by Chip Mitchell and Robert Uzzell: On January 19th in The Theatre at Madison Square Garden there will be three championship fights televised on HBO, one of which will be undefeated WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. “King” Gabriel Rosado.
Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA enters this fight riding a two-year, seven-bout winning streak, with five of those victories coming by way of knockout. His current streak has included three career-best victories, all in 2012, versus Jesus Soto-Karass in January, Sechew Powell in June, and Charles Whittaker in September. All wins came via knockout. The Powell victory included the WBO Inter-Continental junior middleweight title while the defeat of Whittaker, in an IBF title elimination bout, propelled Rosado to the top of the IBF ratings. When asked about his upcoming fight with Golovkin: “This is what I have worked for, to be world champion,” says Rosado. “I dare to be great.”
Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs), a native of Kazakhstan, now training in Big Bear, Calif., came from a sterling amateur background having won Olympic silver in 2004 and winning the World Championships in 2002 and 2003. Significant amateur victories over Daniel Geale, Andre Dirrell, Lucian Bute, Andy Lee and Matvey Korobov marked his amateur run. Known for his outstanding conditioning and tremendous two-fisted power, Golovkin captured the WBA interim middleweight title in August 2010, knocking out Milton Nuñez in the first round. He became the WBA middleweight champion in his next fight, knocking out Nilson Julio in the third round, on December 2010. He has successfully defended his WBA title four times while adding the IBO title to his trophy case via a first-round KO of Lajuan Simon last December. He returns to the ring having won his last 11 fights by knockout, dating back to 2008. In September 2012, he made his highly-anticipated U.S. and HBO debuts, successfully defending his titles against No. 3-rated Grzegorz Proksa via a fifth-round TKO.
I’m a big GGG fan and I make no apologies for it. I respect Rosado. There are people in Golovkin’s own division that won’t fight him, yet Rosado stepped up to this challenge. He earned a shot at Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage for the IBF title in his own division, yet Rosado stepped up to this challenge. There must be something Rosado saw on tape that makes him feel that he can win this one. I wish he would share it with me because I don’t see it.
Golovkin is there to be hit, no doubt. If Rosado can score and move the entire fight he may have an outside chance. Punch, grab, and move. Repeat 200 times. I think it could frustrate Golovkin a bit and pull him away from his plan. Something just tells me there is going to be a time for war and Rosado is going to come to party when that time comes. No doubt in my mind. He’s a Philly fighter for goodness sake. However, I think Golovkin is too strong and he will end it with a left hook-right hook head-body combination to end it before the eighth round. Golovkin TKO.
I’d sure love to interview “King” Gabriel Rosado to ask him why he gave up a seemingly more winnable title opportunity in his own weight class to move up to face Golovkin. The answer may have something to do with more money and more exposure (HBO). Rosado has an advantage in height and the fight is being fought at a catch-weight of 158. On his best day, Golovkin won’t remind anyone of Pernell “Pete” Whitaker or Guglielmo Papaleo (guess who?). In other words, he is definitely hittable. For GGG fans, he’s made it no secret that he wants Sergio Martinez. Well, Rosado will give him more movement than he’s seen in a while and it could serve as a precursor of how he would deal with Sergio’s movement. I’m sure the Martinez camp will be eagerly watching to see how he handles Rosado’s motion.
In the end Triple G will catch up to Rosado. My question is how difficult of a chase it becomes for him. This is a good test for Golovkin. Rosado has a style that could frustrate him and add rounds to this contest. Golovkin would be wise to go to the body, as Rosado will fight as if there is nothing to lose. Eventually Golovkin will time Rosado and finish him. I just think it may go more than two or three rounds like many predict. Golovkin TKO in middle rounds.