By Chris Cella
On January 19, Gabriel “King” Rosado will step between the ropes and go to battle against undefeated WBA world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden.
Rosado (21-5, 13 KO) will be moving up from the junior middleweight division to wage war against the devastating puncher Golovkin (24-0, 21 KO), and believes his hand speed will be his greatest weapon in securing a victory and exiting the ring with the belt.
“For this fight we are really working on speed,” said Rosado. “My last few fights I have been really strong, walking guys down and really punishing them. But with this fight I want to work on speed; I’m a lot faster than he (Golovkin) is, and I feel speed is what will win me this fight. So we are working on combinations and speed.”
Early in his boxing career, Rosado had issues with consistency in the ring, as he would win a few fights and then come up short, but as of late he has materialized the longest win streak of his career at seven consecutive victories.
About being inconsistent early on, Rosado commented, “I think I am just seasoned now. I’m experienced. I started boxing when I was 18, and only had 11 amateur fights. So part of my career I was still gaining experience, learning on the job. And it wasn’t like I was fighting easy fights. I was taking tough challenges; I always like a challenge. I feel like everything I have been through—all of the trials and tribulations of my career—have prepared me for this fight. I’m coming in the underdog like I have been my whole career. But this time I am ready. I’m faster, stronger and a complete fighter now. Everything I have been through has made me ready for this fight.”
Through his accrued win streak, Rosado has finished his opponent five times in seven fights, displaying his power as an additional weapon in his arsenal.
“I’ve always had punching power, but I think now I have better accuracy,” said Rosado. “Before I just threw shots; I had all the fight and heart in me, but with time and experience, you begin to learn how to throw shots. Now I know how to set guys up for that knockout. I always go for the knockout; I don’t like decisions. That’s why in my last seven fights, five have ended by way of knockout.”
Come January 19, Rosado will have his hands full with the undefeated Kazakstan star. This will be Golovkin’s only second trip to the states, and although he will be stepping in to the ring as a favorite, in addition to the well-rounded Rosado he will have to battle with the thousands of fans flocking from Philadelphia to see their fighter go to war.
Facing one of the toughest tests of his career, Rosado knows how capturing the belt over Golovkin will pave the road for him in 2013.
“I plan on being victorious on the 19th and getting big fights,” said Rosado. “I’m not gonna duck anybody; I want to fight the best, and I think fans respect that at the end of the day.”
Rosado vs. Golovkin will be televised live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark series January 19 at 9:45 p.m. Eastern.