Super middleweight prospect Will “Power” Rosinsky (16-1, 9 KOs) takes a major step up in class on July 7th when he takes on the resurgent Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (39-2, 34 KOs) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.
Rosinsky, a four time New York Golden Gloves champion and the 2005 US National Amateur Champion at light heavyweight did not have much time to enjoy his 8-round unanimous decision victory over Aaron Pryor Jr. on June 14th. Just a day later, advisor Keith Connolly called the Ozone Park native to offer him an opportunity to fight on HBO against the former middleweight champion.
“I received the call the next day, about 2 o’clock,” explains the 27-year-old. “I woke up late, was in my car with my fiancée on my way to get something to eat, when my advisor called me.”
Rosinsky did not hesitate to accept the fight, which presented itself after junior welterweight Brandon Rios pulled out of the HBO slot due to an injury. Instead of resting, the Polish-American returned to his work as an FDNY Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for a few days before taking an unpaid leave of absence to prepare for the biggest opportunity of his career.
“I think they called two other guys from England, but they turned it down because of the short notice. Then they called me and I said ‘absolutely’ because I actually told Keith about a week before the Aaron Pryor fight that I wanted Pavlik soon because I think he’s on his way out. Pavlik is still a big name, and it’s a bold move when I’m only 16-1 because he has more knockouts than I have fights, but it’s about where he is in his career. I really haven’t stopped training, so one thing about getting the call for this fight the next day is that I didn’t have a chance to get heavy again, so it worked out perfectly.”
Despite having only 17 pro bouts, the opportunity was too good for Rosinsky to pass up after watching Kelly Pavlik’s most recent outings, a quick second round demolition of Aaron Jaco and a seventh round TKO over Scott Sigmund. The New Yorker noted that Pavlik appeared winded and out of shape after the early rounds, particularly against Sigmund, and he believes that the Youngstown native has not recovered the form he showed in his glory days as middleweight champion, making him ripe for the picking.
“I know he was throwing a lot of punches, but he seemed like he tired out a lot after 3 or 4 rounds,” states Rosinsky. “I didn’t see that he was as fast, and that’s probably the best way to judge him is by a fight 3 weeks ago. Once I saw that, compared to what I picture 3 or 4 years ago when he fought Jermain Taylor and guys like that, there is just a big difference in my mind.”
Regardless, Rosinski believes that the fight will undoubtedly become a war of attrition at some point during the fight due to their styles, with the difference being Pavlik’s inability to fight on the inside.
“Absolutely,” confirms Rosinsky. “I think he’s still Kelly Pavlik, so he’s still good in certain aspects. I think he’s still strong. What’s weird is that he stalks his opponents but at the same time he tries to keep a distance, so he doesn’t press them that much because he’s not that good on the inside. He stalks the guy basically to try to get them on the ropes, but he still keeps his distance because he doesn’t like it on the inside. He wants you at his pace at his distance. If you’re too far out or too far in, it seems to frustrate him. I think he’s tailor made for me, I really do.”
This fight may come down to whether Rosinski can absorb the heavy punching of Pavlik, but also whether Pavlik can adapt to Will’s ability to box as well as fight on the inside.
“His inside game has gotten better,” admits Rosinsky of Pavlik’s improvement since moving his training to Oxnard, CA, where he trains under the tutelage of Robert Garcia. “I don’t know if it’s from being with Garcia, but he’s throwing more uppercuts, he’s using his left hand more, throwing more left hands to the body, more hooks. He also fought guys that gave him the opportunity or the respect and the distance to throw those punches, which is going to be the difference in my fight.”
It is apparent that Will Rosinski has done his homework on Kelly Pavlik. However, the New Yorker does not feel that he is getting the same respect from ‘The Ghost,’ which he believes is a slight that will cost Pavlik dearly.
“I think he only knows me from a youtube clip or two, which is not much,” states Rosinski. “His biggest mistake is overlooking me because he’s going to realize that he’s coming in to rebuild his career and I’m coming in to make a statement to everyone, so we’re fighting on two different mind sets, and that’s going to be the difference in this fight. 2 or 3 rounds in, when he feels like he’s behind and he gets that anxiety of ‘I only have a few more rounds to try to get this kid out of here or try to outbox him,’ it’ll make it that much worse mentally to be in that position.”
Rosinski’s greatest concern leading up to the fight is whether he can win a decision on a Top Rank show against one of their bigger names. The thought of losing a close decision to the house fighter stirs memories of his only blemish, a shutout unanimous decision loss to Edwin Rodriguez that was controversial because most of the rounds seemed highly competitive.
“That’s one of my biggest concerns before the fight, that I just get a fair shake. He’s a superstar, so I feel like anything close is gonna go to him. I have to win each round by a comfortable margin. What I learned from the Rodriguez fight is that when I’m winning rounds, I have to stay consistent and not get satisfied. I kept getting satisfied with winning the first half of the rounds and not fighting the full 3 minutes.”
What eases the fighter’s mind is that the fight is being televised, providing him with a wide audience to witness and decide for itself who the true winner of the bout is if it goes the distance and the decision is questionable.
“I’m still going to make sure it’s not up in the air, but the reason why I don’t care as much is because it’s on HBO, so if the judges are gonna pull some BS on HBO, the whole world is watching and they get to see the truth. What fans can expect is a good and tough fight, a war, and I’m going to shock a lot of people next week.”