Rosado (21-6, 13 knockouts) suffered Saturday night’s bloody seventh-round stoppage loss to Kazakhstan-born WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin in The Theatre at Madison Square Garden on HBO, ending his run of seven straight victories, five of them by knockout.
The 30-year-old Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOS) scored his 12th consecutive stoppage win by battering Rosado’s face into a gruesome crimson mask.
Referee Steve Smoger, on the advice of a ringside inspector, responded to Rosado’s trainer, Billy Briscoe, and stopped the fight.
“Gabriel got 13 stitches — seven up and six down on the left eye on the soft, tender part of the eye. If he doesn’t fight until June, then that will be fine. The game plan was to box for four rounds, and then, to come forward after that. But the blood changed everything,” said Rosado’s promoter, Russell Peltz.
“I think that when you get cut that severely that early in the fight — and he said that he was in a fog from whenever he got cut until the end of the fight — that it throws everything out of the window. Still, having said that, the other guy had a swollen left eye, he had a cut right eye, and I think that Rosado actually gained more fans with his gutty performance.”
Rosado, who turned 27 on Jan. 14, was coming off September’s four-knockdown, 10th-round stoppage of Charles Whittaker that ended the 38-year-old fighter’s 14-bout winning streak that had included eight stoppages.
“Gabriel is doing well. He’s already talking about his next fight,” wrote ortiz in an e-mail to RingTV.com on Monday. We are about to have dinner and he is being himself making jokes and clowning around.”
Golovkin made the sixth defense of his belt against Rosado, and was coming off September’s multi-knockdown, fifth-round stoppage of Grzegorz Proksa.
“[Rosado] is a champ. People here in Philly are talking about how is a warrior,” stated Ortiz. “He never went down. He went from one weight class to another and fought the best. That speaks volumes about Gaby and who he is.”
Rosado lost his previous 160-pound bout by majority decision to Derek Ennis in July of 2010, but had spent time being mentored by former RING light heavyweight and undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who is a Philadelphia native.
Peltz said, however, that Ennis and Rosado weighed in oficially at 154 pounds for their bout, which was for the USBA’s junior middleweight belt.
Rosado had his moment against Golovkin in the fifth round, where a series of blows, beginning with a right uppercut, backed up the 2004 Olympic silver medalist for a short length of time.
“It’s hard to say what might have happened but that was part of the plan – to come on in the middle rounds. Listen, he did a lot of good things, like, he made Gennady miss. But he didn’t make him pay, like, the old saying goes, ‘Make ‘em miss and make ‘em pay.’ He did make him miss, but he was too defensive early,” said Peltz.
“But you’re talking four to four and a half minutes into the fight and he’s bleeding profusely from his left eye. I think that when you get cut that severely that early in the fight — and he said that he was in a fog from whenever he got cut until the end of the fight — that it throws everything out of the window”
In order to challenge Golovkin, Rosado passed up an opportunity to face 154-pound IBF beltholder Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage as the organization’s mandatory challenger, a status that would not become a reality until March.
Rosado proved to be a different fighter than the one who fell to Ennis, previously was stopped in the second round by Alfredo Angulo in August of 2009, fell by unanimous decision to Fernando Guerrero in February of that same year, and, lost decisions Chris Gray and Josh Onyango in October of 2006 and March of 2007, respectively.
It was revealed that Golovkin was sick going into the fight during the winner’s post-bout interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman, but the fighter said that had nothing to do with his performance.
“It’s true that I was sick but there are no excuses,” said Golovkin. “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.”
Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions, echoed Golovkin’s sentiment.
“Just for the record, we did not bring up Gennady’s sickness. Max Kellerman brought it up in the post-fight interview for some reason. We were certainly were not using it as any excuse, as Gennady said. GGG did not need any excuses for stopping a top guy in seven rounds. Rosado came to fight, showed a lot of heart, and I think gained a lot of fans in his gutty performance,” said Loeffler.
“He was on the world stage at Madison Square Garden, and that fight was broadcast around the world. Many more people know who Gabriel Rosado is after that gutty performance, and he will beat a lot of guys at either 154 or 160. I give [Rosado's trainer] Billy Briscoe a lot of respect for stopping the fight, because it was clear that Rosado wanted to continue. But he was only going to sustain more unnecessary punishment.”
Peltz doesn’t want to hear about Golovkin’s illness.
“The thing that I don’t want to hear is that I don’t want to hear about Gennady not being 100 percent. I don’t want to hear that s–t. That really pisses me off. No fighter is 100 percent,” said Peltz of Rosado, whose run included having stopped Jesus Soto Karrass and Sechew Powell in the fifth and ninth rounds in January and June of last year, respectively.
“You don’t know what Gabe had to go through, what pains and aches and bruises he had. So don’t take away from the performance by making excuses. Gennady was the better fighter and leave it at that. Maybe Rosado was the reason that Gennady wasn’t 100 percent. I don’t know. The only thing is that I thought that they should have stopped the fight after the sixth round, but I know Gabe’s a warrior.”
So what’s next for Rosado?
“I don’t know. He has to make a decision what weight class he wants to fight in. Personally, I would like to see him stay at junior middleweight. Because he said that it was never really a struggle to make 154. He would always make it the day before, and he is a big 154. I would like to see him stay there. But I don’t think that he has decided that. I don’t think that he has to decide that right now,” said Peltz.
“More importantly right now, I would like to see that face heal one thousand percent. I don’t want to see him go into his next fight, and then, as soon as he gets hit, everything opens up. He’s not going to want to hear that. Because he’s the kind of kid who wants to fight every other day. But he needs to let that whole face heal one thousand percent.”
Golovkin-Rosado was contested on a card which included featherweight Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) dethroning WBO beltholder Orlando Salido (39-12-2, 27 KOs) by eighth-round unanimous technical decision to also became THE RING’s 126-pound champion, and WBO junior lightweight beltholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KOs) battling to a split-draw with Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KOs).
“This fight was clearly the fight of the night, as we had predicted. Both Rosado and Golovkin brought a lot of fans. It was great to see so many GGG fans in the audience,” said Loeffler. “Gennady has really caught the imagination of the boxing fans, and we have already been getting asked when people can see him fight again.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com