Gabriel Rosado: I want to win big against Martin Murray

Image: Gabriel Rosado: I want to win big against Martin Murray

By Scott Gilfoid: The moment of truth is upon us with Gabriel Rosado (23-10, 13 KOs) ready to give former 4 time world title challenger Martin Murray (34-4-1, 16 KOs) a royal whipping this Saturday night in their important all or nothing clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Murray, 34, is trying to get yet another world title shot despite having failed miserably over and over again. Rosado’s goal for the fight is to smash Murray and snuff out his dream of winning a world title. Rosado will be the visiting fighter when he enters the lion’s den on Saturday night on April 22 at the Echo Arena.

Rosado doesn’t care if there’s ton of hostile fans, because he plans on shutting them by spoiling Murray’s party just like Gennady Golovkin spoiled his party in 2015 in obliterating him in Monaco.

Murray is ranked #8 WBA , and it appears that he’s angling himself for a title shot against WBA super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge, who is seen as the weak link among the 3 current champions at 168. One of the titles is still vacant after WBC champion Badou Jack vacated his 168lb belt in order to move up to 175 for bigger paydays against the likes of Andre Ward, Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. That’s where the big cash is at right now. The 168lb division has really cooled off since Carl Froch retired.

“I want to win big. I think a big win opens up other opportunities possibly to fight again in the UK,” said Rosado to Sky Sports News HQ. “I’ve come to the UK and I’m not playing games. I’ve come here early just to get used to the time and I’m excited to fight in front of the Liverpool crowd.”

So there it is. The 31-year-old Rosado isn’t “playing games” on Saturday night, and he plans to “win big” against Murray.

Rosado will probably need to win big in order to escape with a decision win because he probably get the benefit of the doubt if the rounds or close. I can’t see Rosado getting too many close rounds if there is any. I don’t see this as a close fight at all. Rosado has too much talent; power and a wiliness to let it all hang out with his offense. I wish I could say the same thing about Murray. I think once Murray tastes some of Rosado’s punching power, he’ll clam up behind his high guard and stay in the closed position for the entire fight.

I don’t know what it is with Murray, but the guy just covers up behind his clam-shell guard in his biggest fights and doesn’t come out of hiding no matter what. The thing is, when Murray is fighting dreadful opposition from the 2nd and 3rd tiers, he really lets his hand go and reminds me of a bigger version of Gennady Golovkin. But when you stick a talented fighter in front of Murray, he clams up every time behind his high guard. He doesn’t even try and throw punches of any extent.

Take a look at Murray’s wasted opportunities to win fights against George Groves, Arthur Abraham, Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm. Those 4 fights were all winnable ones for Murray if he had the sense enough to throw some punches, but he didn’t do that. Instead of throwing shots, Murray hid behind his clam-shell guard for 12 rounds and ended up on the short end of the stick. Murray didn’t lose to Sturm in their fight in 2011, but he might as well have lost the fight, because the German fighter moved on after their match was ruled a 12 round draw.

The decision kept Murray from picking up Sturm’s WBA Super World middleweight title strap. I remember watching that fight and wondering what on earth was wrong with Murray. I mean, if he can’t come out from hiding behind his high guard against a non-puncher like Sturm, then when will he? I think we know the answer to that. Murray goes on the attack mode when he’s not fighting the good opposition.

Murray won his last fight against fringe contender Nuhu Lawal last in a 12 round decision last November. However, in Murray’s fight before that, he lost to George Groves by a 12 round unanimous decision ni June of last year. Groves hurt Murray a couple of times in that fight with some looping shots to the head. The punches went around Murray’s high guard and clouted him on the side of the head.

Murray had Groves looking in distress in the 4th round when he took the fight to him for the first and last time in the fight. I still don’t know why Murray stopped attacking Groves, because it painfully obvious from watching that round that he could have knocked him out if he kept putting him under pressure. Murray didn’t do that though. He went back to hiding behind his high guard for the last 8 rounds of the fight and wound up losing a 12 round unanimous decision by the sores 118-110 x 3. Murray succeeded in making Groves look better than he actually is.

“It’s a big fight. Martin Murray is aiming for one last shot at the title and so am I, so it’s a fight where it is all or nothing,” said Rosado.

Well, it would definitely be bad for either of these guys to lose this fight, especially Murray, because he’s getting up there in age. I don’t know how many opportunities Murray’s promoter Eddie Hearn can get for him if he loses this fight. I could understand why Murray would want to target WBA champion Tyron Zeuge, because that guys is ripe for the picking. He’s actually someone that Murray could probably beat even if he hides behind his guard for the full 12 rounds. I don’t know why Murray would want to hide behind his clam-shell guard against a non-puncher like Zeuge, but he did the same against Sturm, so I guess it’s something that can’t be changed in his game.

Rosado lost his last fight to Willie Monroe Jr. by a 12 round unanimous decision last September on the undercard of the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith card at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It was said before the fight that Rosado was being positioned to fight Canelo if he had beaten Monroe.

Unfortunately for Rosado, he was out-boxed by Monroe in losing by the scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112. It’s easy to see what Rosado did wrong in the fight. He stood on the outside and looked tentative. He found himself in a fight where he was trading single shots with Monroe, and he was never going to win that kind of fight against the quicker, more accurate fighter. What Rosado should have done was jump on Monroe and pound him to the body and head with nonstop combinations the way that Triple G did in beating him by a 6th round knockout in their fight in 2015.

Supposedly, Murray and Rosado are going to be fighting a war on Saturday night. Hearn thinks it’ll be a war as well. I’d be very surprised if that’s the case. Rosado is going to change whatever plans of war that Murray might be considering for this fight. Like I said, once Rosado hits Murray hard for the first time, I think that’s going to put him off his game and cause him to go into the defensive mode for the remainder of the fight.

I’m really hoping that Murray doesn’t do this, because he’s actually a good fighter when he’s fighting like Golovkin and going after his opponents. I just don’t know why Murray doesn’t fight like that when he’s facing the better opposition in boxing. Is it a fear of getting knocked out? Murray came close to beating Arthur Abraham in November 2015 in losing a 12 round split decision. You could tell in watching that fight that if Murray had someone lighting a fire under his backside, he could have won, because Abraham looked awful. But it yet another one of those fights where Murray wouldn’t throw enough punches to give himself a chance of winning the fight.