“King” Gabriel Rosado Earns Title Shot in Victory, Ready To Take it

    Gabe Rosado is in line for an IBF Title Shot

    Friday night in Bethlehem, PA on the NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night series Philadelphia’s “King” Gabriel Rosado took on Charles Whittaker in the main event. Whittaker, the older fighter who hadn’t taken a loss in eight years was stepping into the ring against Rosado for the number one ranking in the IBF, and a shot at the title.

    In an exclusive pre-fight interview Rosado told us that he did not see the fight going past six rounds and he knew that he had to make a statement. “Just a win is not enough–I have to make a statement to fight the big names.” Although he stated that he was not looking past Whittaker, he did seem excited at what the future holds.

    It took a little bit longer than six rounds for the “King” to get the job done. After several knockdowns and being a little stunned himself a few times Rosado got the job done in the tenth round. Although he was the one administering most of the punishment he did say there was a point in the fight were he went temporarily “blind” in one eye. “He caught me with a jab and his thumb went into my eye. I thought that only was in movies, but that’s real” He said, continuing “I went back to my corner and asked for ice on my eye, as soon as they put it on my vision came back.” 

    Blind or not, Rosado still dominated the fight. Before the stoppage of the fight in the tenth round Whittaker had seen the canvas twice earlier in the fight. In the fifth and seventh round Whittaker succumbed to attacks to the body and power punches by Rosado. It seemed as though the vicious attacks had begun in the third round, after what looked to be Rosado taking some time to feel out his opponent.

    With this win, Rosado become the mandatory opponent for the defense of the IBF belt currently held by Cornelius “K9” Bundrage. Trainer Billy Briscoe said before the fight that he feels confident that he could come up with a game plan, and Rosado could execute one, to get a victory. It would be a first time winning a title for both fighter and trainer.

    Also on Friday night, Bethlehem’s hometown fighter Ronald Cruz, who stepped into the ring undefeated, lost a split decision to Antoine Smith of Miami. Smith, who came in three pounds overweight, simply out boxed Cruz and on my scorecard took the fight seven rounds to three. While the crowd did not seemed to agree with the decision, Cruz admitted his defeat and promised to come back stronger.

    Also featured on the card was Sergey Kovalevsky who made quick work of Lionel Thompson who succumbed to a TKO loss in the third round.

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