Rosado and Stevens Battle to a Draw in The Pit. Layla McCarter Stops Diana Prazak in Final Round.

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LAS VEGAS – April 5, 2015 – In a close, hard-fought battle, Gabriel Rosado held on to his Middleweight Big Knockout Boxing (BKB) Championship belt, fighting to a seven-round draw against Curtis Stevens in BKB2’s main event at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Saturday night before a crowd of 3,000 boxing fans. The much-anticipated fight between Rosado and Stevens, two bitter rivals, was one of five carried live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET with four undercard bouts featured on DIRECTV’s Audience Network. 

The decision left a $30,000 knockout bonus on the table, though Stevens came close to putting Rosado away, dropping him with a short left hook near the end of the fifth round. Rosado rallied in the sixth and went on to go punch for punch with Stevens into the final round. One judge gave Stevens the fight scoring 69-63, but the remaining two judges each scored it 66-66, for a majority draw, allowing Rosado to keep the belt he won in the first BKB event last August when he TKO’d Bryan Vera in the sixth round.

Though all eyes were on the main event, two world-class female fighters were making BKB history as Las Vegas’ own Layla McCarter decisively won the first women’s BKB Lightweight Championship. In a master display of boxing technique, McCarter took out Australia’s Diana Prazak at 1:50 in the seventh and final round when referee Russell Mora stepped in to stop the fight. McCarter used BKB’s unique nowhere-to-run format in the 17-foot-wide pit to her advantage, pounding Prazak with relentless right hands and combinations that consistently found their mark.  

Also a first for BKB was the debut of a new in-glove technology. Developed exclusively for BKB, the “Hit Chip” technology, used in select bouts tonight, tracks the power and velocity in real time of a fighter’s punch in every round throughout the event.  Displayed on an on-screen graphic for viewers watching the fight on TV, several fighters at the BKB event registered more than 600 pounds of force and up to 26 mph.  

“What we’ve witnessed tonight is the coming of age of a new and exciting combat sport that has more than lived up to its promise of non-stop, toe-to-toe action,” said Alex Kaplan, co-commissioner and an executive producer for BKB. “The wildly enthusiastic reaction of fans in the arena tonight said everything about the enormous potential for BKB as these great fighters showed us how the pit forces the action. As both a popular sport and a format for young, up-and-coming fighters, who want to take on ‘The “Pit,’ we believe BKB is here to stay.”  

In post-fight interview, both fighters claimed victory. “I didn’t agree with decision,” said Rosado, who was rated an underdog for the fight. “I think I did enough to win the fight.”

Stevens was just as emphatic. “I think I won. Somebody didn’t get their math right.”  Though Stevens admitted he may have taken a round off, and that could have tilted the fight toward a draw.  Both fighters said they’d be happy to fight in an overtime round to avoid any chance of a draw.

Asked about his fifth round knockdown, Rosado said, “It was a flash shot, I got too relaxed and left my guard down. I felt like I made him miss, but he got in a good shot, I’ll give him that. I’m more of a stick-and-move type of guy and I felt like that’s what I did. It was a disciplined fight.”

Both fighters had praise for the pit format.  “I love the pit,” said Stevens. “It’s marvelous. You have to fight.”  Added Rosado, “It’s designed for a brawl, but at the same time, you can use it to your advantage and be aggressive. It’s going to be fast paced and it’s going to be action, but you can box smart,” adding that’s what he saw in the women’s match. “Layla boxed a beautiful fight.”   Though the main event fight was ruled a draw, BKB’s Hit Chip technology showed Stevens packed the more powerful punches on average at 402 pounds of force vs. Rosado’s 326.

Shane Mosley, Stevens’ trainer said in the post fight-press conference, “You’re going to see a totally different Curtis next time. He’s got his feet wet now in BKB and the things we worked on in camp, he knows now it works. I can’t wait until next time. When he steps in the ring again, especially if it’s Rosado, it’s going to be magical.”

