Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Jul 21, 2011
The Big Boss—“King” Gabriel Rosado Crowns Ayi Bruce

The Big Boss—“King” Gabriel Rosado Crowns Ayi Bruce

The Mouthpiece
The Big Boss—“King” Gabriel Rosado Crowns Ayi Bruce

By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date:                           Friday, July 15, 2011
Venue:                         Bally’s, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Promoter:                    Peltz Boxing Promotions
Matchmaker:               J. Russell Peltz
Ring Announcer:         Dean Stone
Referees:                     Eddie Cotton & Ricardo Vera

I might have had the New Jersey State Athletic Board’s Boxing Commissioner, Aaron Davis, in mind when I selected the title for this article. The warm and welcoming Davis should be commended for indefinitely suspending the three judges, The Three Blind Mice, for their work last Saturday in awarding junior-middleweight Paul “The Punisher” Williams a majority decision over Erislandy Lara. Tonight, seated at ringside, Davis, a physically imposing man who stands over 6-feet-5-inches and tips the scales as a heavyweight, was uncommonly stoic, as serious as a man about to get a pass to heaven,

Rosado (R.) connecting with the jab.

looking like he was watching Jesus’ encore. Yes, the Big Boss was in the house after putting his foot down on Wednesday and I am sure it influenced the three judges who did an excellent job in scoring tonight’s bouts.

Maybe when Ring Announcer Dean Stone said, “And in the red corner from Ghana, Ayi ‘Bruce Lee’ Bruce” the moniker triggered fond memories of the Chinese-American actor and martial arts icon’s first major film. The Big Boss, released in 1971, was a box office sensation in Asia, catapulting Bruce Lee to stardom. Regardless of whether it was Commissioner Davis’ earlier action or the welterweight Bruce who was moving up a division, the “Big Boss” in its duality could have never been more appropriate. Like an ocelot marking its territory, the poker-faced Davis never blinked as Stone completed the introductions, Referee Cotton the formalities and the gong sounded for commencement of the eight-round main event between Bruce (20 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 12 kos) now residing in Albany, New York and NABA junior-middleweight champion “King” Gabriel Rosado (16 wins – 5 losses – 0 draws – 10 kos) of Philadelphia.

It has been musical chairs for Rosado, who was originally scheduled to fight against Bridgeport, Pennsylvania’s Harry Joe Yorgey. This highly anticipated match was the talk of the town and had all the makings of a good ole fashion Philly war. Yorgey trains in the city and bears the time-honored title of Philadelphia Fighter. However, in early June he suffered a shoulder injury while sparring and will be sidelined for at least three months. Thus, hard hitting Allen “Dream Shatterer” Conyers of Bronx, New York got the call and was winding down training camp when on Tuesday a bone chip in the middle finger of his right hand shattered his dreams of upsetting Rosado. So Wednesday morning, Ayi Bruce, who normally competes as a welterweight, accepted the challenge and came out at the opening bell attacking like he was the Big Boss and not the naturally smaller man.

Rosado (R.) landing the left hook.

Decked out in gold and black trunks, hands held high, the taller Rosado worked from a distance behind the jab followed by the left hook, completing the combination with a left uppercut and straight right. He played the classic role of the matador to the onrushing Bruce who stalked like a lion in the tall grass waiting to pounce. Bruce waited patiently before attacking with an overhand right followed by a hard left hook that missed its mark. The plot was unfolding as Billy Briscoe, Rosado’s trainer, yelled, “The icepick, the icepick!”  I have been around Briscoe long enough to know that this was his code for the straight right to the body.  Rosado captured the first two rounds with textbook boxing showing footwork, finesse and flair—he would unload from his arsenal and disappear before Bruce could land his vaunted overhand right and crushing hook.

