Gabriel Rosado is 2 weeks away from the biggest fight of his life, a shot at WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in a fight that will be televised by HBO. The fight will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York which isn’t far from Rosado’s hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the middleweight contest will serve as the co-main event for the featherweight showdown between Orlando Salido and Miguel “Mikey” Garcia, it is still one of the more significant matchups in the 2013 calendar and there are many aspects to the fight that make it as interesting as the main event itself.
Rosado had a solid 2012, it was a year that saw him fight 3 times and come up victorious in each of those contests via TKO.
Boxing has evolved over the years and fighters have become better athletes, but that evolution has also caused other unfortunate changes. Any fighter who steps into the ring should be considered courageous, but there has been a significant drop off over the years in the resistance of top fighters taking on the best competition.
Rosado is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise timid pool of fighters and he has made the conscious effort to be different. He isn’t afraid of failure and that word may not mean the same to him as it does to others. For Rosado, failure is only achieved when a fighter isn’t living up to what is expected from them and the rigorous nature of their sport.
Gabe spoke with Thaboxingvoice.com about his upcoming fight and discussed his decision to scrap the catch weight of 158lbs, opting to renegotiate the fight with Gennady at the full 160lb weight limit. That decision proves just how dedicated Rosado is to recapturing the spirit of fighting.
“The press conference was when I first heard of the catch weight. I just feel the fight should be at 160lbs to honor the weight class. I always said, and so has my trainer, that catch weights were pretty stupid. If you’re going to fight a guy at his weight class and he’s the champion then it should always be at the given weight class. At the same time, I don’t want any excuses, I’m just really confident going into this fight and I just want to win it fair and square,” Rosado said.
Gabe made it clear that the correlation with his feelings towards boxing and that of the old school fighter is no coincidence.
“I really respect the old school aspect of the game and those are the fighters I look up to, when I’m watching fights it’s always the throwbacks. Catch weights don’t make sense and I want to bring that old school aspect to the game as well as challenge myself.”
Gabe’s advisor spoke with Gennady’s manager and the weight has been adjusted, although they will have to sign the final papers in New York closer to fight night. Gabe reassured me that his decision to scrap the catch weight was in no way indicative of his inability to make weight.
“I’ve fought at 154lbs my whole career and I make it without a problem, when I asked for the change of the catch weight it was a few weeks back. Once I found out about the catch weight I immediately spoke to my advisor about not liking it.”
Gennady is considered one of boxing’s most dangerous challengers, but his professional resume isn’t one of the most compelling aspects to his game. Gabe put Gennady’s allure into perspective by acknowledging he is dangerous, but putting too much stock into his amateur accomplishments is not as viable as some would suggest.
“A lot of people are really into his amateur background, but in the pros it’s a different ballgame. I’m the underdog and I wouldn’t have it any other way, I like the fact that I have to prove myself. I’ve never wanted the easy route and because I’ve had it tougher I think it has made me who I am.
“I just feel that I can capitalize on his flaws and my speed is going to kill him and I think they’re underestimating my punching power as well, he’s legit but he picked the wrong guy.”
Rosado was the mandatory for Cornelius “K9” Bundrage’s IBF junior middleweight title, but in taking the Gennady fight he forfeited his right to that fight. That puts even more pressure on Gabe, fighting without the safety net of a guaranteed second chance.
“I’m fighting like my career is on the line because I lost my [154lb] mandatory once I took this fight. I knew that going into this fight, but I felt like it was a greater reward fighting Gennady over K9. I could’ve patiently waited for K9 which a lot of people would say is an easier fight and so would I.”
It’s kind of ironic that Rosado and Golovkin are fighting each other because they’ve both been passed over for fights against their divisions’ best. It has been difficult for both men to land a financially significant fight due to their reputation for being tough fights and the lack of commercial notoriety with the casual fan. That could all change come January 19th.
“From what I hear everybody at 160 didn’t want to fight Triple G and at 154lbs, even though I had a busy year, when it comes to the top elite guys at 154lbs I don’t think these guys wanted to fight me. I don’t think K9 was too anxious to fight me, I saw Canelo in person and I’m a lot bigger than him.
“I think these guys look at my size and style of fighting and see the year I’ve had and they know I’m a different animal and I’ve improved a lot. They know I’m a big threat and it was tough for me to get a big fight at 154 and I think the same thing with Triple G at 160, so we said the hell with it we’ll fight each other,” Rosado said.
Gabe Rosado is a new breed of old school fighters with the kind of philosophical ideals that captures the very essence of what a fighter should be and how they should carry themselves. I’m not sure if a man can garner total admiration on his athletic prowess alone, but Gabe has earned the max amount of respect that can be given for stepping into the ring. He deserves this opportunity for the middleweight title and maybe he may have deserved better in the sense that he shouldn’t have had to go up in weight to receive a title shot, but that’s where he is and he is just fine with it.
He’s created his own brand of gritty blue collar fighting and he did it without the backing of a major promotion. Although Gabe had help from some of boxing’s most talented and brightest, people like Russell Peltz, Main Events, Michelle Rosado, and NBCSN, he did it on his own terms and the culmination of his valiant and admirable efforts is proof that he is already a winner because he is a true hero for the blue collar.
“Everything comes with time and all the hard work paid off and I like it that I did my way. I didn’t do it with a big promoter; I did it as a free agent. It’s a good feeling when it happens that way.”