verge of a stoppage. However, referee Allen Huggins called in the ring physician who called a halt to the fight.

Rosado was quite upset and wanted to continue. Instead of Rosado getting a rematch, Quillin defended his title six months later against Lukas Konecny of the CZ Republic, and scored an easy decision. Konecny hasn’t fought since, unlike Rosado who picked up his career the moment his injured eye was ready for battle, three months later.

In January of 2015, Rosado had his left eye lid cut again but went the distance over ten rounds, with Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, then 22-0, at the DC Armory. Charlo who recently lost his WBC world junior middleweight title (December 2018), won the title five bouts after defeating Rosado.

Rosado has been in with the likes of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (TKO’d 7), Martin Murray (L12), Willie Monroe, Jr. (L10), Joshua Clottey (W10), David Lemieux (TKO’d 10), J’Leon Love (L10), Glen Tapia (TKO6), Sechew Powell (TKO9), Charles Whitaker (TKO10), Jesus Soto Karass (TKO5), Fernando Guerrero (L8), Kassim Ouma (W10), Derek Ennis (L12), and Alfredo Angulo (TKO’d 2).

Currently Rosado has a record of 24-11-1, 14 KOs. Several of his eleven loses were questionable calls, either by the judges or the referee.

At his very peak, Gabe was the Number 1 contender at junior middleweight, after stopping three opponents in 2012 (Karass, Powell & Whitaker), and became the mandatory challenger for IBF champion Cornelius “K9” Bundrage. Instead of waiting up to six months for his mandatory title shot, Rosado opted to move up to 160 pounds for an immediate title opportunity with the then #1 P4P fighter in the world, middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin.

Many have questioned Rosado’s judgment of facing GGG in 2013, thinking the smart move was to wait for Bundrage, who lost his belt in his next fight. But Rosado has always been a fighter willing to take the big risk, and at the time, there was no bigger risk than fighting GGG. 

Rosado was cut badly and lost the fight, but the move started a run of high profile, big money fights for the North Philly native who now lives in Los Angeles. He hasn’t always been on the right side of the officials of the boxing power brokers, but Rosado continues to hold the interest of boxing fans all over the world. He doesn’t always win, but he always entertains, and that is a valuable commodity in boxing.




Ken Hissner - Philadelphia - January 06, 2019