Nevertheless, Bruce kept coming like a snorting bull and was able to land downstairs in the third round. The Ghanaian took the third stanza on my scorecard, landing more power shots to Rosado’s body. It looked like the tide was about to change heading into Round 4. Early in the fourth stanza, forging ahead like a Sherman tank oblivious to the danger that laid ahead, Bruce walked right into a landmine of a straight right that connected on the tip of his chin crashing him to the canvas. It was picture perfect, delivered with perfect timing and carried the right amount of torque so Bruce never saw it coming. Forever, the lion-hearted, the fallen fighter made it up as Referee Cotton reached the count of six, dusted his gloves off, asked the requisite questions before beckoning them to resume. Rosado was all over Bruce like a sandstorm on a stranded camel, raining down blows from

Rosado looks back at Bruce on the canvas.

every conceivable angle. He was the outlaw Josey Wales manning a Gatlin gun firing on the Union Army. Staying low, hands serving as earmuffs, Bruce was able to avoid being caught by anything significant by moving his head as punches whisked by with rapid fluidity. Had Rosado settled down and picked his shots, the fight would have been over. However, Bruce survived and made it to his corner like an outlaw who had just survived a lynch mob—grateful to get a respite in the welcoming arms of his handlers.

It appeared that Referee Cotton signaled that Bruce wasn’t coming out for the fifth round and Rosado jumped from his stool in jubilation. However, the actions of Bruce’s corner were misinterpreted as Bruce did not throw in the towel. The gallant Ghanaian fighter marched out to the bell to commence Round 5 as the party subsided in Rosado’s corner.  You have to love Ayi Bruce because he never wavered from pressuring his bigger opponent. Despite being hurt in the previous round, he continued coming forward in an attempt to catch Rosado with a big overhand right or murderous left hook. However, tonight Rosado was the Big Boss as he resumed boxing from the outside, peppering Bruce with combinations. It was turning out to be target practice as he zeroed in with straight rights, moving laterally and then reloading. By this time Uncle Russell, promoter J. Russell Peltz, starting yelling, “Stop the fight, stop the fight!” Maybe it was Rosado’s salvo or Peltz’s proclamation, but Referee Cotton waived off the action three seconds before the close of the round. Rosado’s hand was raised in victory, a technical knockout 2:57 of Round 5. There were no protestations from Bruce, his corner or the audience.

On my way to the fights, with USBA cruiserweight champion Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson riding shotgun, we stopped 20 miles outside of Atlantic City to load up on the $3.61/gallon gas—cheaper than Philadelphia. I loathe getting gas at night after two-division world champion Vernon “The Viper” Forrest was gunned down at a gas station July 25, 2009. It is unfortunate that there are no gas stations in the four corners of the squared circle because Philadelphia light-heavyweight Andre “Da Heat” Hemphill (10 wins – 17 losses – 2 draws – 5 kos) found himself on “E” entering Round 5 of his scheduled eight-rounder with cross-town rival Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante (10 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 5 kos) bearing down on him with bad intentions.  I had the fight deadlocked after four rounds, like many in press row, with Hemphill using his jabs and delivering left and right hooks to Ferrante’s body. Hemphill, not in optimal shape, but unwilling to forgo a payday, was hoping to sputter to the finish line over the course of the remaining four rounds.

Like a drowning man clutching a buoy, Hemphill started holding excessively in Round 5 in hopes of making it to the final bell. The only

Ferrranted (R.) moving in for the kill.

place you could find more holding was probably in the honeymoon suite of the hotel. Ferrante was trying to free himself from the tired fighter’s tentacles but oftentimes was unsuccessful. A shower of boos rained down on the ring activities, however, Hemphill wasn’t dissuaded as he held on like a death row inmate to the hopes and dreams of having his sentence commuted to life. Referee Vera didn’t grant a reprieve and took a point from Hemphill in Round 6 much to the satisfaction of the audience who must have felt that if they wanted to watch hugging and holding they could have rented a porno film.

While breaking free from a clinch in Round 7, Ferrante delivered a laser right that wobbled Hemphill like he was jolted by the electro shock of a Taser M26. Instincts took control and he clutched for dear life with Ferrante attempting to wiggle free. Unhinged for a split-second, Ferrante ripped off a vicious right that sent the gloved octopus to the canvas. Vera reached the count of six as Hemphill made it up on unsteady legs. The action resumed and Ferrante was like a whirlwind putting every ounce of energy and frustration over the past two rounds behind his punches trying to send Hemphill to bed early. Referee Vera had seen enough and wisely jumped in calling a halt at 2:44—a technical knockout victory for Ferrante.

