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Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Look Back: Dana Rosenblatt

In an effort to link the past with the present, The Jewish Boxing Blog will present monthly a short biography of notable former Jewish boxers.
"Dangerous" Dana Rosenblatt was a well-regarded boxer who won a slew of minor title belts during his career, which spanned from 1992-2002. Rosenblatt was a regional attraction, popular in New England. He finished with a splendid record and his resume includes some impressive names, but Rosenblatt never got the opportunity to fight for a major world title.

Rosenblatt was born on January 26, 1972. He grew up in Malden, Massachusetts and eventually became proficient in karate, judo, and kickboxing. He then turned to boxing and went pro at the age of 20. His first six fights ended in knockout victories.

After cruising to a 16-0 record with 13 KOs, Rosenblatt stepped up to face Sean Fitzgerald (18-1-2), whose only loss was to Roberto Duran. Fitzgerald was confident he'd beat the untested Rosenblatt. Two minutes into the 1993 bout, Dana threw a 1-2 combination that sent Fitzgerald hurling to the canvass. The fight ended 30 seconds later after Fitzgerald succumbed to Rosenblatt's onslaught.

Rosenblatt donned white trunks with blue trim and a Star of David printed on his left thigh. He was a skilled technician and a devastating in-fighter. But he never shied away from a brawl either. He stopped Brett Lally in the 9th round of their 1994 match when Dana decided to do away with technique and wing punches at the tough veteran.

Rosenblatt fought as a southpaw, though he was naturally right-handed. In 1995, Dana battled Chad Parker, who was 31-0-1. A quick powerful right hook knocked out Parker inside of one round. That speedy right hook was Rosenblatt's best punch.

Against 1976 Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr., who was 40 years old at the time of his bout with Rosenblatt, that lightning right hook made another appearance. In the first round, Rosenblatt floored Davis with a straight left. That round saw Davis throw only 8 punches, as he constantly moved to his right, directly into Rosenblatt's wheelhouse. Conversely, Dana landed 41 punches in the first. Two minutes into the second round, that right hook came crashing down on Davis's temple, the fight was stopped, and Davis's career ended.

Almost everyone considered Rosenblatt to be caring and intelligent, an all-round good guy. Vinny Pazienza disagreed. He thought Rosenblatt "a condescending punk." After defeating Davis and winning the WBU middleweight title, Rosenblatt moved up to super middleweight to take on Pazienza. That fight featured Dana's first professional loss. Pazienza overwhelmed his New England rival and stopped him in the 4th round. Many questioned Rosenblatt's ability after the loss.

Dana came back to beat the credible Glenwood Brown early in 1997. Four fights later, Rosenblatt faced the legendary Terry Norris for the IBA middleweight title and took control of the bout early. But, as Rosenblatt was known to do, he faded badly over the last few rounds of the contest. Still, Rosenblatt managed to muster a narrow unanimous decision victory over the former world champion.

In 1999, a year after the Norris fight, Dana got a rematch against Pazienza. After being knocked down in the third, Rosenblatt came back to snatch his revenge by way of split decision. Rosenblatt had figured that avenging his only career loss would propel him to the stardom he hoped for. He was in the discussion to fight the super middleweight division's best. But a series of injuries and a couple of frustrating technical draws told Dana that it was time to hang it up.

Since retiring with a 37-1-2 record including 23 KOs, Rosenblatt has worked as a boxing announcer on local New England cards. The college educated Rosenblatt has also worked in the mortgage business in Massachusetts.

Dana Rosenblatt vs. Sean Fitzgerald
December 16, 1993
Foxwoods Resort
Mashantucket, Connecticut

Dana Rosenblatt vs. Chad Parker
May 6, 1995
Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dana Rosenblatt vs. Howard Davis Jr.April 13, 1996
Fleet Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Katz, Michael. "Rosenblatt Won't Be Joker." New York Daily News. 1997.
Ludwig, Ed. "Interview with Dangerous Dana Rosenblatt." 2001.
"Rosenblatt Tops Norris For Title." Washington Post. 1998.
Sares, Ted. "The Legacy of Dana Rosenblatt." 2006.

1 comment:

  1. I miss seeing his fights-particularly his win
    in his rematch Vinny Pazienza.