Gabe Rosado didn't start the quickest tonight against Sechew Powell on NBC Sports, but he sure finished the strongest.
Rosado picked up the 20th win of his pro career and inched his way toward a potential world title shot in the near future with a ninth round stoppage of Powell tonight in Bethlehem, Penn., in yet another quality main event from the NBC/Main Events partnership.
Rosado (20-5, 12 KO) had a bit of a tough time in the early rounds with the southpaw approach of Powell, but once he adjusted, he took over the fight with good body shots, a nice, stalking approach, and frankly, just by being the physically stronger man.
In the eighth round of a fight that had been very close to that point, Rosado sent Powell (26-5, 15 KO) staggering around the ring with a series of hard shots. The Brooklyn veteran managed to survive, and even came alive a bit late in the round, but that would wind up being his last stand.
The ninth round started with Rosado looking a bit weary, when suddenly a good left uppercut put Powell in danger again. He went down when his gloves touched the canvas, but continued on, which led to Rosado going for the kill.
With referee Steve Smoger hovering over the action like a man who desperately needed to pee but couldn't decide if he could make it to the next rest stop or if he should pull over and whip it out on the side of the interstate, Powell ate shot after shot, until he crumbled to the canvas again, this time with all of his body, and Smoger finally called a halt to the action at 2:43 of the ninth round.
What makes this a really good win for Rosado is that Powell did look in good shape, and looked sharp int he early going. Powell said after the fight that Rosado was bigger and took advantage, and that his lack of following his own corner's instructions hurt him and cost him the fight.
Rosado said after the fight that he wants a world title shot next, calling out the winners of the June 30 fight between Cornelius Bundrage and Cory Spinks, and tomorrow night's Austin Trout vs Delvin Rodriguez bout.
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On the undercard, Ronald Cruz stayed unbeaten, improving to 17-0 (12 KO), with a wide decision win over Prenice Brewer (16-2-1, 6 KO). Cruz wasn't particularly impressive, really, and didn't look like a future top fighter or anything, but he definitely won the fight. Official scores were 118-110 across the board, which is what Bad Left Hook scored the bout, too.
Cruz was able to win the fight mostly due to significant power shots and an ability to back Brewer down at will. Brewer wanted to jab, and when that didn't work, he gave the jab a try, and then when that didn't work, he thought, hey, what about the jab? But he was never really committed to it fully and it had no snap.
After the fight, Brewer pulled a "classic" move by complaining about the scoring, and asking interviewer Chris Mannix what he thought. Looking for help, Brewer received none when Mannix ducked the question, and said that BJ Flores and Freddie Roach both had it wide for Cruz at ringside.
As this upset him greatly, Brewer remarked that Manny Pacquiao is on steroids, or was, and now that he's off of them, he "look like shit." No explanation was given as to why BJ Flores' similar score was bogus. Since Brewer wasn't any fun to watch, I doubt many will be upset that he probably shot himself in the foot here as far as getting back on TV goes.