In this new age of boxing, starting your career with a 14-5 record is enough to have your name removed from any serious conversation regarding future title contention. And while it is not uncommon for a boxer to bounce back after a loss or two, it is quite rare for a prospect to redefine himself, re-lift their career, and replace their name under the limelight after losing 25% of your first 20 fights. Since losing to fellow Philadelphia native Derek Ennis in July of 2010, “King” Gabriel Rosado is doing just that.
In his last 7 fights, Rosado has gone undefeated while knocking out the likes of Jesus Soto-Karass, Sechew Powell and tough journeyman Charles Whittaker. His impressive performances on the NBC Sports Network in 2012 have yielded an incredible opportunity for the 26 year old prospect to fight at Madison Square Garden on HBO’s Boxing After Dark against one of the one of the most avoided opponents within the sport in Gennaddy Golovkin.
When Rosado was announced as the next opponent for Golovkin, he was pegged as the underdog before being given even a serious moment of consideration. Before turning pro in 2006, Golovkin amassed a record that included 400+ wins, including ones against Lucian Bute and Andre Dirrell, as an amateur and claims that state that he has never been dropped.
Despite the hype, and the fact that Golovkin is presently one of the most avoided fighters between 154 and 168 lbs, Rosado is confident that he can win this fight. In an interview with Tha Boxing Voice, Rosado warned that “If [Golovkin] is taking me lightly, he’s making a big mistake. I’m taking this fight very seriously. I don’t think it will be easy, but I’m confident in my ability, and I know that I can dominate this guy.”
The fight was initially contracted at a catch-weight of 158 lbs, but Rosado has since requested it to be at the middleweight limit, a fact that Rosado feels will suit him nicely. “When I’m carrying the weight, I punch a lot harder. I’m bigger than the guy, I’m taller, and I have a longer reach. I’m not a small junior middleweight, so he’s not going to have the size advantage at all.”
Rosado’s trainer Billy Briscoe shares the same confidence. “I believe we can get this guy out just like he can get us out. Golovkin is full-speed ahead. What you see is what you get. There is no plan B.”
This one-dimensionality seems to be working for “GGG,” however, who has an 87.5% KO ratio as a pro, but Rosado feels that Golovkin will get a more complete, rugged, and versatile fighter than he has ever faced in the past, when he faces off against him at Madison Square Garden. This ability to make the necessary adjustments throughout the fight, especially in the deeper rounds in which Golovkin hasn’t spent much time, should play in his favor, according to Rosado.
“He’s a good fighter but he didn’t impress me. I honestly think that this guy knows that he’s taking a challenge. I could see it in his eyes at the fight press conference. I can see that he knows I mean business.”
And speaking of business, a win on the big stage will almost certainly lead to some bigger paydays within two of the deepest divisions in all of boxing, middleweight and junior middleweight. Some of the sport’s biggest draws call 154-160 their home, so it’s hard for King Gabe to not get excited when one more win can lead to fights against the likes of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather, and Sergio Martinez.
He has gotten props for even picking up the phone and accepting this fight against “The Big Bad Wolf” of the division, but he knows that a win has the potential to launch his career into near super-stardom. We all saw what happened with Danny Garcia in 2012. At the time of this interview, Rosado was not under a promotional contract. In short, there is no better time to make a statement.
With a degree of gravity that can almost be felt through his microphone, Rosado affirmed “This fight changes my life, so I’m taking it very seriously. I’m looking at my legacy and I really want to get that type of respect from the fans. I want to fight the guy that everybody says can’t be beat. Beating this guy makes a statement. It makes me a star.”