David Lemieux (33-2, 31 KOs) displayed immense power and precision in defeating Gabriel Rosado (21-9, 13 KOs) via technical knockout in the 10th round at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday night.
Lemieux, fighting for the first time outside of his native Canada, proved he is worthy of high-profile bouts after the resounding win. He pummeled Rosado's head throughout the match, causing so much swelling to his opponent's left eye that the match had to be called. ESPN's Dan Rafael gave his take on the stoppage:
It's Rosado's third loss in a row, and the Philadelphia pugilist has not won a bout since defeating Charles Whittaker in September 2012. His bravery makes him popular with fans, but it's hard to see where his career goes from here with his propensity to get cut and an inability to protect his chin.
Both fighters have built up reputations for straight-ahead, pure offensive boxing, but the first two rounds saw little in the way of all-out offense. Rosado seemed content to work the jab and measure up Lemieux, while the latter went in for a series of combination blows that were good enough to score points but didn't seem to be too effective, at least for the first two rounds of the bout.
True to form, Rosado had noticeable cuts and swelling on his face by the end of the third round. Lemieux was way ahead on punches landed but couldn't do much to keep his opponent from moving around the ring and trying to find an opening. He did well to land a couple of powerful left hooks in the early going.
Rafael was impressed with the Montreal native's performance in the third:
Rosado's left eye began to swell quickly, but the trainers worked hard to alleviate the damage.
Undeterred by his facial injuries, Rosado surged forward in the fourth round, trading combinations with Lemieux and forcing his opponent into the ropes. Although he looked worse for wear, he landed cleaner shots in the fourth and looked to be turning the tide of the fight. HBO Boxing showed off the fighters at their best in Round 4:
HBO Boxing also provided a look at the stats after four:
Lemieux stayed in control of the fight for the first six rounds. Rosado, whose left eye resembled a mushroom by the second half of the fight, clearly had difficulty staying out of the way of Lemieux's overhand rights. Fortunately, Lemieux's lack of stamina came into play, and Rosado was able to get back into the match somewhat.
He landed a smattering of power punches over the next three rounds, but Lemieux did well to stay back when necessary and come in with his own combinations. The ringside officials had to check on Rosado's eye multiple times, and it became clear the latter would need a knockout to secure victory.
However, Rosado never had his chance in this match. Lemieux didn't fade nearly enough for Rosado to press any advantage, and the fight was called in the middle of the 10th round.
HBO Boxing provided a highlight of one of Lemieux's parting shots, just before the match was called for a TKO:
LNH.com's Arpon Basu noted that Rosado's skull took a vicious pounding during the match:
It was a wise move for Lemieux to forgo attacking his opponent's body. He knew Rosado had a weakness and didn't try to get cute during the bout, punching his way to a convincing victory.
Lemieux called out a couple of big names after the match, per HBO Boxing:
A fight with Gennady Golovkin, who also defeated Rosado by TKO in January 2013, would definitely be a crowd-pleasing match. Lemieux showed he's not afraid of anybody in the ring, but Golovkin would easily be his toughest opponent yet.
The 32-year-old from Kazakhstan has a relentless style of his own with dangerous knockout power. Lemieux will have more trouble generating offense against Golovkin than he did against Rosado, but he should be able to entertain the fans just as much as he did on Saturday night if the bout comes to fruition.