By: Hans Themistode
Winning a world title is constantly on the mind of Gabriel Rosado. Though the Philadelphia native has yet to check that goal off his boxing list, he was ecstatic once it was revealed that he would be taking on highly ranked contender Jaime Munguia.
With Rosado considering their showdown a “legacy fight”, he left it all out in the ring. However, it wasn’t enough.
The crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, simultaneously stood to their feet as both men made their way to the ring. Several minutes later, they remained there as the pair uncorked bombs from the opening bell.
Despite walking into their showdown on the heels of four straight stoppage victories, Rosado marched right to the center of the ring and attempted to hold his ground. Though initially taken aback, Munguia happily fought fire with fire.
As fists began flying, Rosado took the first step back as Munguia’s pressure was relentless. No longer wanting to engage in a firefight, Rosado began boxing and moving. In the second round, the 35-year-old fringe contender pumped out a strong and consistent jab and began looking for an overhand right, the same punch that left previous opponent, Bektemir Melikuziev, motionless on the canvas.
Though he tried, Rosado was unable to land his money punch. But, that doesn’t mean he didn’t endure plenty moments of success. In round five, in particular, Rosado switched tactics completely. He abandoned the jab, placed his hands up high, and attempted to walk down his much younger opponent.
On several occasions, Rosado appeared to wobble his man. Munguia found himself pushed back against the ropes and frantically attempted to fight his way out of trouble. With the momentum seemingly in favor of Rosado, Munguia took control in the middle rounds. He consistently found the chin of Rosado and continued to pound away.
In an effort to slow things down, Rosado grabbed and held onto Munguia. Unwilling to simply allow himself to be tied up, Munguia fought his way out of his grasp and took full advantage of a visibly tired Rosado.
As the championship rounds slowly approached, Munguia bounced on his toes as if to indicate that he was fresh as a daisy. Though Rosado appeared to be wary, he began swinging for the fences in the 11th. His willingness to throw combinations may have led to oohs and ahhhs from the crowd, but it also left him open for numerous counter punches.
At times, Rosado seemed to be fighting on pure instinct. While both men threw power shots until the sound of the final bell, it was Munguia who was awarded the hard-fought unanimous decision victory.
Judges Raul Caiz and Zachary Young viewed things one-sided in favor of Munguia, scoring the bout 118-110 and 119-109 respectively. Max DeLuca, however, saw things as a bit more competitively but still scored it in favor of Munguia. He scored it 117-111 in favor of Munguia.
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