By Keith Idec
Sechew Powell gave Gabriel Rosado credit for his impressive victory against Jesus Soto Karass.
Powell made it clear, however, that there’s nothing similar about him and the veteran Mexican brawler Rosado stopped in the fifth round Jan. 21 in Philadelphia. The 32-year-old Powell plans to demonstrate those differences tonight, when he’ll face Rosado (19-5, 11 KOs) in a 12-round junior middleweight fight that’ll be broadcast as a main event on NBC Sports Network from Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa. (9 p.m. EDT/PDT).
“Winning this fight is definitely going to take me to a place that I’ve been before, that I’m trying to get back to, the elite level,” said Powell, who’s 26-4, including 15 knockouts. “I want to get back to competing at the top of this division. There’s so much talent in the division. This fight, no question, being on national TV, will put me right back, in my opinion.”
Powell replaced Colombia’s Joel Julio as Rosado’s opponent about a month ago, after Julio withdrew from the fight for undisclosed reasons. The southpaw from Brooklyn lost his last two fights, a pair of unanimous 12-round decisions to IBF junior middleweight champ Cornelius Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC) and former welterweight/junior middleweight champ Cory Spinks (39-6, 11 KOs).
Powell’s previous loss came against former IBF junior middleweight title-holder Kassim Ouma in August 2006, when Ouma won a unanimous decision in a 10-rounder in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Rosado defeated Ouma (27-8-1, 17 KOs) by split decision three years ago at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., but Powell believes his overall experience edge against better opposition will serve him well tonight.
“I think that’s the biggest advantage I have over him, that I’ve been in with the tougher fighters,” Powell said. “I’ve been tested tougher. I’ve got wins over tougher guys, in my opinion. But again, all of those things, they’re only additives and things you can use to gauge the fight. We’ll only know [tonight] what’s exactly going to happen.”
Working with Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KOs) in training camp for more than a month empowered Powell. As much as Powell helped Rodriguez ready for his title shot against Austin Trout (24-0, 14 KOs) on Saturday night in Carson, Calif., all those hard rounds of sparring prepared Powell for what he’ll encounter tonight, too.
“Delvin is a hard-nosed, tough guy,” Powell said. “He’s the real [deal]. He’s not fabricated. He really is that guy. I’ve been knowing Delvin since I was 14 years old, since we were [Junior Olympians] in the regional tournaments. So I know he comes from real pedigree. He’s serious about winning always, but you have to know in this camp he gave it an extra 10 percent, this being his world title fight.
“I had a chance to be a part of that because I had my own situation going on. So we were able to really benefit each other and push each other as hard as we could. And I think that’s one of the main reasons for my confidence in this fight, the fact that I know me and Delvin put in solid rounds and we prepared each other very effectively.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.