Ali Akhmedov pounds tough Gabriel Rosado on Alvarez-Golovkin undercard
LAS VEGAS — This was a nice way to break the rust off of a nine-month layoff. Super middleweight Ali Akhmedov had not fought since December 2021. Gabriel Rosado had not fought since April.
Akhmedov, the rangy fighter from Kazakhstan, was looking to make himself relevant again at 168. Rosado brought his brand of Philly toughness and little else, since he lost three of his last four.
Make that now four of his last five, after Akhmedov won a 10-round unanimous decision over the gritty Rosado on the undercard portion of Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin III on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena.
The judges all scored it a 100-90 shutout for Akhmedov (19-1, 14 knockouts).
The first two rounds saw both fighters start tentatively. The 36-year-old Rosado, a crafty veteran of 43 fights, did establish his jab early on and had his 27-year-old opponent backing up.
It was not until the third that Akhmedov began opening up. He landed a right in the opening minute of the round, before Rosado (26-16-1, 15 KOs) started pecking away with the jab. “King” Rosado seemed content to wait and counter Akhmedov, though he did it from a distance that didn’t work.
Akhmedov plunged a combination through Rosado’s high guard in the final seconds of the fourth. An Akhmedov right was particularly stinging, forcing the brave Rosado backwards.
Midway through the fifth, Akhmedov bounced a combination off of Rosado, whose defenses were beginning to slow. King’s jab from a distance did nothing but dent air. As soon as he brought his left arm in, Akhmedov attacked. A short Akhmedov right clipped Rosado on the chin and stumbled the rugged Philly fighter.
From there, it seemed a matter of time, even though Rosado would not go easy. He had not been stopped since 2014. King kept that streak intact.
By the seventh, despite his gutsiness, Rosado needed a knockout to win. As the rounds progressed, he was becoming increasingly easier to hit. He more defensive, more in survival mode than trying to do anything to win.
For Akhmedov, it was a great way to break the rust off against a solid, tough pro.
Austin Williams promised he would light up the Alvarez-Golovkin undercard. “Ammo” won, though it was a pedestrian performance by the southpaw middleweight Williams (12-0, 9 KOs) and Kieron Conway (18-3-1, 4 KOs). Williams won a 10-round unanimous decision by being the more aggressive fighter, sans any fireworks.
Diego Pacheco (16-0, 13 KOs) continues to look impressive. The 21-year-old super middleweight started slow, then exploded on Enrique Collazo (16-3-1, 11 KOs) in the fifth, putting a stop to the contest at 2:29.
Thanks to a brutal right uppercut on the chin, lightweight Marc Castro (8-0, 6 KOs) remained undefeated with a fifth-round knockout at 1:40 over Kevin Montiel Mendoza (6-2-2, 3 KOs).
In a good give-and-take eight-round junior welterweight bout, Aaron Aponte (6-0-1, 2 KOs) and Fernando Angel Molina (8-0-1, 3 KOs) fought to a split-draw. Both fighters were knocked down. Aponte dropped Molina in the second, and Molina put Aponte on the canvas late in the fifth, with Aponte in bigger trouble.
Junior bantamweight Anthony Herrera (3-0-1, 2 KOs) opened the evening with a fifth-round unanimous technical decision over Delvin McKinley (4-4-1, 4 KOs). The fight was stopped at :19 into the fifth when the fighters clashed heads.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito [twitter.com].
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