The end almost
came in the third round, but Rose began to protect his head from the battering
and forced Olivares to shift his attack to the body. And again the mouthpiece
flew. In the fourth round Olivares was in full command. Blows came from all
sides, from all angles. They flew off the gloves Rose held alongside his head
with a bang that was clearly audible over the never-ending roar of the
Only 55 seconds
of the fifth round had slipped by when Rose's mouthpiece sailed out again. This
time Rose wanted no replacement for it. He quickly kicked it out of the ring.
It was obvious that the end was near; Rose knew it and there was no need to
delay things further.
Two vicious left
hooks to the body tore into Rose's ribs about midway in the round, and with
1:40 gone another hook put him down. It was a five count before he was up, and
again the mandatory eight. A flurry of red leather lashed Rose's head. A left,
a right, a left and then a solid right hand dropped him on all fours. Referee
Larry Rozadilla didn't hesitate, didn't count. He waved Olivares off, pointed
to Rose's corner that it was over and raised the Latin's hand in triumph.
It was a case of
brisk destruction. Rose had never been a factor. He never had a chance to
display his boxing skills. He never landed a truly damaging blow. He was up
against too many guns.
If the title
challenge that was supposed to be a classic between boxer and bomber never
materialized, one other Forum challenge did. It took place as Olivares' hand
was elevated in triumph. From all sides came a swarm of Ruben's admirers. A
hundred were in the ring in an instant. But the police were prepared. One
rooter made it in over the middle rope only to come flying out over the top
one. Another came slithering in on his belly, crawling between and around legs
until he found air space. Police bounced him out on two hops and he landed in
the press row. A third tried to Valeri Brumel it, jumping the top rope. He was
greeted by a policeman's forearm that put him down and out on the apron.
shakers and greeters capitulated, especially after Olivares put on the
traditional sombrero and rode around the ring on the shoulders of his handlers.
But it was a good 30 minutes after Rose had gone to his quarters before
Olivares came dancing down he hallway to his dressing room.
By then Rose was
saying, "I knew the bloke could punch hard, but I didn't think he would
punch that hard. He's got machine guns hanging off those arms and he never
Olivares' vicious body attack for finally cutting him down. "He kept
hitting me up under the rib cage," he said. "I couldn't get my
Rose paused to
press an ice pack carefully against his lip. "That's the worst Lionel has
ever been beaten," conceded his manager, Jack Rennie. "That punch in
the second round that knocked out his mouthpiece threw him off balance and he
never regained his tempo. From the second round on he was fighting on stamina
and guts alone."
Would there be a
rematch? The answer came fast and sharp: "No rematch. We're moving up to
the next division."