By Gary Purfield
When the Boxing Tribune spoke with Gabe Rosado (20-5, 12 KO) several weeks back he was preparing to take on crafty contender and former title challenger Sechew Powell in the headlining bout of NBC Sports Fight Night. Rosado weathered some tough early rounds figuring out Powell’s southpaw style and then scored an emphatic knockout in round nine. This came on the heels of Rosado demolishing Jesus Soto-Karass in the first Fight Night card.
The two performances have put Rosado into the limelight that he believes he has earned through tough experiences as a fighter. Rosado has worked hard with trainer Billy Briscoe to harness his natural talents to become an all-around boxer and what he calls a “smart pressure fighter”. He is a student of the game and a dedicated gym rat who works as hard as possible on boxing and physical conditioning. The last two performances on TV showed off the complete boxer Rosado has become despite not getting started in boxing until eighteen years of age.
The boxing world is starting to take notice as Rosado has entered numerous rankings including being ranked number ten at junior middleweight by box rec and twelfth on the Boxing Tribune rankings. No longer is he judged solely on his losses as media and fans begin to take notice of the dangerous contender he has turned into.
Rosado believes he is ready for a big time fight. He prides himself on being the underdog coming from the tough blue collar city of Philadelphia. Rosado has stated he can be the type of guy Philly and all boxing fans can get behind. He feels he is capable of taking the mantle as Philadelphia’s favorite fighter once the great Bernard Hopkins hangs up the gloves.
Getting that big fight in boxing often relies on timing. Time could be on his side. As Rosado was taking out Powell word had just broke that James Kirkland was pulling out of the September date with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Rosado made it clear in the dressing room after the fight he was ready and deserving of taking the spot. The Boxing Tribune caught up with Rosado this week to talk about the topic.
Boxing Tribune: You’ve had two straight exciting performances on TV against Soto-Karass and then Sechew Powell. What are your thoughts and feelings after the last two fights?
Gabriel Rosado: Pretty much after those two fights I think I can compete. I’m a legit 154 pounder. You know I felt both of those fights I was going to come out victorious. I was just anxious to let the fans know I had improved in my game so the way the fight came out, the way Billy (trainer Billy Briscoe) and I trained, it was just satisfying.
BT: You have gotten here with a hard road of difficult challenges taking on difficult opposition early in your career. What have the tough fights and difficult opposition done for you as a fighter?
GR: I think it makes me a hungry fighter. I think that I did not have an easy road and it makes me that much hungrier. I think you know at this point I have the experience to get the job done. I think it’s made me that much hungrier and made me want it even more. Everything I went through early in my career was pretty much just me learning on the job. At this point I know what I need to do to win the fight. I think it’s worked out more to my benefit.
BT: What do you say to someone who asks why a fighter with five losses should get a big event such as the date against Alvarez?
GR: I think my last couple fights speak for themselves. What people need to understand, those losses were fights where I was learning on the job. Those were fights where I was still working jobs when I was taking those fights. Still pulling eight or ten hour shifts while training for those big fights. When you’re fighting ten round fights boxing should be a full time job. What I’ve been through in my career, my story, at this point I’m fighting at another level. I’m boxing full time. I’m not working anymore. I’ve quit my job and committed myself to the sport 100%. I think it made a big difference now.
BT: Moving on to your goal you talked about after Powell fight. Why should you get the Canelo shot?
GR: I think it’s the most entertaining fight for the fans. I think with my last two impressive wins with big knockouts on national television against Soto-Karass, a guy whose never been stopped and then a classy veteran in Sechew Powell, knocking him out. I think that’s two key wins. I’m a young hungry fighter and so is Canelo. I just think it makes an explosive fight. I think it’s one of those fights that could be fight of the year. I think other matchups would be probably a little more boring. As far as the fans I think the most entertaining fight would be me and Canelo.
BT: Why should you get the shot over other names including Carlos Quintana, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Cornelius Bundrage, etc?
GR: At the end of the day fans should get great entertaining fights. I think as far as the matchup goes I think me and Canelo make the perfect matchup. It speaks for itself right there. You want to put a great fight on television. A fight where two guys are going to go at it. Canelo doesn’t back down and neither do I. It makes a crowd pleasing fight. I think at this point I’ve earned a shot at the world title.
BT: If you were to get a shot at Canelo, what would happen in that fight?
GR: You know, honestly, I think I’m too fast for Canelo. I think I’m stronger than him. He’s a big guy but I have him in height. I have him in reach. Canelo has more fights than me as a professional, but I think I’ve been against more quality opponents. He did fight Shane Mosley in his last fight but it was the old Shane Mosley. I think I have more experience than Canelo. I think I can expose, you know, his defense is not that great. You know he’s a guy who fights in spurts and I think I can take advantage of that. I’m a guy where I can throw eighty punches a round, a hundred punches a round. I’ve done it. I’m a guy where I’m very explosive. Canelo fights in spurts and I will be able to take advantage of that and apply smart pressure. I really don’t think Golden Boy would want to put Canelo in that situation right now. I don’t think the fight will probably happen because I think Golden Boy knows that’s what would happen.
BT: Your team was trying to contact Golden Boy right after Powell fight. Any success so far producing talks for a fight?
GR: I have no idea. I just spoke to Russell (promoter Russell Peltz) and we are going to have a meeting tomorrow. Don’t know what the meeting’s about but we are going to talk. As far as now I haven’t heard anything about a Canelo fight.
BT: If not Canelo then what are you hoping for in the immediate future?
GR: Well, if not Canelo, I’m confident it’s going to be something huge. Possibly Austin Trout or the winner of K9 and Spinks. Maybe a big name like Kirkland. Somebody of that nature. Pretty sure a big fight. I’ll be ready. At this point I feel I can beat any 154 pounder in the division. We’ll see what happens.
BT: Whether you get the Canelo fight or something else in the future it seems you are getting noticed including being in the 154lb rankings and on TV. Does this make you believe you are getting some recognition for the efforts?
GR: Ya, ya, I think now the fans and the media notice me. Especially after the last two big fights. Especially with them being so entertaining, both by knockouts. So I think the fans are starting to notice. It is satisfying because I’ve proven I’m a different fighter without having to tell anyone that. A lot of people are saying this is a completely different guy from the Angulo fight or Guerrero fight. Definitely changing, to hear people and see people writing things like that is very satisfying. I worked real hard in the gym to make my game complete so the fact that people are noticing that, it’s very satisfying.
NOTE: Shortly following the completion of this interview it was announced Victor Ortiz would be fighting Saul Alvarez on September 15 if he defeats Josesito Lopez on June 23.
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