Friday night on NBC Sports, Gabriel Rosado (20-5, 12 KOs) kept career momentum moving in the right direction as he notched an impressive 9th round stoppage over former title challenger Sechew Powell (26-5, 15 KOs) in their headlining 12 round junior middleweight bout from the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Penn.
The action started out slowly as both fighters felt each other out for the first few rounds. Things heated up around the midway point as they traded power shots at a higher clip. Powell’s southpaw stance bothered Rosado early on.
“I fought kind of technical in the beginning because his southpaw style gave me some issues, but once I warmed up I was able to get inside,” confirmed Rosado to Chris Mannix in the postfight interview.
Rosado has notched six wins in a row and could line himself up for a title shot if he keeps things going this way. Powell has dropped three straight dating back to his shot at a belt against Cornelius Bundrage in a rematch, which he lost via decision.
Rosado continued to prove why he has become a favorite of Main Events in these NBC Sports slots. Even though the action started out a bit slowly, once he found his rhythm it became the kind of bout Main Events and Kathy Duva have been pressing to make for these cards.
The highlight of the fight was an action packed round 8, where Powell was badly hurt by a series of uppercuts and was nearly stopped before coming back and landing a few combinations of his own. Had the referee been any other than Steve Smoger, the fight could have easily ended early in this round.
Instead, Powell would make it into the 9th, where Rosado would drop Powell’s gloves to the canvas, initiating a count from Smoger. Rosado would then go ahead and get the finish against the ropes with Smoger rescuing a collapsing Powell at 2:43 in the round.
In the co-feature, hometown kid Ronald Cruz (17-0, 12 KOs) kept his perfect record intact as he widely decisioned Cleveland, Ohio’s Prenice Brewer (16-2-1, 6 KOs) over 12 rounds.
Cruz landed wide left hooks almost at will all night, and though Brewer worked a nice jab, it was not enough to keep Cruz from moving forward and doing damage.
The fight was mostly lopsided until the championship rounds when Brewer was able to make a mark on the scorecards, but it was much too little too late as the final tabulation was 118-110 across the board from the judges.
The highlight of the fight was in the post-fight portion of the fight as Prenice Brewer reacted violently to Freddie Roach’s feelings of the fight, saying that Manny Pacquiao is on steroids and that he has looked like shit recently.
Returning to the ring for the first time since killing Roman Simakov in a bout in Russia on the Ruslan Provodnikov-DeMarcus Corley undercard last December, light heavyweight prospect Sergey Kovalev (18-0-1, 16 KOs) scored an impressive 2nd round stoppage of veteran trialhorse Darnell Boone (19-19-3, 8 KOs).
The fight was a rematch of a 2010 bout that saw Kovalev earn a split-decision verdict over career spoiler Boone. This time there was no such controversy as Kovalev and Boone engaged in a brawl that saw Boone battered against the ropes before referee Steve Smoger halted the bout at 1:32 of the round.
Though the bout came well above Boone’s best weight, it is only the third time in his career he has ever been stopped. Boone once dropped Andre Ward early in both fighters’ careers and the Olympic Gold medalist was lucky to escape with the victory.