NEW YORK — Kazakhstan-born WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin will defend his belt against rising Philadelphia junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado on Jan. 19 on HBO from New York’s Madison Square Garden, K2 Promotions and Russell Peltz Promotions announced during a press conference this past Saturday at Harrison’s Steak House in Manhattan.
“We had the date from HBO, Jan. 19, at MSG, and we were talking to Russell and Gabriel for a while, and then we were able to actually finalize it this morning, so I think this is going to be a great fight,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions.
“It’s going to be a triple-header, a co-promotion between K2 and Top Rank. I think that you have two of the most exciting fighters out there right now. Gabriel has shown some tremendous heart, and Gabriel’s not going to go backward, and Gennady’s not going to go backward.”
Golovkin-Rosado will be on the undercard to the main event featuring unbeaten featherweight contender Mikey Garcia and Mexican WBO beltholder Orlando Salido, which is being promoted by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
Golovkin (24-0, 21 knockouts) contractually agreed to “come down to 158 to make this fight” with Rosado, said Loeffler, who added that there is a rematch clause.
The hammer-fisted Golovkin will be after his 12th straight stoppage victory against Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs), who, himself, has won seven straight fights, five of those by knockout.
“It doesn’t matter about the records. He’s a good man, a tough fight. He’s not scared. He’s a big guy. I think that it will be a nice fight,” said Golovkin.
“I love boxing, and people like drama. My tactic and my technique is to go to camp with my coach and talk about how to prepare for Rosado.”
Golovkin is coming off a fifth-round knockout of Grzegorz Proksa in September, and will be making the sixth defense of his belt against Rosado, with whom he shares a common opponent in former beltholder Kassim Ouma.
“He had a great fight with Kassim Ouma, where they were banging it out, and I had a great fight with Ouma as well,” said Rosado. “So I know that this guy is not going to back down, and I think that’s just going to make this a great fight for the fans. I think this is going to be fireworks.”
Rosado, who is of Puerto Rican decent, defeated Ouma by split-decision in April of 2009, and Golovkin stopped him in the 10th round in June of last year.
“I’m excited to fight Gabriel. I think it’s a difficult fight, because, look at Gabriel. He’s young, a tough fighter and he’s strong,” said Golovkin, who has a rematch clause and considers Ouma to be the hardest puncher he has faced.
“I think we are at about the same weight. It’s going to be the first fight for me at Madison Square Garden. This is my second fight on HBO. It is a very good opportunity for me.”
The 26-year-old Rosado claims not to be the underdog he may be perceived as, having won scored three consecutive stoppage wins.
“I’m just excited about this opportunity. This is what I work hard for, to be a world champion. I had a tough road in the beginning part of my career, but like I’ve always said, when you go though tough times, it’s either going to make you or break you,” said Rosado.
“It just made me become a tougher fighter. It made me learn, and it made me work on my craft. I’m a much more disciplined fighter. I’m totally dedicated to the sport and the craft. I don’t just train to be physically strong, I train my mind and I educate myself to the sport and study film and things like that.”
In September, Rosado scored four knockdowns in a 10th-round stoppage of Charles Whittaker, ending the 38-year-old fighter’s 14-fight winning streak that had included eight stoppages.
Rosado also stopped Jesus Soto Karrass and Sechew Powell in the fifth and ninth rounds, respectively.
In order to challenge Golovkin, Rosado passed up an opportunity to face 154-pound IBF beltholder Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage as the organization’s mandatory challenger, a status that would not become a reality until March of next year.
Rosado said he is a long way from the fighter whose last loss was in July of 2010 by majority decision to Derek Ennis, and who previsously was stopped in the second round by Alfredo Angulo and fell by unanimous decision to Fernando Guerrero.
“I’m the No. 1 guy at 154 and fought K 9, and just waited for my title shot, but I like taking chances. I dare to be great, and Golovkin, a lot of guys don’t want to fight this guy,” said Rosado.
“But I wanted to put myself in this situation because I feel that I perform at my best. I’m just excited to shock the world. I’m not going to shock myself. But I know that a lot of people are going to be surprised when I come out victorious in this fight, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Rosado said he has spent time being mentored by former undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who is a Philadelphia native.
“Obviously, it’s no secret that Golovkin packs a big punch, but my defense is better than people think. If I get hit flush with shots, I know how to brush shots off where they’ll glance off,” said Rosado.
“I’m really not going to concentrate on that, I’m just going to approach the fight with the attitude of being victorious and doing whatever it takes to win.”
Photo by K2 Ukraine
Photo by Will Hart
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org