(credit: Tom Casino, Showtime)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — There was a cool efficiency to what Jermell Charlo did to Gabriel Rosado on Showtime Saturday, but it was no slick fencing match: Charlo delivered some real hurting with his punches between all the fancy movement and defense. It was good for a unanimous decision that gave Charlo his best victory to date, and using the always gutty Rosado as a measuring stick, Charlo outperformed Peter Quillin and J'Leon Love.
Rosado, as usual, charged hard — if the move back down to junior middleweight hurt him, it didn't show — and even started faster than usual in the 1st. But Charlo couldn't miss with his left all night, mixing in shoeshine-style combos before sticking and moving, and as the fight advanced, Charlo began dialing in the right hand, too. Rosado, prone to cuts, began to show damage around his left eye in the 3rd, and in the 5th, the inevitable happened as Rosado's skin burst open and bled all night long. The referee ruled it a cut from a punch, but Showtime cameras apparently showed it was due to a head butt.
Rosado started getting going pretty well in the 8th and 9th, as Charlo (who afterward hyped his conditioning) slowed some. Rosado might have even hurt him with a punch sequence in the 9th, as Charlo held. But he was back in gear in the 10th, and boxed and moved his way out of harm. The scores of 97-93 and 99-91 were reasonable, but 100-90 didn't give Rosado the modicum of credit he deserved.
Charlo has the look of a real contender at 154 after this. And while his style isn't absolutely thrilling, he delivered enough hard-hitting action Saturday to warrant reconsidering whether he's fully in the "boring" category.