GBP on ESPN Gabriel Rosado vs Glen Tapia and KeAndre Gibson vs Alejandro Barrera
BY KID HERSH
Golden Boy Promotions GBP on ESPN featuring boxing on a Thursday night from the Park Theatre at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
First up on the telecast was Alejandro Barrera (27-3, 17KO's) vs KeAndre Gibson (17-1-1, 7KO's). Jay Nady was the referee. In the first round Gibson showed his ultra athleticism as he was far too fast for Barrera to catch up to. Gibson was landing quick jabs as well as power shots - such as the beauty of a right hand two minutes into the round. In the second round it was more of the same but you could see that the game plan for Barrera is to continue pressing and eventually wear down Gibson, who seems to be running on frenetic energy. Barrera was able to land more punches in the second and third round and it was in the third round that he really got to his man as he was putting in lots of work to the body that was clearly having an effect on Gibson. In the final minute of the round it appeared that he scored a knockdown off a left hook to the body but Nady ruled it a slip. Gibson got up and was clearly affected by the pressure and volume punching of Barrera. Then suddenly in the fourth round Gibson landed a huge right hand to the chin of Barrera that stopped him in his tracks and appeared to lock up his legs - great fight! Gibson further hurt Barrera with more powerful blows that had Barreras face a mask of blood as his legs were stuck in the mud and he was a very stationary target. Gibson, however, was very tired and not able to capitalize on a potential stoppage as he breathed very heavily and backed off despite Barrera teetering in place a couple times - seemingly ready to go. Both men were bleeding, hurt, and exhausted in the coming rounds but they continued fighting. Barrera looked the worse for wear as his punches got sloppier by the minute and he took more punishment from the sharper punching Gibson. It seems as if Gibson should be able to take his man out but simply cannot - either due to lack of power or lack of killer instinct to go to one more level. Barrera, on the other hand, is reminding me of Alfredo Angulo in his movements and ability to take punishment while still plodding forward and slugging away with the exact same game plan. The fight further turned into a war of attrition in the late rounds, such as the ninth, when Gibson seemed to have a second wind and was absolutely hammering Barrera with everything he had but Barrera was seeming inhuman as he continued to take the punishment and come forward. Once again; I think the Alfredo Angulo comparison needs to be made! The fight ended in much the same fashion; with Barrera seeming slightly inhuman as he took blow after blow but instead of taking steps back or buying time continued to come forward and throw punches. Barrera even out-threw Gibson in some of these rounds! The cards came in 95-95, 97-93, 98-92 for Gibson.
Before the main event the bell was tolled in silence 58 times for the 58 casualties during the Las Vegas gunman massacre. Oscar De La Hoya also had a personal message for the fans pre recorded on Las Vegas being his second home.
Main event time featuring Gabriel Rosado (23-11, 13KO's) vs Glen Tapia (23-4, 15KO's). The referee was Robert Byrd. In the first round Rosado was pressing forward and looking to open up/hurt Tapia. Tapia did a good job of throwing combinations to back off Rosado in spurts but in the second half of the round it was Rosado that stunned Tapia two different times. Tapia really does not have any head movement to speak of - it's as if he has no neck - so he takes the full force of every single blow. In the second round Rosado was still controlling the action until Tapia was able to turn it around - with it looking like he stunned Rosado and slowed him down with effective body punching. Rosado is not going anywhere that easily though, as he regrouped and battled back to end the round. In the third round Rosado was boxing off the back foot - allowing Tapia to come to him to unload his punches. Tapia was having success in spurts - mostly with body work - but was being outboxed by the slicker man Rosado. In the fourth round Tapia had the start of a hematoma above his left eye and Rosado smelled blood, coming out in the fifth round looking for the stoppage. Midway through the fifth it looked like he might have it as he backed Tapia into the ropes and unloaded punches in bunches with referee Robert Byrd taking a close look and telling Tapia to "show him something". Tapia looked very calm and cool - perhaps too calm - and made it through the round. He would not make it through the sixth round though as he was unable to fully recover and Rosado pressed for the knockout again - getting it a little over midway through the round after a knockdown that Tapia rose from from clearly was not going to fully reecover and was unable to hold Rosado off of him.