by Cliff Rold
A pair of undefeated battlers gave the fans at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut every cent of their money’s worth on Friday night. At the end of ten thrilling rounds, a trio of judges turned in scores that didn’t compute with the action witnessed, boxing’s latest incident of stomach turning officiating in a 2011 full of it. In a fight that appeared up for grabs heading into the final round, judges Glen Feldman, Peter Hary, and Clark Sammartino turned in unanimous shutout cards for 26-year old Edwin Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KO) of Worcester, Massachusetts, over 26-year old Will Rosinsky (14-1, 8 KO) of Ozone Park, New York.
The fighters ended the night have covered themselves in glory. They both deserved better the rendered verdict.
Both men compete in the Super Middleweight division but weighed in three pounds over the limit, well into the confines of Light Heavyweight, at 171 lbs. The referee was Johnny Callas.
Rodriguez played the boxer at the outset, circling the ring as Rosinsky pressed, coming in low and stiff with the jab, even landing a solid right. Initially, Rodriguez seemed bothered by the aggression but settled over the second half of the round, finding range for a counter right and digging hard to the body of Rosinsky.
Rosinsky didn’t shrink in round two. While Rodriguez managed a crowd awing right late in the frame, it was Rosinsky who controlled the pace, short hooks landing inside as he talked trash and roughed up Rodriguez in the clinches. He started the third pressing again, a series of jabs stinging Rodriguez. A lead left hook from Rosinsky was answered by a heavy Rodriguez right moments later. Down the stretch of the round, both men made their case in a close, fiercely contested three minutes.
Rounds four and five were both close, Rosinsky dominating the first two minutes of the former only for Rodriguez to command attention late with booming right hands. The sound of Rodriguez’s shots had to count, their echo noticeable in comparison to the shots of Rosinksy. However, Rosinsky continued to box beautifully. Halfway through the fight, it appeared to a rational eye either man’s to win.
Rodriguez had one of his better rounds of the night in the sixth, his right splitting the gloves of Rosinsky in the middle of the round as a highlight. Rosinsky, pressuring and landing between the attempts of Rodriguez, stole control of the contest back to his favor in round seven. A fatigued Rodriguez struggled with the ceaseless pressure of Rosinsky until the last half of the eighth round when his right hand began to work for him again. Rodriguez landed a bomb in the waning seconds capable of felling most men. Rosinsky shook it off and dug in, coming forward for a healthy exchange of blows along the ropes into the bell.
Round nine was a violent display of left hooking from both men, Rosinsky landing more but Rodriguez keeping pace with harder shots. The scoring appeared to favor Rosinsky heading into the final round but many rounds had been close and neither man could feel safe.
The final round began with Rodriguez letting his hands go first, a contrast with many of the bouts previous rounds. He stayed a step ahead, Rosinsky apparently gassed after a stupendous effort throughout the night, Rodriguez insistent on keeping his undefeated mark. It was a brave stand from the favored man. It was a brave ten rounds for both.
Then the judge’s took away from the efforts of both men. Unanimous scores of 100-90 for Rodriguez may or may not have gone to the correct winner, but the idea that Rodriguez had won every round was hard to fathom and at odds with reality. Rodriguez, who certainly had a case for victory, deserved to earn it without any cloud. Rosinsky, after a fantastic effort, deserved at least what he had earned, acknowledgement that some of the rounds were surely his.
The televised opener featured only one man with an “0” on the line. Like Rodriguez, he kept it. 30-year old Jr. Welterweight Gabriel Bracero (18-0, 3 KO), 140, of Brooklyn, New York, effectively pressed and bloodied the mouth of 27-year old Daniel Sostre (11-5-1, 4 KO), 138, of Highland, New York en route to a one-sided ten round decision win. Bracero was awarded clean sweeps on two cards at 100-90 while the other judge saw Sostre winning a lone frame at 99-91. Bracero, who makes up for a lack of power with a crowd-pleasing style, will likely soon begin to angle for ratings in the thick Jr. Welterweight class. The referee was Steve Smoger.
The bout was televised in the U.S. on premium cable outlet Showtime as part of its ShoBox series, promoted by DiBella Entertainment.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]