By Keith Idec
Featherweight contender Luis Rosa died in a car accident early Sunday morning.
Lou DiBella, Rosa’s promoter, confirmed Rosa’s death through Twitter on Sunday morning. Rosa was 26.
The New Haven Register reported on its website Sunday afternoon that police responded to the accident at approximately 2:13 a.m. ET in West Haven, Connecticut. According to the story, two unidentified people are in critical condition as a result of the accident, in which a Honda, traveling south on Meloy Road, crossed into the northbound lane, and struck an Acura.
The story didn’t specify which car Rosa occupied or if he was driving.
Born in Puerto Rico, Rosa lived in New Haven, Connecticut, and fought mostly in his home state, New York and New Jersey during his seven-year pro career. Rosa went 23-1, including 11 knockouts and two no-contests, during his career.
The rugged veteran lost for the first time as a pro in his most recent fight, a highly entertaining battle with Yuandale Evans that Showtime televised November 10 from Evans’ native Cleveland. Rosa lost that closely contested, 10-round bout by split decision to Evans (20-1, 14 KOs).
Here’s DiBella’s Tweet about Rosa’s death: Just received the terrible news that #boxing contender Luis Rosa, Jr. died early this morning in an automobile accident. He was only 26 years old. He came from a close and loving family; prayers to Marilyn and Luis, Sr. & family. #RIPLuisRosaJr
DiBella added this in another Tweet: Luis Rosa Jr’s last #boxing match was Nov 10, 2017. Fittingly, it was #ShoBox @ShowtimeBoxing & it was a thrilling, toe to toe, FOTY candidate. He didn’t get the nod (could have), but he & @YuandaleEvans gave us something to remember. #RIPLuisRosaJr, a #fighter & a good kid.
Rosa produced the biggest win of his career when he defeated super bantamweight contender Luis Del Valle in May 2014. A resilient Rosa overcame a fifth-round knockdown and a point deduction for low blows in the seventh round to defeat Del Valle (then 18-1), a fellow Puerto Rican, by unanimous decision in a 10-round bout HBO Latino televised from Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.