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Pazienza Shocks Rosenblatt, Stopping Him In Four Rounds

August 24, 1996

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Vinny Pazienza, the street-fighting kid who has made a career out of beating the odds, did it again Friday night, scoring a stunning four-round victory over unbeaten Dana Rosenblatt in a scheduled 12-round super middleweight fight.

Pazienza (41-6) rallied from a brutal beating in the first three rounds, delivering a thunderous overhand right that knocked down Rosenblatt.

When the 24-year-old left-hander got up, still dazed, Pazienza drilled him with five punches in a row, backing him into a corner, where referee Tony Orlando stopped the fight at 2:13.

But Pazienza wasn’t finished. He kept punching, knocking Orlando to the canvas with a right before state boxing commissioner Larry Hazzard rushed into the ring to stop him. Pazienza won the vacant World Boxing Union super middleweight title.

It was a shocking turnaround.

Rosenblatt (28-1, 21 KOs) dominated the fight from the start. He knocked Pazienza down in the first round and got tagged with a left as he was returning to a neutral corner.

By the second round, Pazienza was bleeding heavily from the nose and his left eye was swollen shut.

``I knew I had to go for the knockout,″ he said. ``I told (trainer) Kevin (Rooney) I can knock this kid out.″

He said he didn’t mean to turn Orlando into an opponent, though.

``I wanted to knock everyone out. Tony just got in the way. I love Tony,″ Pazienza said.

Rosenblatt, 24, of Malden, Mass., was as shocked as everyone else.

``I don’t know what happened. He caught me with a good shot and the next thing I knew, I was on the canvas,″ Rosenblatt said.

It was the first fight in 14 months for Pazienza. In his last, he was destroyed by Roy Jones Jr. in June 1995. He was knocked down three times before the fight was stopped in the sixth.

Rosenblatt’s manager had said beforehand he had to win to gain the respect Rosenblatt said he deserved. His last victory was over lightly regarded 40-year-old Howard Davis.

Pazienza, a two-time former champion, was a 5-2 underdog coming in.

He weighed in at 164 1/4, four pounds less than in his last fight. Rosenblatt, fighting at his highest weight ever, was 162.

On the undercard, unbeaten heavyweight Kirk Johnson of North Preston, Nova Scotia ran his record to 19-0 with a unanimous 10-round decision over Danell Nicholson (24-3) of Chicago.

Also, junior welterweight Rafael Ruelas scored a unanimous decision over 35-year-old Livingstone Bramble. Ruelas, of Sylmar, Calif., is 45-3.

Bramble, of Passaic, dropped to 38-18-3 but said he planned to keep fighting.

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