Davis (L.) mixing it up with Medina.

In a well-contested six-round junior-middleweight bout, Philadelphia’s Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (12 wins – 8 losses – 0 draws – 6 kos) fought tooth and nail with Eberton Medina (5 wins – 6 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Newark, New Jersey. Davis wanted to box from a distance using his jab and lateral movement. But, Medina wasn’t going to acquiesce to Davis’ wishes and made it clear that he was going to keep it at close quarters where he could “get down and dirty”—the Funky Cold Medina.  Davis captured the opening round by outworking Medina who stuck to him like a buxom blond to a Texas billionaire—he wasn’t going to allow Davis to get into a rhythm on the outside. Back and forth they stayed in the trenches whacking away with shots to the head and body round after round. The only telling blow was a vicious left hook in Round 5 by Davis to Medina’s mid-section that doubled him over wincing in pain. Hurt, but wanting to survive, Medina scurried across the ring like a mouse evading a tabby, with Davis in hot pursuit trying to land another shot in the same spot. Showing great recuperative powers, he was able to stand his ground and return fire offsetting Davis’ onslaught.  Medina survived and the war of attrition continued in the sixth and final round as both men stood toe-to-toe trying to close the show. When it was over, the scores were 59-55 for Medina, 58-56 for Davis with the final judge scoring it a draw 57-57 of an action-packed fight that was difficult to score.

Other Results:

Welterweight DeCarlo Perez (3 wins – 0 losses – 1 draw – 1 ko) of Atlantic City, New Jersey was getting out-boxed by Philadelphia’s Keane Davis (1 win –2 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) before dropping him in the third round of their scheduled four-round bout. Perez went on to capture a unanimous decision by scores of 40-35, 39-36 and 38-37.  Vineland, New Jersey’s junior-lightweight Bryne Green (6 wins – 4 losses – 1 draw – 3 kos) handed previously undefeated Tyrone Luckey (4 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 4 kos) of Middletown, New Jersey his first loss sending him to the canvas in the opening round and by being relentless, forcing the taller fighter to wage war on his terms. Luckey didn’t live up to his surname as Green captured a unanimous four-round decision 38-37 on all three scorecards.  Junior-welterweight Naim Nelson (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) won a unanimous four-round decision over Korey “Lightning Rod” Sloane (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice, in an all-Philadelphia matchup. The taller Sloane boxed from the outside with Nelson fighting going forward never taking a backwards step while landing the harder punches.

It was another terrific night of the sweet science with Commissioner Davis and Gabriel Rosado sharing the title of Big Boss—Davis ensured parity in scoring by assigning judges that didn’t need guide dogs and Rosado delivered a fistic message sending Bruce back down to the welterweight division. The fans left satiated after the pugilistic main course, pouring out onto the casino floor to test their luck into the wee hours of the morning. Casinos and boxing—a match made in heaven!

Continue to support the sweet science, and remember, always carry your mouthpiece!

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On Saturday, July 16, 2011 it was announced that Ross Greenburg, President of HBO Sports would be departing the network. Departing, fired, let go, resigned, given the chance to pursue other opportunities, etc. – there are a plethora of clichés to express what is now clear—Greenburg is no longer the Big Boss overseeing boxing at HBO.  In times of despair, I see opportunity.  I will have to dust off my resume and reach out to Cousin Lou—promoter Lou DiBella. We both know and love the sweet science. It is time for two Crimsons to run HBO Sports. Cousin Lou, if you’re reading, “Give a brother a call or hit me up on Facebook!”

About George Hanson., Jr Esq.

George Hanson., Jr Esq. has written 106 post in this blog.

Hailing from New Forest, Jamaica, Hanson started boxing as a teenager in Philadelphia under the tutelage of former welterweight contender, Dick Turner. He excelled, capturing four Pennsylvania State Amateur Championships—his last while a junior at Drexel University studying Accounting. According to most who have seen Hanson fight, “He is the best fighter never to have turned professional.”

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