By John DiSanto – Philly Boxing History (.com)
Junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado and trainer Billy Briscoe left Philadelphia for a two-week training camp in Phoenix, Arizona, where they spent their time doing final preparations for their September 21st nationally televised fight. Today they fly back to Philly, and then head straight to Bethlehem, PA for what figures to be their most important fight yet. That phrase has come in handy in 2012, with each of Rosado’s fights this year increasing in difficulty and every win propelling him closer to a world title fight.
Friday night, Rosado, 20-5 (12 KOs), faces Charles Whittaker, a Miami-based boxer from the Cayman Islands with a 38-12-2 (23 KOs) record. The 12-round fight is an IBF Title Eliminator. This means the winner of the fight becomes the #1 IBF junior middleweight in the world, and secures a mandatory title shot against champion Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage. This is everything Rosado has been fighting for. So once again, the phrase fits. It’s the most important fight of his life.
“I expect it to be a good, tough fight,” said Billy Briscoe, who has trained Briscoe since his first day in the gym as an amateur boxer. “Charles Whittaker is a hell of a fighter. He doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, but he can fight. The man hasn’t lost since 2004, and even then he lost a majority decision in Michigan to a guy from Michigan. So he might be unbeaten since 2001.”
“In the 50 years of history of the WBC there have been 13 cases in all its fights and only 2 have been in championship bouts…boxing is clean of drugs.”
Jose Sulaiman, president of the World Boxing Council, says that the WBC has not yet received any notification from the Nevada Boxing Commission nor any laboratory regarding a positive doping test from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Don Jose says whoever released that information has committed a serious violation of confidentiality. According to anti doping regulations, only the boxer, the Boxing Commission and the World Boxing Council, can be notified about the positive results, in order to give the boxer to have the chance to appoint a representative to be present at the opening of the second test, which has to be made in a special laboratory appointed by the WADA. The World Boxing Council has always waited for the “B” test to be sent to laboratories at UCLA, to continue the regulatory process via which a final decision is reached.
Sulaiman stated, “I also want to refute what my friend, the promoter Bob Arum, said to ESPN about that there’s no promoter or boxers who could pass the marijuana test, including himself, to which I’m absolutely and totally opposed. Because it is an irresponsible statement. I do not accept that all boxers and boxing people have ever consumed drugs.”
Jhonatan Romero 122 vs. Efrain Esquivias 122
(For IBF No. 2 Ranking)
Roman Morales 122 vs. Jonathan Arellano 122
(For WBC Latino Championship)
Alejandro Luna 134.5 vs. Pipino Cuevas Jr. 140.5
*Cuevas must come in no more than 145 lbs at 10 A.M. for the fight to happen
Francisco Santana 148 vs. John Worthy 148
Jesus Hernandez 125.5 vs. Edwin Solis 126
Roy Tapiz 122 vs. Pablo Batres 123.25
Raul Lopez 126.5 vs. Leopoldo Gonzalez 129
Jundy Maraon 121 vs. Ernie Marquez 118.5
Maria Suarez 113 vs. Abigail Castaneda 114
Azat Hovhannisyan 122 vs. Raymond Chacon 121
Venue: Chumash Casino
Promoter: Gary Shaw
Photo: German Villasenor/Team Ponce De Leon
Having held the WBO Super bantamweight title from 2005 to 2008, then losing it and waiting four long years to capture his second world title could have come a lot sooner, but as the saying goes, better late(r) than ever, as Daniel “The Tarahumara Destroyer” Ponce De Leon 44-4 (35KOs) captured the WBC featherweight world title via technical decision over multiple time world champion Jhonny Gonzalez on Saturday night’s co-featured bout at the MGM Grand Arena.
“I wanted the fight to end by KO, but I’m thankful that it went the way it did anyway, I was ready for anything that came nonetheless,” Ponce De Leon said regarding the circumstances of the stoppage.
De Leon also fought through a bloody gash atop his head, pressing on and making it a fight, dropping Gonzalez as the fight went into the second accidental head butt which cause the effective stoppage to the world title contest.
Promoter Barry Halbritter of AASHA Record Breakers, Inc. presents the battle for the New York State middleweight title plus introduces undefeated Ghanaian KO artist Samuel Kotey Neequaye (17-0, 14 KOs) to the U.S. this Saturday at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY.
In the main event, Neequaye makes his U.S. debut against Federico Flores Jr. (7-4-1, 2 KOs) of Mission, TX. Neequaye is from Accra, Ghana, the same hometown of the legendary Azumah Nelson, who is widely considered as the greatest African boxer. Neequaye – who is nicknamed – “Unbelievable” – represented Ghana at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
In the co-main event, reigning New York State middleweight champion Nick Brinson (9-1-2, 5 KOs) of Geneva will defend his title against cross-state rival Markus Williams (10-2, 1 KO) of Schenectady. Brinson and Williams clashed back in August 2009 in a close fight that Brinson won but it had “rematch” written all over it.
The undercard is packed top local talent, including super middleweight Andy Mejias (11-0, 4 KOs) from nearby Utica.