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How great is it that we have not one but two televised cards on Friday night? First up at The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA on NBC Sports (That’s so awesome to type. Free TV we’re back!):
Gabriel Rosado (20-5) vs. Charles Whittaker (38-12-2)
Boxing360’s pick: Rosado is the rugged kid who surprised a lot of people when he stopped Sechew Powell in nine rounds back in June to win a regional title. Whitaker is a classic opponent. He hasn’t lost since 2004 (A decision loss to Troy Rowland) and has rattled off 14 straight wins since. But at 38 as the underdog? I don’t think so. Rosado by decision.
Ronald Cruz (17-0) vs. Antwone Smith (21-4-1)
Boxing360’s Pick: Cruz is a solid Puerto Rican boxer/puncher. Smith is a bit young to be called a journeyman but he is in the rough customer category. Sure he lost to Kermit Cintron (I didn’t think he did) but he stayed with him every step of the way. Ok. He got knocked out by Lanardo Tyner, too. But even still I like Smith to test Cruz every step of the way. Cruz by decision but it won’t be easy.
Over at The Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, CA, Showtime’s Shobox: The New Generation gives us a glimpse into the future with two solid matches.
Jonatan Romero (21-0) vs. Efrain Esquivias (16-1)
Boxing360’s Pick: Esquivias is a talented brawler with some boxing ability to go with it. Esquivias is likely better than he showed in losing to Rico Ramos last June. Hat style will always be wrong for him. Romero will bring something to table that Esquivias will be able to work with: pressure. I can’t tell who will win this one. That’s what Shobox is all about. If I had to guess I am going with Esquivias by decision.
Roman Morales (11-0) vs. Jonathan Arrellano (13-0-1)
Boxing 360’s Pick: Classic style match-up. Arrellano likes to get down. Morales likes box more but with intelligent pressure. It should be a fun fight while it lasts. We expect fireworks from the opening bell. Morales by decision.