Alan Dawson – London
Undefeated heavyweight Jarno Rosberg defeated Manuel Alberto Pucheta by way of eight round decision in a dull undercard fight that would have had crowd members leaving the arena and back to the bar to glug a shot or two in order to make the concluding rounds interesting – they weren’t. Rosberg and Pucheta served as a supposed warm-up to the brace of heavyweight title fights at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland on Saturday, December 3.
OTB verdict: 80-72 to Rosberg.
Judges verdict: 80-73, 80-73, 78-74 in favour of Rosberg.
Considering the popularity and emerging star status that Robert Helenius possesses, it is forgivable to forget that Finland brag a second undefeated heavyweight in Jarno Rosberg. Like Helenius, he is a big man. At 6’5 with a portside posture, he provides opposition with an awkward target, however, one glaring reason why he does not attract the following – both domestic and abroad – that his compatriot has in droves, is because he is a safety-first pugilist, even when up against misshapen journeymen with only a modicum of talent.
In the first round of his dust-up with Argentinean boxer Manuel Alberto Pucheta, it was clear that the 40-year-old had not really come to fight. He did not have a high punch output and he retained a rigid shield that did not give him the necessary protection from Rosberg’s power as the leather that the Finn dispatched was so heavy that, even when he was connecting with Pucheta’s forearms, he rocked him off-balance.
In round two it became clear why Rosberg’s knockout ratio is just over three down-and-out in every ten faced – he is one-paced. The things he did well, however, were: his right hook punch, the ‘classic’ one-two combination (in reverse) of a southpaw jab and left cross, and his evasion of the wild overhand right from Pucheta. A patient operator, Rosberg did not unleash the one-two with enough regularity and instead, moved side to side around Pucheta while popping him with single-fire shots… right jabs, hooks and left straights were all landed on the man brought over from South America, his accuracy though was left wanting.
Rosberg’s tentativeness continued throughout round three, but his most notable punch was a right hand dug into Pucheta’s paunch. The Argentine, an out-of-shape ‘athlete’, managed to land a few shots in the fourth round yet none of them caused any real damage.
The contest had become stale even by the midway point and the crowd voiced their disapproval with jeers and whistling. Pucheta was by no means a live dog. He was poor, was there to be taken apart by a gung-ho gunman but Rosberg was clearly a fighter with a Glock without a trigger. He had the (physical) tools, just no execution. At the end of the fifth round there was minor drama as Pucheta hooked Rosberg after the bell.
Unfortunately, in the sixth round, there was still another nine minutes of fisticuffs to complete. There was no technical flair from either man throughout seventh round and also the whole fight. Pucheta was over-reliant on a wild right hand that he would throw in over the top but was a: easy to foresee due to the way he would position his feet and consequently b: easy to evade. Rosberg, meanwhile, refused to put his punches together. He showed that he had a knowledge of the one-two, but when it came to flurrying, he was frigid.
In the final round, Pucheta actually caught Rosberg’s jaw with one of his overhand rights. There was a unified sense of relief, though, when the final bell rang to conclude what felt like a protracted contest and, when Rosberg saluted to his own fans, you could count the claps with one finger.
With the win, Rosberg rose to 12-0-0, 4ko while Pucheta dropped to 35-8-0, 28ko.