Gabe Rosado is a warrior. He’s never been in a boring fight. And after Saturday, he’s now 1-5 in his last fight six fights, if you count his win in Big-Knockout Boxing’s middleweight championship fight.
His rival on Saturday was a lot like the fighters that Rosado has faced recently, a bigger name with promotional buzz and boxing chops. David Lemieux is likely the third biggest name coming out of Canada, behind Jean Pascal and Adonis Stevenson. He’s a big puncher with Hollywood looks — an enticing marketing mix if he could make a successful and exciting debut on American soil. He did.
Lemieux fought like a freight train with no breaks thundering downhill. From the opening bell until the ringside doctor called the fight to an end, Lemieux showed an incredible pace that was tiring to even watch. He never measured his output or held back on his punches. The jab barely made an appearance in the fight. Even still, he was relentless, seemingly not needing the rest between rounds or small breaks boxers often look for in the middle of a round.
Lemieux’s punching power proved legitimate, although it wasn’t his vaunted right hand that made an impression with fans, or on Rosado’s busted left eye. It was his left hook. He used that to hurt Rosado in the second round, which began the quick process of closing Rosado’s often-injured left eye.
This fight was always meant to be Lemieux’s audition for a big-name fight, although many hoped, myself included, that the big-hearted, always-entertaining Rosado could box well enough and long enough to tire out the younger puncher.
With an impressive victory on U.S. soil, Lemieux is now ready for a fight against a middleweight champ. Even with his Canadian support, the financials aren’t there to make the risk palatable for an older, undersized Miguel Cotto to step in the ring. Jermain Taylor’s legal troubles are likely to keep him away from the ring for a long while.
What about the boogeyman of boxing, Genneady “GGG” Golovkin? Lemieux says he’s not afraid of him, which might be true. But will he say the same thing that after Golovkin lands flush for the first time? There’s no doubt Golovkin would take him on, but Lemieux’s managers might think it better to take an easy belt before facing a challenge like Golovkin. The perfect opportunity might be in facing the winner of Matt Korobov vs. Andy Lee, who face off next week to crown the WBO champion — a title left vacant after Peter Quillin decided he could do better business without the strap around his waist.
Regardless of whom Lemieux takes on next, American fans now have a good reason to watch him. The relentless power and caution-to-the-wind aggression he displayed are the embodiment of a fan-friendly style. For Rosado, the warrior must take some time to heal and decide whether the repeated injuries his left eye has suffered might make boxing at the top levels too difficult. With his style of fighting, I have no doubt that a network will pay to use him as a stepping stone for another eager contender. But for a warrior who’s already given the fans so much, he might need to start picking his opponents more carefully. No one would fault him for taking a soft touch here and there. That might be exactly what he needs to get back to his winning ways.
A former college wrestler, Taekwondo black-belt, and wannabe boxer, Paul Navarro (aka Fight Like Sugar) is now a full-time lawyer, part-time fight scribe, and high school wrestling coach.