Whittaker goes out swinging
(CNS): He may not have won but Charles Whittaker certainly went down swinging, having put on an inspired performance against Philadelphia native Gabriel Rosado last night at the Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA. Whittaker took the opening round with his jab and movement, controlling the distance and picking his shots carefully. Rosado stepped on the gas in the second, showing more confidence against Whittaker's calm offensive to make a close round. The fight really started to heat up in the fourth, with the young contender cutting off the ring and slipping Whittaker’s jabs to land right hands. The cayman contender kept on the defensive looking to land at long range and hook his way off the ropes.
Rosado didn’t ease up the pressure though, forcing his way in with a bodyshot and forcing Whittaker to stand and trade. A few right hands and left hooks broke through Whittaker’s guard while he returned with some flush counters. Rosado landed a big left hook at the end of the round.
The fifth round was definitely the most action packed. Both fighters came out with bad intentions to land big shots. A big right caught Whittaker clean to put him on the canvas for the first time in the fight. He beat the count but was in trouble, with Rosado piling on the pressure throwing bombs to finish the job. It didn’t look good, but two monstrous left hooks from Whittaker stunned Rosado right at the end of the round to turn things around.
Both fighters kept the fast pace into the sixth and seventh and a left hook by Rosado dropped Whittaker at the start of the seventh round. It looked like the fight could be over as he was slow to rise from the canvas, but gamely rose to put himself back in the fight.
Rosado kept the pressure up for the remaining of the fight, stalking Whittaker looking to cut off the ring, while Whittaker moved and countered, using his experience to punish Rosado for his mistakes. By the tenth Whittaker was low on gas and his legs were failing him. Rosado put Whittaker down for a third time before Charles rose give what he had left.
They traded toe to toe, with Whittaker landing some nice counters. He kept trying to get it back to a boxing match, moving back and pumping out the jab, but could not keep Rosado off him. Charles no longer had his legs under him and slumped to the floor for the fourth and final time with referee Steve Smoger calling an end to an exciting fight at 1:50 in the 10th round. Total punches according to Compubox were 96 landed of 394 for Whittaker against Rosado’s 160 of 472.
“It’s disappointing, you know,” Charles said in the post fight interview with NBC. “It comes with the territory. You lose some, you win some. I’m not ashamed. I’ve worked hard. I got here by being my own promoter and I think it was a great accomplishment for me getting here. I give God the glory and I give much love and respect to Gabriel Rosado. He’s a young, tough kid and I’ll be rooting for him.”
When asked about his future in boxing, he said, “Well, where do I go from here? I’ll go and sit down and talk to my people but, you know, like you say, I’m 38. To go back to the drawing board at this time, I don’t think I have that time and I’ll just concentrate on promoting boxing and working with the young kids back in the Cayman Islands. I wanna send my love out to the people of Philadelphia and, of course, the American public and also the people of the Cayman Islands. I wanna thank all my fans and foes alike. You know, it's been a good run. I’m not ashamed. I don’t have anything to be ashamed of. I worked hard and I give God the glory for bringing me this far.”
With this unofficial “retirement” speech, it sounds like this will be Whittaker’s last fight. And, as he said in his interview, he has nothing to be ashamed off. Ending his (38-13-2, 23 KOs) career with a bang, the 38 year old veteran gave it everything he had in an action-packed, back and forth fight to put on a great show.
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