Tonight at 9 p.m. EDT on NBC Sports, Main Events returns with an intriguing double-header in the 154 and 147 pound divisions. Bad Left Hook will be here with live, round-by-round coverage of the fights.
In the main event, Philadelphia's Gabe Rosado (19-5, 11 KO) faces Brooklyn's Sechew Powell (26-4, 15 KO) in a 12-round junior middleweight bout that will lift one into contention, or closer to it at any rate, and drop the other from consideration for possible title shots.
Rosado was originally supposed to face Joel Julio, who pulled out. Kudos to Main Events and Russell Peltz for getting Powell in here, a suitable replacement on fairly short notice. The tough Rosado has scratched and clawed his way into this position, and last time out he was featured on the NBC Sports boxing debut, wiping out Jesus Soto Karass in five rounds.
Powell, meanwhile, is something of a fallen angel, a hyped prospect who never got over the hump and has stagnated outside of true contention since his first loss to Kassim Ouma in 2006. At 32, he's running short on time to make a legitimate impact on the division. A loss tonight would turn him into a gatekeeper and nothing more. A win puts him back in the mix, at least at the B-level.
I think this is a pick'em fight tonight. Rosado is fun to watch and a tough kid, but he's not hyper-talented or anything, and needs breaks to go his way if he's going to truly emerge. Powell does have the more talent of the two, but it's a question of how much drive he has left.
In the co-feature, Puerto Rican Ronald Cruz (now based in Bethlehem, Penn., where tonight's show is being held) puts his undefeated record on the line against Cleveland's Prenice Brewer in a 12-round welterweight bout.
Cruz (16-0, 12 KO) has beaten some decent trial horses thus far, including Martinus Clay, Doel Carrasquillo, Christopher Fernandez, Anges Adjaho, and Allen Conyers. Cruz, 25, would be the favored son in some ways tonight, but doesn't have an easy matchup.
Brewer (16-1-1, 6 KO) has a loss to Patrick Lopez on his record, and overall has faced weaker competition than Cruz. But Brewer, who is 5'10", will have a two-inch height advantage, and we just recently saw a tall Ohio fighter pull an upset on a show like this, when Willie Nelson beat Yudel Jhonson on ShoBox.