Will Rosinsky’s are the hands that hurt and the hands that save.
When Rosinsky, of Ozone Park, N.Y. isn’t advancing his boxing career – where he holds a 15-1 (9 knockouts) record – he is at his day job working as an emergency medical technician (EMT) at FDNY’s station 39 in East New York, Brooklyn.
Whether he’s trading leather in a sparring session in a stuffy gym during the day or rushing injured New Yorkers to local hospitals from 2:00 to 10:00 a.m. in the morning, Rosinsky’s adrenaline is always pumping.
“I get gunshots, stabbings, everyday sick people; it’s just a busy area,” said Rosinsky, 27.
Juggling a high pressure job with professional boxing isn’t easy, but it helps to have understanding bosses.
For Rosinsky’s next fight this Thursday at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City against Aaron Pryor Jr. (16-5, 11 KOs), Rosinsky’s captain let him take the last month to finish his preparations for the pivotal bout that highlights the latest installment of DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing series.
The eight-round bout with the 33-year-old Cincinnati native, son of Hall of Fame boxer Aaron Pryor, is Rosinsky’s second since suffering his first defeat to Edwin Rodriguez last October in his ShoBox debut. The loss was judged 100-90 on all three scorecards in a fight that was far more competitive than the judges would lead on.
“A lot of people know I got [jobbed],” said Rosinsky, who doesn’t dispute the defeat but objects to the one-sided cards. “People feel like I’m kind of the underdog, like ‘He didn’t get a fair shake so now I want to see him win.’ That’s what I think people feel and that’s what I think the Edwin fight did. It was a competitive fight, a couple of close rounds either way. I didn’t agree but I understand; it’s a subjective sport.”
The defeat wasn’t a total loss. Rodriguez’s promoter Lou DiBella was impressed enough to sign him to a promotional contract, which is something Rosinsky never had before.
“I think he proved with Edwin Rodriguez that he’s one of the best 168 pounders in the world,” said DiBella, who also promotes world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and former welterweight titleholder Andre Berto. “It was much closer than the scorecards would suggest, but it got him more exposure and he’s on his way to getting ranked. [Rosinsky] wasn’t promoted before and there wasn’t ready awareness of him before.”
Rodriguez, who stands 6-foot even, was able to give the aggressive, 5-foot-10 Rosinsky fits by boxing from the outside and using his range. Pryor Jr. stands at 6-foot-4, an almost unheard of height for a 168-pound fighter, which Rosinsky anticipates will provide plenty of difficulty.
“I think what makes him tough is his height,” said Rosinsky, who won the New York Daily News Golden Gloves four times and was the 2005 U.S. amateur champion at light heavyweight.
“I don’t think he brings a lot to a fight, but he makes a fight awkward. He’s had close fights with big guys like Edwin Rodriguez for example, which was a competitive fight and I think mainly because of his height. If you put his skills on a guy who is six foot even, it wouldn’t be as weird. I don’t think he’s very skillful, I just think he’s very awkward.
“And it’s about fighting him right too,” continued Rosinsky. “I don’t think Edwin fought him right. Edwin fought him tall and started lunging in with stupid punches, he needed to fight close. I’m going to fight him the correct way and that will be on the inside because that’s really my only option at this point. I’m not going to really be able to box him from the outside.”
Pryor started his career at 11-0 before running aground against tougher opposition. Though Pryor has lost three of his last four fights, including a ninth-round TKO to Adonis Stevenson in his last fight in December, he has faced far stiffer opposition. Pryor holds victories over former world title challenger Librado Andrade and recent world-rated contender Dyah Davis.
Rosinsky, a fan favorite in New York City, is usually among the highest ticket sellers on an event roster. His drawing power makes him a hot commodity for local promoters looking to book fighters who can help fill a venue, enabling him to move his early career without a high profile manager or promoter. Rosinsky’s purse was often based off of a percentage of the tickets that he sold.
The other side of the coin is that the process of picking up tickets and dropping them off is a third job in itself.
“In the beginning it sucked, because besides the training and running, the strength and conditioning to prepare for the fight, you have to run around and sell as many tickets as possible,” said Rosinsky. “My way of doing it was to send out a mass text to everyone in my phone book and to let them know I’m available for tickets. We’d meet up somewhere and I’d give them the tickets. You try to make it convenient for people so you’re pretty much running it to their door step or meeting them here and there. I didn’t have anyone to do it for me so at one point I was doing it all on my own.
“At this point it’s not so bad because me and DiBella are in agreement that I’m not going to sell tickets, I’m just going to be paid what I’m getting. That makes it much easier.
DiBella feels secure in the investment.
“Down the line [Rosinsky] will run into big fights, and soon he could fight in main events,” said DiBella. “There will be a lot of opportunities because there are top fighters in the division but not a lot of opposition for them to face. My desire is to keep him busy, get him back on the winning track and get him back in a big fight.”
Photo / Emily Harney-Fightwireimages.com
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.