Crowning Philadelphia’s Champion:
Ennis Defeats Rosado in Majority Decision
As the two fighters stalked each other in the ring, one side of the crowd screams for the challenger, “Ga-be! Ga-be! Ga-be!” On cue, the champion Derek ‘Pooh’ Ennis snaps Gabe’s head with a quick-strike right hand, and from the other side of the crowd comes chants of “Pooh! Pooh! Pooh!”
The crowd would play back and forth all night as the two Philadelphia gladiators battled for the full duration, culminating in a 12th round all-out, toe-to-toe brawl that capped an incredible night of boxing.
At the opening bell, Rosado pushed to control the tempo, but Pooh’s lightning-quick fists helped him to land cleaner flurries and escape any damage from the taller Rosado. Pooh, who was subject to skepticism about his speed due to the pace of his previous fight, was back to the Pooh of old; fast hands, elusive head and body movement, and slick with counter-punching.
Rosado seemed to realize that he could be picked apart by Pooh’s speed, and smartly turned up his own intensity in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Ennis backpedaled and was forced to close into tight defense as Gabe used his size advantage to try to smother the champ with battering shots.
Pooh, displaying his experience and ring savvy, turned up the heat in round 4 by re-establishing his quick-strike jab that comes from confusing angles, and throwing blinding combinations through the defenses of Rosado. Rosado, suddenly under fire from an advancing opponent, lost his momentum completely, and the patient and extremely well-conditioned champion Ennis would firmly keep control until round 11.
Rounds 11 and 12 was a fight fan’s dream, as both fighters went head-on into the frenzy of the night, and all patience and precision went out the window. It went from a boxing match to a straight-up Philadelphia street fight, to a crowd-pleasing brawl that saw both the champ and challenger take serious licks and somehow find the strength to fight back. In the middle of a 12th round hurricane, Pooh landed a body shot that all but collapsed Rosado, but the young and headstrong Puerto Rican showed the heart of a champion by clawing back in and fighting ot the finish. Unfortunately for Rosado, the final bell rang and the scores hit the books, even though every spectator in the Arena would have probably paid the entry fee again to see these two continue.
By scores of 114-114, 117-111, and 116-112, Derek ‘Pooh’ Ennis retained his USBA Championship title and is vaulted into the world ranks. Deep respect to Gabe Rosado, who fought an extremely tough fight and hopefully will continue to be a tough and entertaining Philadelphia draw.