By Luis Sandoval
Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 12KOs) continued his impressive winning streak as he stopped veteran Charles Whittaker (38-13, 23KOs) in the 10th round Friday evening at Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA.
Rosado started a bit slow as Whittaker did a good job controlling the distance with his long jab in the first round. In round two, Rosado bounced back as he was able to land a right hand that seemed to stun Whittaker momentarily.
Whittaker went back to using his reach advantage by moving around the ring and not allowing Rosado to get inside. As much as Rosado tried to cut off the ring, he simply couldn’t trap the 38-year old Whittaker.
In the 5th round things really began to heat up as Rosado was now having more success getting to Whittaker. Whittaker now under some pressure was tagged with a hard straight right that dropped him to the canvas. Whittaker would get up and as Rosado tried to jump on him for the finish, Whittaker landed his two hard left hooks that wobbled Rosado as the bell rang to end the round.
It would be all Rosado from here on in as he would continue to pressure Whittaker and would drop him for the second time in the fight with a right and left combination in the 7th round. Whittaker was overwhelmed but continued to fight back valiantly but it simply wasn’t enough.
In the 10th round, Rosado would once again put down Whittaker with a hard over hand right on the side of the head. Whittaker would trade furiously with Rosado as he made his last stand but it was Rosado who would prevail.
Another pair of right hands would hurt and drop Whittaker as referee Steve Smoger had seen enough and called a halt to the bout.
Undefeated knockout artist Sergey Kovalev (19-0, 17KOs) dominated late replacement Lionell Thompson (12-2, 8KOs) as he disposed of him in three rounds.
Thompson, who took this fight on two weeks notice, was overwhelmed from the start. Kovalev had no problem landing his right hand and backing up his opponent. A hard left straight jab hurt Thompson at the end of the first round.
The second round was all Kovalev again. He dominated the round, which was punctuated by a monster right hand that cause Thompson to crumble to the ground.
Somehow Thompson beat the count only to be sent back to the canvas with another right hand as the bell rang. Kovalev finally put Thompson away for good in the third round, scoring his second knockdown courtesy of a right hand. The referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.
Kovalev was originally supposed to face slick southpaw Gabriel Campillo, who cited a back injury in pulling out of the scheduled bout.
Tags: Sergey Kovalev , Antwone Smith , Ronald Cruz , Gabriel Rosado
In what was supposed to be another homecoming party for Ronald Cruz in front of his hometown, things
didn’t go as planned as known spoiler Antwone Smith outworked the undefeated contender by a close
It was a rough start for Cruz who seemed to get outworked by Smith’s jab and body work. Smith
continuously pumped his jab and went to the body as Cruz tried to work with him but wasn’t landing as
cleanly. The crowd cheered whenever the hometown guy Cruz landed anything but it was Smith who
In the 5th round Cruz started having more success as he went to the body and landed upstairs on Smith
whose jab seemed to disappear. Cruz tried to land on Smith but Smith’s shoulder roll defense did not
allow for Cruz to land his over hand right. Smith stopped moving and stayed in the pocket choosing to
continue to working behind the jab and using his defense to avoid Cruz’s punches with success.
Not being able to land his right hand, Cruz switched to the southpaw stance in the 8 th and was finally
able to land 2 straight lefts to Smith but that would be about it. Smith continued to work behind the jab
and consistently outwork Cruz who was stunned by a big right hand in the 9th round.
In the end, Smith was awarded a hard earned split decision victory with scores of 96-94 twice for Smith
and 96-94 for Cruz.