NEW YORK — Gennady Golovkin retained his WBA middleweight title with a bloody seventh-round stoppage of game but overmatched Gabriel Rosado on Saturday in New York City. Rosado’s corner threw in the towel, stopping the bout at 2:46 of the round.
The undefeated middleweight’s title defense was the co-feature to an HBO Boxing After Dark show at Madison Square Garden’s Theater that was topped by the Orlando Saldio-Mikey Garcia featherweight title bout.
Golovkin dominated Rosado. He battered the tough Philadelphia-bred junior middleweight’s face into a gruesome, crimson mask. He won every round, but the fight wasn’t easy. Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs), who utilized a lot of lateral movement in the first four rounds, refused to be caught against the ropes and bravely fought back in rounds five and six.
By the start of the seventh round Golovkin was covered in the Puerto Rican-American’s blood but he also sported a bruised right eye, proof that the bold challenger was able to connect with some of his hooks and uppercuts. Rosado, who fought with blood pouring from a bad cut over his left eye and his nose, sparked pride in the Puerto Rican fans even when his punches were blocked by Golovkin’s gloves.
Although the 30-year-old Kazakhstan native basically walked Rosado down with a stiff jab while grossly outlanding the 154-pound contender, he was expected to score a cold knockout of his challenger and will no doubt receive some criticism from skeptical hardcore fans who still view him as more hype than world-beater.
It was revealed that Golovkin was sick going into the fight during his post-bout interview on HBO but the fighter said that had nothing to do with his performance.
“It’s true that I was sick but there are no excuses,” Golovkin said. ”Gabriel is a strong man. He was a great opponent. I wore him down in the fifth and sixth rounds just like I said I would.”
Rosado believes that he would have performed better if not for the cut he suffered.
“I couldn’t see the shots,” he said. ”The blood was going into my eye.”
Rosado’s trainer Billy Briscoe said that was the reason he threw in the towel.
“The man couldn’t see the punches,” said Briscoe. ”The man’s got to be able to see the punches to fight. I stopped the fight to save him from himself.”
Golovkin was supposed to make a statement against Rosado but he’ll have to settle for getting the ‘W’ in his second fight on U.S. soil and HBO appearance.
“This fight was not about statements it was about winning the fight,” he said.
Photos / Naoki Fukuda