WASHINGTON -- Junior middleweight Jermell Charlo passed the biggest test of his career and looked good doing it as he easily outboxed a badly cut Gabriel Rosado to win a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the DC Armory.
Fighting on the undercard of junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson's defense against Dierry Jean, Charlo was content to lay back and use his jab and body shots when there were openings and he found a lot of them, winning 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93. ESPN.com also had it for Charlo, 99-91.
By the third round, Rosado's left eye was marked and swelling. In the fifth round, Charlo opened a cut over Rosado's left eye in virtually the same place where he was cut in middleweight world title fights last year -- bouts that he lost by knockout because of the cuts.
Referee Malik Waleed ruled that the cut was caused by punch although replays seemed to indicate it was caused by an accidental head butt.
"Gabe Rosado was a tough fighter and he did exactly what we trained for," Charlo said. "He was strong, my strongest fighter to date. I want to give him his props. It was about being in shape. That's the No. 1 thing."
Rosado was trying to make up for a lost 2013, when he gave up the mandatory position for a junior middleweight world title shot and moved up to middleweight for a more lucrative -- and much tougher -- shot at titleholder Gennady Golovkin last January. Golovkin badly cut him and dominated in a seventh-round stoppage victory. Next time out, Rosado lost a decision to prospect J'Leon Love but it was changed to a no decision because Love failed the post-fight drug test for a banned substance. Rosado then got another shot at a world title, but was stopped on a cut in the 10th round by Peter Quillin in October.
Although Rosado, who was trying to make the fight a brawl, was throwing a lot of punches, he was barely landing anything while Charlo (23-0, 11 KOs) was landing at a much higher rate (50 percent to 18 percent, according to CompuBox statistics).
Charlo said once he saw that Rosado's eye was cut, he targeted it.
"Once I seen the eye leaking, I told myself, 'Let's finish this eye off and if we have to continue to go, we'll go and we'll get some work in.' "
Said Rosado, "It's real tender there and it gets cut early, unfortunately. But it is what it is. It's disappointing. He boxed a good fight."
Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs), 28, of Philadelphia, finally landed some hard shots late in the eighth round to throw Charlo off balance, but the round came to an end before he could follow up in any significant manner.
While the win probably moves Charlo, of Houston, closer to a world title opportunity, his 23-year-old twin brother Jermall Charlo, beat him to the title shot. Although less experienced as a pro and having faced lesser opposition, Jermall is scheduled to challenge junior middleweight world titleholder Carlos Molina on March 8 on the Showtime PPV undercard of Canelo Alvarez's fight with Alfredo Angulo.
"It would be a dream of mine, and I am sure a dream of the Charlo brothers, to have Jermel fight for a world title next," Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer said. "I believe it has only been once in boxing that twins held world titles together at the same time (twins from Thailand). I will have to evaluate if a fight against (interim titlist Erislandy) Lara would be possible since both are trained by Ronnie (Shields). I will work on this next week. Irrespective, the junior middleweight devision has a young emerging star with Jermell."
• Largo, Md., middleweight Dominic Wade (14-0, 10 KOs) survived a hard first-round knockdown to go on and win a unanimous six-round decision against Dashon Johnson (15-14-3, 5 KOs) of Riverside, Calif.
Wade won 59-55, 58-55 and 57-56 he had to overcome the rough moments in the first round when Johnson knocked him down with a hard right hand in the opening moments of the fight.
• Bantamweight Rau'shee Warren (10-0, 3 KOs), a three-time U.S. Olympian from Cincinnati, cruised to a shutout eight-round unanimous decision against German Meraz (33-27-1, 20 KOs), whose futility ended with him landing only one jab in the fight. Warren, a southpaw, did as he pleased against the much slower Meraz. Warren, who won 80-71, 80-71 and 80-72, dropped Meraz with a right hook in the opening seconds of the eighth round.
• Lightweight Robert Easter Jr. (9-0, 8 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio scored two knockdowns and dominated journeyman Daniel Attah (28-18-1, 11 KOs), a Nigeria native living in Washington, for a lopsided decision in their eight-round bout.
Easter, with a height and reach advantage, had no issues with Attah, who once challenged for a junior lightweight world title in 2002. Easter dropped Attah in the third round and came close to stopping him. He floored him again with a straight right hand with 40 seconds left in the fight, which Easter won 80-70 on all three scorecards.
• Lightweight Jamel Herring (7-0, 4 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Coram, N.Y., appeared to easily outbox Antonio Sanchez (5-2-2, 3 KOs) of Puerto Rico but wound up with a split decision victory. Two of the judges had their six-round bout a 60-54 shutout for Herring but the third judge surprisingly had it for Sanchez, 58-56.
• Super middleweight D'Mitrius Ballard (4-0, 3 KOs) of Temple Hills, Md., a 2012 National Golden Gloves champion, recorded a stoppage victory 18 seconds into the third round when Marlon Farr (3-4, 0 KOs) of Zephyr Hills, Fla., retired with a suspected broken left hand.
• Lightweight Raynell Williams (3-0, 3 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Cleveland who didn't turn pro until last summer, scored a sensational first-round knockout, drilling William Stimmel (1-3, 1 KO) of Muskogee, Okla. Williams, 24, landed a flush left hand that knocked Stimmel out for the count at 1 minute, 7 seconds of the first round.
• Chicago welterweight Semajay Thomas (1-0, 1 KO), a former U.S. national amateur champion trained by Ronnie Shields, survived a first-round knockout down to win a unanimous four-round decision in his professional debut against Kevin Womack (4-3-1, 2 KOs) of Baltimore. After the difficult first round, Thomas swept the rest of the rounds to win 38-37 on all three scorecards.
• Welterweight Javonte Clark (1-0, 1 KO) of Cincinnati made his professional debut by stopping Leo Kreisher (3-5-1, 2 KOs) at 2 minutes, 39 seconds of the third round in their scheduled four-round fight.