By Allan Cerf
Talented, tainted Willie Monroe Jr., a somewhat talented boxer with enough pop to annoy, fleetingly, GGG, the current middleweight monster, takes on uber-game journeyman, Gabriel Rosado in a fight Monroe must win convincingly to return to the middleweight Big Picture.
I think it’s a great match-up but most don’t. When announced, many fans and most scribes collectively groaned. What makes this pure undercard bout (Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith is the headliner) appealing is common denominator Gennady Golovkin, who stopped both.
Rosado showed incredible courage in spilling pints of blood before his corner stopped matters. Monroe in his encounter chose to fight another day when dropped by the Kazakh monster, just beating a count - then telling the ref he’d had enough.
Monroe has boxing skills, and was able to touch Golovkin on several occasions. Unfortunately, Golovkin is very good at cutting off the ring. No matter how slick Monroe’s boxing, GGG simply forced him to trade and when you trade with Golovkin - inevitably your body loses. Rosado is a professional opponent, as game as they come, the relentless type who will gladly take 6 to land 1. Unfortunately, he has very little pop.
Criteria: Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Stamina, Experience, Age
Willie Monroe Jr. - Overall Grade, B
Gabriel Rosado - Overall Grade, C-
It seems a forgone conclusion that Monroe will win. But after the Golovkin bout the question is - how well must he win to commence a comeback, thrust himself back into the forefront of the middleweight division and-garner big paydays versus the likes of Alvarez? Because it’s Canelo who I feel must be Monroe’s target - sure he’d fight Golovkin again but Golovkin probably wouldn’t, as he seems bent on becoming the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. Stopping Monroe again won’t help.
For me, it’s even more critical that the articulate Monroe look good because of his non-compliance in the past with mandatory doping schedules. As others have noted and I concur, his shoulders look suspicious.
Rosado loves to fight and does so in pursuit of a better life for his daughter, is a really likeable dude. He also recently impressed as a thespian, co-starring in the hit film Creed. Rosado didn’t dig being an amateur and after just 11 amateur bouts, turned pro. He maintains correctly that it’s much easier to create an undefeated record than it was years ago. Given the horrific punishment Rosado has taken (even if his easily-bled face makes matters look worse at any given ring moment) Gabe must have a career-night or consider quitting. As he noted a couple of fights ago, fighters die in the ring.
Here’s hoping that a clean Morone brings his A game and that Rosado, realizing he has a real talent in front of him - but NOT a Golovkin - does likewise.
Prediction: Willie Monroe by clear, dominating UD in a very entertaining bout.