Rosado gets 9th Rd TKO over Powell

by Paul Strauss: Up until the eighth round, boxing fans at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA saw a very close fight between the right handed Gabriel "King" Rosado 20 (12)-5-0 and southpaw Sechew “Iron Horse” Powell 26 (15)-5-0 for the WBO Inter-continental light middleweight title. That changed in the eighth round, when Rosado had Powell in real trouble after crowning the Iron Horse with a good left uppercut. Then in the ninth round, Rosado put him down twice, and referee Steve Smoger called a halt to the action. The official time was 2:43 of the round.

Initially, the NBC Sports Network fight was a tactical one. Despite the fact that Rosado had the reach advantage, he wanted in close where he could work the body and throw uppercuts.. Powell wanted to keep the fight at center ring, so he could box and counter punch the stronger Rosado.

The southpaw’s successes came when he would shoot through counter right hooks and lead lefts. Neither man employed much of a jab. When Rosado managed to get Powell up against the ropes, Sechew would rip off a combination and then wisely tie him up. Still, Rosado managed some pretty good body shots that kept the action very close. Several of the rounds were hard to score, and going into the eighth round, things were pretty even.

In the eighth round, Rosado lowered his hands, trying both to elicit a lead from Powell, and to give new angles for his punches. He faked Powell with side to side and in and out motion, getting into a rhythm, and at the same time looking for an opening to press his attack. When one came in the eighth, he moved in close behind a combination, and managed to shoot through Powell's guard with a nice short left uppercut.

Powell's legs immediately turned rubbery. The right handed Rosado sensed his opportunity and started firing all kinds of shots. Powell was still able to slide and duck away from most of the shots, but some were getting through, especially the ones going to the body. Referee Steve Smoger, who is known for giving fighters every opportunity to recover from trouble, was taking a very close look at Powell. Powell made it through the round, and even managed to land a nice straight left before the round ended, but it was a big one for Rosado.

In the ninth round, Rosado backed Powell up again and once again started things off with a good uppercut. The Iron Horse developed a few cracks under the resulting attack and his gloves touched the canvas. Smoger moved in to start the count, which he did from unusually close quarters. It was evident he wanted to get a close look at Powell's eyes to gauge his readiness to continue.

Powell convinced him he was, so once Powell stepped forward to signify his ability to do so, Smoger backed away and let the action resume. It didn't take long for Rosado to put Powell down again. This time it was the result of several hard shots, one of which bounced off the top right side of Powell's head and took away his equilibrium. He was grabbing for the ropes as more shots landed, and as he sank to the canvas, Smoger stepped him to signify the fight was over.

Powell lost his last three fights, and is faced with the serious consideration as to whether he wants to continue in the fight game. This loss doesn't have to be the end for him, but as he stated in the post-fight interview, he needs to take a close look at why he's been coming up short in the big fights. As he explained, he needs to decide if he can make the needed improvements, or whether its worth trying?

On the other hand, Rosado's win has placed him in a good position to make a run at one of the major belt holders. He says he's ready. He's certainly strong enough and tough enough, but he did have more than just a little difficulty with Powell's boxing skill. Powell managed to "lump" him up a bit. If Powell was busier or a bigger hitter, Rosado might not have had the later round opportunity that gave him the win.

Article posted on 02.06.2012

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