Recap of Championship Bouts (Seven Rounds)

Middleweight Title – Gabriel Rosado – Philadelphia vs. Curtis Stevens – Brooklyn, NY:  Current Champ Gabriel Rosado fought Curtis Stevens to a draw over seven rounds in the BKB2 main event.

Lightweight Title – Layla McCarter – Las Vegas vs. Diana Prazak – Melbourne, Australia: McCarter defeats Prazak, putting on a boxing clinic, after the referee stopped the fight in the seventh round to save Prazak from further punishment.

Jr. Middleweight Title – David “The King” Estrada – Chicago, IL vs. Khurshid “The Maniac” Abdullaev – St. Petersburg, Russia: Abdullaev grabs the title in a unanimous decision from a determined Estrada in a hard fought bout that went all seven rounds.  Abdullaev’s Hit Chip measured one of the hardest punches of the night, registering 600 pounds of force at 12 mph.

Welterweight Title – Javier Garcia  – Oxnard, CA vs. Jonathan “El Charismatico” Chicas – San Francisco:  Chicas took the BKB Welterweight title belt away from Garcia with a solid left hook 16 seconds into the third round in a TKO victory, after knocking Garcia down twice in the second.

Cruiserweight Title – Anthony “Tony” Johnson – San Jose, CA vs. Joey “The Beast” Montoya – Colorado Springs, CO: Champ Anthony Johnson, clocking in on the Hit Chip at 621 pounds of force at 14 mph on one right hand cross, won a unanimous decision (68-65); over Montoya, retaining his belt. Montoya was rocked early by Johnson’s right hands, but came back strong in the last two rounds, however it was not enough.

Recap of Additional Fights (Five Rounds)

Jesus Soto Karass – North Hollywood, CA vs. Ed “The Lion” Paredes – Miami (Jr. Middleweight):  Karass, making his BKB debut, took it to Paredes in hard-fought, action packed bout, winning by unanimous decision (49-46). Karass said he desperately needed to win this fight and he did, going the distance and lighting up the Hit Chip with punches that surpassed 600 pounds of force.

Herbert “Ace” Acevedo – Garden City, KS vs. William “the Hutch” Hutchinson – Pittsburgh, PA (Jr. Welterweight):  Acevedo cards another BKB win with a TKO unanimous decision in five rounds (50-45).

Gabe Duluc – Boston vs. Antonio “Aztec God of War” Canas – Chicago (Jr. Welterweight): Duluc goes the distance again in his second BKB bout, victorious over Canas in a unanimous decision (50-45).

Julian “The Professor” Pollard – Brockton, MA vs. Elijah “Rain Man” McCall – Chicago (Heavyweight): Pollard is 2-0 in BKB, winning a TKO victory at 1:07 seconds in the fourth round.  

BKB, a new and intense close-range form of boxing that debuted last August, brought back “The Pit,” a smaller, circular fighting space, rather than a traditional square boxing ring with no ropes designed to produce more knockouts and heightened boxing action.

Developed by a team of industry veterans and licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, BKB features shorter and fewer rounds.  BKB uses a unique format designed to deliver a higher intensity level, maximum action and amazing knockouts, all of which have been declining with conventional boxing. BKB rounds last two minutes compared to boxing’s three-minute and MMA’s five-minute rounds. Fighters, using eight- and 10-ounce boxing gloves (depending on weight class), go five rounds for non-championship bouts and seven rounds for championship bouts.
For more information on BKB or how to catch all the hard-hitting knockouts, please visit BKB.TV. To join the conversation and get updates use #BKB and follow BKB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About BKB:
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, BKB is a close-range form of boxing that encourages and rewards proactivity, aggression and technical precision. The sport, led by Co-Commissioners and Executive Producers Jon Gieselman, Alex Kaplan and Chris Long, is designed to provide a more action-oriented and intensive form of boxing. BKB places a heightened emphasis on close-range offensive and defensive boxing techniques, precision punching within its unique format. For more information on BKB format, rules, events and fighters, visit www.bkb.tv

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