Gabriel Rosado steps up to challenge Gennady Golovkin
by Bill Mitchell: Gabriel Rosado, 21-5 (13 KOs) and his trainer Billy Briscoe, two men from the mean streets of North Philadelphia, aren’t easily intimidated. Just to prove it they’ve decided to walk away from the position of being the # 1 IBF mandatory challenger in the junior middleweight rankings. Instead of fighting IBF champion Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage, 32 – 4 (19 KO’s) they’re moving up to middleweight to fight the intimidating WBA Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 24-0 (21 KOs).
It wasn’t always like that. In the beginning of 2012, Rosado’s record was 18-5, 10 KO’s. By the end of the year he had three wins all by knock out on the NBC Sports Network’s “Fight Night” boxing series.
Suddenly Rosado had options. He was offered a contract by Golden Boy Promotions. They handle most of the talented 154 pounders in the world but there was one problem. The offer didn’t include a world championship match. He would be relegated to the long list of many other junior middleweights Golden Boy handles. When the opportunity came along to fight Golovkin for the middleweight crown on HBO on January 19th he jumped on it.
Rosado’s never been babied and he doesn’t intend to start now. His training came together this year. He feels it’s part of his destiny. He said his career has prepared him for this fight and he’s seasoned now. I know what it takes to win. While it all sounds reassuring the task ahead of him is something quite different.
Golovkin was an Olympic Silver Medalist as a member of the Kazakhstani Olympic Team. He had amateur wins over the likes of Andy Lee, Andre Dirrell and Lucien Bute. As a professional, he’s destroyed the competition. His most recent outing, against Grzegorz Proska, was an impressive fifth round TKO. Prior to that he pummeled former world champion Kassim Ouma for ten rounds until the contest was mercifully stopped. He’s calls himself “the beast from the east”
Rosado’s management team tried to set the fight up at a catch weight of 158 lbs. They said Golovkin stated he would come down to 154 lbs if he had to. But Gabe Rosado said no “I don’t want there to be any questions” I’ve had the hardest training camp of my career. I don’t even want to feel him out, I’m going right to him. The tough kid from Philadelphia of Puerto Rican heritage calls himself “King” Gabriel Rosado. We shall see if that’s true come January 19th.