NEW YORK – After four years as a pro, Will Rosinsky got his shot at the top in July, taking a short-notice bout with former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik on HBO’s Boxing After Dark. Despite going down in the second round, Rosinsky turned in a competent, but losing effort, dropping a unanimous decision to the decidedly more-experienced Pavlik.
Now the Ozone Park, Queens, N.Y. native returns to DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing, headlining Wednesday’s show at Roseland Ballroom versus veteran Otis Griffin (24-10-2, 10 knockouts) in a ten-round light heavyweight fight. For Rosinsky, it’s another trip back to the club circuit for a rehab assignment as he awaits another opportunity to challenge one of the sport’s “name” fighters. That moment can’t come soon enough for Rosinsky.
“I would like to fight on some type of network, even if it’s ESPN,” said the 27-year-old Rosinsky, whose record stands at 16-2 (9 KOs). “I think the Pavlik fight showed that I belong. For my next fight, I want it to be against good competition but I want to be on the ‘A-side.’ In the Pavlik and [Edwin] Rodriguez fights I was the opponent looking for an upset.”
Felipe Gomez, who has trained Rosinsky since 2005, agrees.
“We like fighting in New York, but he’s definitely a step above a regular club fighter fighting in these smaller venues,” said Gomez, a retired NYPD sergeant. “He definitely deserves to be in a higher spotlight. The good thing is that he’s headlining the show, that’s a plus.”
The Pavlik loss was Rosinsky’s second; the first came 14 months ago to unbeaten contender Edwin Rodriguez on a ShoBox card. Rosinsky feels the defeats taught him a few things, not the least of which was that he could compete with top fighters.
“Honestly, the biggest thing I’ve learned other than staying calm in a big fight, is the way to win rounds,” said Rosinsky. “Pavlik, with a couple rounds in that fight, it’s almost like he stole rounds. It wasn’t like rounds were one-sided. He knew how to throw flurries and steal rounds and be busy in spots to look better for the judges. You can’t look at that fight and say it was one-sided where I got beat up for the whole round.”
Off the back of the Rosinsky win, Pavlik will now challenge THE RING’s super middleweight champion Andre Ward, with the date reportedly rescheduled for February 23. Rosinsky doesn’t think Pavlik will be able to pull off the upset against the unbeaten Ward.
“The way I fought Pavlik is the way that Ward can adapt,” said Rosinsky. “I can’t see [Ward] sitting in there banging with him like he did with Allan Green. I can see him trying to outbox him like he did with Carl Froch. I think he’s just going to be the quicker guy but Pavlik has that bigger power. In boxing as we’ve all seen in the Pacquiao-Marquez fight, one punch can change everything.”
Rosinsky was a top amateur talent, winning the New York Daily News Golden Gloves four times and the 2005 U.S. National Amateur championship at 178 pounds in 2005. Yet, aside from Pavlik and Rodriguez, Griffin might be the best fighter he has so far faced as a pro.
The 35-year-old veteran from Sacramento, Calif. has been in with the likes of Danny Green, Jeff Lacy and Yusaf Mack, but never managed to get a signature win. He’s durable, the larger of the two and (almost) always in fighting shape.
“I think he’s over the hill, he is 35 years old but it doesn’t mean that he’s not gonna be awkward,” said Rosinsky. “You can’t take his experience away. He has majority decision losses to guys that were some of the best in the division at one point. So even though it’s a loss, it’s a close loss. I think he’s going to be there to fight. He’s not a guy coming there just to get a payday. He’s coming there to fight, he’s coming there to win. Big difference.”
Said Gomez: “He’s a lot bigger than Will, but Will’s entire career he has faced bigger guys. One of the things that makes us a little more confident going into this fight is that Will fought Pavlik and was able to take his punches. It built Will’s confidence, and mine also.”
The Broadway Boxing show will also serve as a Hurricane Sandy benefit, with a silent auction of memorabilia from Lou DiBella’s personal collection. Rosinsky, who moonlights as an emergency medical technician (EMT) with the New York Fire Department’s station 39 in the East New York section of Brooklyn, was temporarily reassigned to the hard-hit neighborhood of Far Rockaway, Queens in the aftermath of the storm’s devastation.
“That was a sight in itself, just to see the after-effects,” said Rosinsky. “I wasn’t in Far Rockaway when the water was neck high, but to see everything afterwards was pretty crazy.”
While Broadway Boxing is known for showcasing local talents, the inclusion of unbeaten 2008 Ukrainian Olympian Ivan Redkach (12-0, 11 KOs) and Canadian contender Ionut “Jo Jo” Dan (16 KOs) gives the show a rare, international flavor.
Redkach is a lightweight southpaw trained by Mario Morales, who once trained another left-handed puncher named Edwin Valero. Redkach, who currently lives and trains in Los Angeles, has scored three consecutive first-round knockouts. He will face New York-based spoiler Edward Valdez.
Dan, a native of Giurgiu, Romania now residing in Montreal, Canada, has wins over former titleholders Raul Balbi and Steve Forbes. His two losses have both been close decisions to recent world title challenger Selcuk Aydin in Aydin’s home country of Turkey. Dan’s welterweight bout on Wednesday against Franklin Gonzalez (15-11, 10 KOs) will be his first in America.
Photo / Kenneth B. Goldberg
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 and can be reached at email@example.com. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.