Photo by HBO
In the co-featured bout of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith pay-per-view card, Gabriel Rosado (23-10, 13 KOs) took on Willie Monroe Jr. (21-2, 6 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title.
With all of the top-notch shit talking that Rosado did in the build up to the fight, one could have reasonably assumed that Rosado was going to actually bring the action.
That assumption would have been wrong.
Both men seemed to be feeling each other out in the first couple of rounds. The problem was that the feeling out process never ended.
The crowd was pretty patient, but the boos reigned down starting in Round 3, and continued throughout the fight.
Neither man seemed to have any interest in letting his hands go, opting to pose and feint instead.
Billy Joe Saunders not fighting is better right now than these two guys fighting.
— David Greisman (@fightingwords2) September 18, 2016
By Round 8, Max Kellerman began questioning out loud whether or not Rosado had done enough to even win a round, but it was that round where he actually began to let his hands go.
Although there were short bursts of action, the same slow pace continued down the stretch as Monroe controlled the pace. A slow pace at that.
Rosado’s trainer, former world champion Fernando Vargas, wanted more punches from his fighter, but Rosado seemed combative in the corner and suggested that he was doing enough.
“But I’m throwing more than him,” pleaded Rosado.
The crowd did break out into cheers, but unfortunately it was because they were fully invested in doing the wave and not watching the action in the ring.
“I thought I was going to be strong tonight, but I felt tight,” said Rosado.
“It was a tough fight, I think I should have used my jab more. I mean, he was a decent fighter.”
Down the stretch, Rosado sloppily came forward and Monroe picked him off with jabs and lead rights.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Gabriel Rosado fight without a few cuts.
There were rumors swirling around that the winner would get Canelo Alvarez in Decemeber, but with this performance, it’ll be difficult to find a fan that wants to watch Canelo versus either man.
— Steve Kim (@steveucnlive) September 18, 2016
In the end, the judges saw the fight a clean sweep for Monroe with scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111.
“I want to thank HBO for the opportunity, hopefully I performed and they want to bring me back,” said Monroe.
Don’t count on it.