Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs) defends his WBO Middleweight Championship on Saturday night against Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs). This fight is flying under the radar a bit in boxing circles but is really a fight that should not be missed.
Quillin is undefeated and coming off some solid performances in both winning and defending the title. He took apart a then undefeated Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam dropping him six times on route to a unanimous decision victory to win the WBO belt. In his last fight, Quillin dismantled one time prospect Fernando Guerrero scoring a 7th round stoppage victory.
Rosado has gone from journeyman to contender over the last two years. He resurrected his career in 2012 with three solid wins on national television. He gained many fans with his gritty performance in a loss earlier this year to Gennady Golovkin. In his last fight, Rosado gave rising prospect J’Leon Love all he could handle in losing a very controversial split decision that many thought Rosado deserved to win (later overturned to a no-contest as Love tested positive for a banned diuretic).
On paper, this is a fairly evenly matched fight with a bit of an edge going to the undefeated champion Quillin. He possesses more speed and more power than Rosado. But those advantages aren’t by a wide margin by any means as Rosado himself is no slouch in those categories.
Stylistically, this fight has the makings of being a very fan friendly contest. Both fighters possess good offensive skills and like to work behind their respective jabs to set up their power punching combinations. Rosado likes to double up with the left hook to the body and head. Quillin, on the other hand, will open up with both the straight right and left hook primarily to the head in combination.
While they each may possess some good offensive skills, they also each have some major defensive flaws that will probably be exposed in this fight. And this is a major reason why I think this is can’t miss for boxing fans.
Rosado does not move his head at all. He is a sitting duck when his opponents are in range and fire off punches. Quillin, for his part, forgets defense entirely in spots. It seems to be a lack of focus more than anything else. He sometimes waits for a receipt after he jabs or at times his hands will be at his sides just allowing his opponents free shots.
There is one other reason I think this will be a very entertaining fight. Rosado came up the hard way in the sport and rose from journeyman to contender after much perseverance. However, he needs a win now on the big stage or else he will fall into that so called gatekeeper status in the middleweight division. This is probably his shot and he knows that. And fighters who are desperate will fight more determined and take more chances than they normally would in a fight. I think we see a more aggressive Rosado and this could bring out a more aggressive Quillin.
So we have two fighters who are fairly evenly matched with good offensive skills and major questions on defense. It frankly is a surprise to me that this is flying so much under the radar. I see a slugfest developing over the course of the bout that leaves the crowd breathless at times. It is an absolute can’t miss fight and one that boxing fans will be wondering why there wasn’t more anticipation for when the night has ended.