By Keith Idec
Gabe Rosado’s knockout of Bryan Vera didn’t count on Rosado’s record and wasn’t watched live by nearly as many boxing fans as it would’ve been had HBO or Showtime televised it.
Rosado is still very thankful for his victory over Vera in a Big Knockout Boxing (BKB) main event Aug. 16 in Las Vegas. Without it, Rosado realizes he wouldn’t have landed a chance to resurrect his official boxing career against Montreal’s David Lemieux (32-2, 30 KOs) in an HBO main event Dec. 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“Getting that win definitely got the momentum going for this fight,” Rosado said on a conference call Monday. “I feel very confident going into this fight because I felt strong against Bryan Vera. I did something against Bryan Vera that [Julio Cesar] Chavez [Jr.] couldn’t do. It definitely builds confidence.”
Rosado knocked out Vera with a right hand in the sixth round. Vera (23-8, 13 KOs), of Austin, Texas, went the distance with Mexico’s Chavez (48-1-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) in each of his two previous bouts, both losses.
Philadelphia’s Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs, 1 NC) has lost his last four official fights, though one of those defeats, a majority decision against J’Leon Love in May 2013, was changed to a no-contest once Love (18-1, 10 KOs, 1 NC) tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Previously, Gennady Golovkin (31-0, 28 KOs) stopped Rosado in the seventh round of their middleweight title fight, the bout before Rosado faced Love. After the Love fight, a Rosado cut caused a technical knockout loss to then-WBO middleweight champ Peter Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs). Three months later, junior middleweight contender Jermell Charlo (24-0, 11 KOs) out-boxed Rosado in a 10-rounder.
His win against Vera, even in a ring without ropes, was one Rosado needed to regain some confidence.
“I did everything the same,” Rosado said regarding his preparation for his non-traditional encounter with Vera. “I had a strong training camp. I think people saw my skills in that fight. They saw a different me. They saw me faster, they saw me sharper, they saw me sitting on my shots. People took notice that I looked real good.
“It was the first time that me and [new trainer] Jesse Reid went into a fight. I was taking Jesse Reid’s advice, and the round that I knocked Bryan Vera out in was the round Jesse Reid told me to go get him in.”
The 28-year-old Rosado’s goal is to earn another middleweight title shot, but he would welcome another opportunity to fight in a BKB event.
“Why not?,” Rosado said. “I really enjoyed it and they put me in position to [get] this opportunity. … In the future, if Golden Boy is interested in doing it again, I have no problem with it.”
Most Association of Boxing Commissions rules apply in BKB events. The primary difference – other than competing in a pit, a circular ring without ropes – is that rounds last two minutes, not three. The Rosado-Vera bout was scheduled for seven rounds.
“It definitely was a different experience,” Rosado said. “At the end of the day, when it was over it felt like a fight. The only difference was there was no ropes. But it was all boxing rules and everything.”
The Rosado-Lemiuex middleweight fight will headline an HBO “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader from Barclays Center. The telecast also will include a middleweight bout between James De La Rosa (23-2, 13 KOs), of San Benito, Texas, and Hugo Centeno Jr. (21-0, 11 KOs, 1 NC), of Oxnard, Calif., and a junior welterweight fight that’ll match Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme (21-1, 14 KOs) against Philadelphia’s Hank Lundy (25-3-1, 12 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.