Jordan Rosario upsets Nicky Vitone once again, scores sixth round KO in NJ
PARAMUS, N.J. — Nicky Vitone was 49 seconds from evening the score against the only man who had defeated him as a professional. Then disaster struck once more.
Jordan Rosario ended matters at 2:11 of the sixth and final round, dropping the fan favorite from Pine Brook, N.J. with an overhand right that left him wobbly and unable to finish the fight. The scores at the time of stoppage were 48-46 on two cards and 48-47 on the third, all for Vitone (9-2-1, 7 knockouts), in the junior welterweight bout, which headlined a card at The Terrace at Biagio in Paramus, N.J.
The loss snaps a five-fight winning streak for Vitone since their first fight in July of 2021, which ended in a split decision win for Rosario (5-10, 1 knockout). Rosario was fighting for the first time since their first meeting.
Vitone came out aggressive in the first round, looking to match the energy they expected from Rosario in the first round. Vitone boxed and flurried to the head and body but was stunned by an overhand right at the end of the first. Vitone kept a busy pace in the second and third, but Rosario drew blood from Vitone’s nose with an overhand right in the third.
The fight went to a new level of excitement in the fourth, as Rosario dropped Vitone with a right hand followed by a hook that had Vitone standing on wobbly legs. Showing the heart of a warrior, Vitone came back in the same round, stunning Rosario with a right hand that sent him to the ropes.
“I wasn’t surprised because he is a champion,” said Rosario when asked about Vitone coming back in the fourth. “You can’t take it away from him, he’s a good fighter.”
Vitone was in control of the sixth round before he was dropped for the second time. Rosario said he felt he was in control heading into the final fight, but heeded the call to urgency from his trainers Keith Colon and Muhammad Abdul Salaam to close the fight strong.
Rosario said he had scored two stoppages in a brief amateur career but had never knocked anyone out in a fight that conclusively.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I’m just gonna dwell on it and continue to build and do better and better in each and every fight that I can,” said Rosario, who trains out of Ironbound Boxing Academy in Newark.
The show was the third event hosted by Abella Boxing Promotions, with the next one scheduled for July 28 at the same venue.
Raymond Cuadrado remains unbeaten
Raymond Cuadrado came to the ring looking like a nerd with telescopic eye glasses, but showed he was far more dangerous than his looks suggested.
The Ridgewood, N.Y. resident demonstrated just how devastating he is with a third round stoppage win over Usiel Hernandez. Cuadrado, who had over 80 amateur fights before turning pro in 2021, showed lightning quick reflexes to potshot and outbox the tough but crude Hernandez of Acapulco, Mexico.
After wading through the initial attack from Hernandez, Cuadrado landed counter uppercuts and hooks with regularity. One of those counters hurt Hernandez, and after nearly a minute of one-way traffic, referee Ricky Vera called the fight at the 2:55 mark.
Cuadrado, who was competing in his first scheduled six-rounder, will be back in action on May 20 in Greenwich, Conn. on a card that will also include unbeaten featherweight prospect John Gjini (8-0, 7 KOs).
Michael Lee (10-2, 7 KOs) of Jersey City narrowly avoided a disaster, winning a unanimous decision over Antonio Sanchez (7-17-3, 3 KOs) in a six-round welterweight bout. The scores were 59-55 on one card and 58-56 on two cards, which did not correlate to the action that took place.
Sanchez of Puerto Rico is nine years older than Lee at 36, but looked the fresher of the two down the stretch, walking down Lee and landing punches along the ropes. Lee, who used his speed and boxing skills to control the early rounds, held throughout the final two rounds to make it to the final bell.
The win is the second straight for Lee after losing a majority decision to Rickey Edwards just under a year ago.
Christian Otero (5-3, 2 KOs) outslugged the tough but outgunned Vinnie Denierio (3-8, 1 KO) of Elmira, N.Y. in a four-round lightweight bout. Otero of New York City picked his shots and opened a cut over Denierio’s right eye en route to a shutout win by the scores of 40-36. The win snaps a three-fight losing streak, though those losses came against opponents with a combined record of 21-1.
Otero, 28, will be back in the ring on April 27 against Sydney Maccow (8-8) on a DiBella Entertainment “Broadway Boxing” show at Sony Hall in New York City.
Dane Guerrero and Andre Hinmon Jr. fought to an exciting draw in a four-round middleweight bout. One judge scored it even at 38-38, while both fighters won a judge’s scorecard by the score of 39-37.
Guerrero, 35, brought a big crowd, many of whom train under him at Combat Fitness Club in Ridgefield Park, N.J., which he owns. Hinmon (0-2-1) of Philadelphia gave Guerrero a rough welcome to the pro ranks, as he rocked him with all-out aggression.
Guerrero was credited with a dubious knockdown in the first round, which negated a round that Hinmon otherwise dominated. Hinmon continued to land the heavier punches in the second, but Guerrero found something of a rhythm in the third and fourth to land meaningful punches.
The card kicked off with a first round stoppage win for Kevin Hernandez (1-0-1, 1 knockout), who ended a six-year layoff with his junior middleweight bout against George Gethers (0-4). Hernandez, 29, of Bergenfield, N.J. came out like a house on fire, overwhelming his opponent with power punches, including one that caused a severe laceration over his right eye.
The fight was stopped after the first round due to the cut.
“This was supposed to be a retirement fight but you know boxing, it’s like a drug,” said Hernandez, who is considering fighting again on the next Abella Promotions show.
Hernandez is a student at Computer Science major at Columbia University with an expected graduation date in 2024. He says he may get an internship with Amazon this summer, but says his ultimate dream is to use his education to help keep boxers safe.
“I want to get my PhD after I graduate and implement [artificial intelligence] in a type of way to try to cure brain damage,” said Hernandez.
Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].