ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin said the first time he met Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado was at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., some time prior to June of 2012. Quillin was preparing for a unanimous decision at 160 pounds over former titleholder Winky Wright, and Rosado, for a ninth-round stoppage of 154-pound rival Sechew Powell.
Quillin did not particularly care for Rosado.
“First and foremost, before we even got to meet each other, he was, like, being disrespectful and calling me out and stuff,” said Quillin, who will defend his WBO middleweight belt against Rosado on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall on Showtime. “These guys call me out, and then, when I see them, they have a different approach to everything.”
Quillin’s assertion is based on a post-workout face-to-face with Rosado.
“I saw him in the parking lot, and as I looked, I said, ‘Aw, you’re Gabe Rosado, huh?’ So I said, ‘What’s up, man, how you doing, man?’ So he said, ‘Yeah, I’m alright,’ and ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you, man.’ So I said, ‘Look, we could use some work, if you’re willing to do some work, I will definitely do some work to help you out, and you can help me out.’ He was fighting my boy Sechew at the time. I was willing to spar and box him and box him lefty,” said Quillin.
“But we never had the opportunity. I never had to look at him after that. I didn’t go in the gym and check him out. I know that he was killing himself to make 154. He was eating nothing but tuna fish. So his advantages came with him being bigger and stronger than the guys at 154. But now, he’s fighting 160, and it’s a little different…As far as seeing him and noticing him, I really didn’t notice too much about him to really give a f__k, to be honest with you. Excuse my language.”
While Quillin (29-0, 21 knockouts) is unbeaten, Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs) is 6-0 with three knockouts in New Jersey. One of their streaks will end on Saturday’s undercard of an IBF light heavyweight title defense by Bernard Hopkins against Karo Murat as part of a Showtime tripleheader supported by heavyweight knockout specialist Deontay Wilder against Nicolai Firtha.
“I’ve trained hard enough to where nothing he’s going to do is going to be good enough, and I don’t care who he’s been in there with,” said Quillin. “The thing I respect about Rosado is that I’ve never been in there with another Rosado. This is my first time being in there with a guy named Rosado, so that’s all the respect that I’m giving him. But after that, no more respect. I’m trying to destroy you.
Rosado, 27, is coming off of a fight with J’Leon Love in May, a split-decision loss that became a no-decision after Love was fined $10,000 and suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his failed post-fight drug examination.
Before facing Love, Rosado lost by a bloody seventh-round stoppage to WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, ending his run of seven straight victories, five of them by knockout.
Rosado’s promoter, Russell Peltz, said the fighter was “offered more money” to fight three-time title challenger, Matthew Macklin, in December, “and that was the fight I wanted,” but Rosado “wanted to fight for the world title for less money and a tougher fight.”
“If you look at who he’s fought, I think that I have the better names. I think of wins over Jesus Soto Karass, and Kassim Ouma. I fought Saul Roman when he was in his prime. I’ve got better names on my record,” said Rosado, who has reunited with strength coach Jason Sargus.
“I think of everything that I’ve been through with my experience. In this camp, we had three guys that weighed over 190. I had [Sargus] back in 2012 when I had those three knockouts. So me and him have gotten back together, and now, I feel strong. I feel like a beast.”
In his past two performances at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Quillin dropped Hassan N’Dam six times on his way to a unanimous decision for the WBO belt last October and he scored four more knockdowns during a seventh-round stoppage of Fernando Guerrero in his first defense of that title in April. Quillin, 30, dropped former titleholder Wright in the fifth round of an eventual unanimous decision victory.
“I was actually watching his fight against N’Dam last night, and it’s crazy, because I saw different things. This time, I was like, ‘Oh s__t. Damn, I’ve got a lot of opportunities in this fight that I know that I can take advantage of,’” said Rosado.
“I even studied my last fight against J’Leon Love, and I was like, ‘I ain’t doing that s__t again.’ I did my homework. I was watching his fight, and my last fight, and I was putting it together. I feel like I can do some things that N’Dam wasn’t capable of doing.”
At Wednesday’s final press conference in New York, Rosado said that his confidence of victory grew after looking into Quillin’s eyes.
“I feel like when I felt going into the Soto Karass fight. When I looked into Soto Karass’ eyes, I felt like there was something in me where I just felt like I was going to destroy him,” said Rosado. “I looked in Kid Chocolate’s eye’s yesterday at the press conference, and that same feeling came over me, like, ‘yo, this motha — I’m going to punish this dude.”
Below, RingTV.com sought the opinions of 19 boxing insiders as to their thoughts on whatt will transpire in Quillin-Rosado.
Peter Quillin SD 12 Gabriel Rosado: I like Peter Quillin by a split decision over Gabriel Rosado in a very exciting fight.
Record: 1-2 [Last pick: Marquez KO Bradley]
Peter Quillin by late stoppage: This would be an even fight if Peter Quillin wasn’t a natural super middleweight and Gabriel Rosado wasn’t a natural junior middleweight. Even so, Rosado will not be easily dismissed.
Rosado’s body has had two bouts (vs. Gennady Golovkin and J’Leon Love) this year to acclimate to the heavier weight and he carries a do-or-die mentality into this second shot at a major 160-pound title. That mindset is bolstered in part by the fact that “GGG” wasn’t able to drop him and that most observers thought he outpointed Love.
Sooner or later, boiling his big frame down to 160 pounds is going to cost Quillin but this won’t be that fight. Quillin’s greater athleticism will carry him to an early points lead but Rosado’s superior foundation and technique will enable him to have success in the middle rounds by surprisingly taking the fight to the bigger man and working him over along the ropes.
However, Rosado’s aggression will open him up to Quillin’s monster right hands, which will produce knockdowns and a lot of blood late in the fight. I can see Rosado’s corner waving it off after 10 rounds but I wouldn’t be shocked if Rosado lasted the distance.
Record: 10-9 [Alvarado close UD 12 or MD 12 Provodnikov]
Peter Quillin TKO 10 Gabriel Rosado: Peter Quillin, a competent boxer-puncher, is versatile enough to adjust in ways that Gabe Rosado can’t.
There’s a lot to like about Rosado. But, mostly, he’s a tough guy who can give Quillin some trouble in the opening rounds.
Eventually, however, Quillin will find vulnerabilities that Rosado can neither hide nor counter in an intriguing bout that figures to include a couple of knockdowns in the early going.
Record: 19-8 [Alvarado TKO 9 Provodnikov]
Peter Quillin W 12 Gabriel Rosado: “King” Gabriel Rosado is an exceptionally hardened fighter. Hard enough that in his one-sided fight against power punching Gennaday Golovkin, “Triple G,” never had Rosado down. Instead, it was his corner which had to stop the massacre with a bloody white towel thrown in surrender.
In the other corner, WBO middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin is a power-producing machine these days, scoring 11 knockdowns — but only one stoppage — in his last three fights. When an immovable object meets an irresistible force, something has to give, right?
Good thing for Quillin he’s the better boxer, because when his best punches fail to put the King in checkmate, he’ll need those skills to fall back on when Rosado survives the onslaught and presses the fight to make it surprisingly competitive. The more dynamic Quillin shines in the championship rounds and wins a unanimous decision to continue his ascent in the middleweight division.
Record: 16-8 [Provodnikov TKO 10 Alvarado]
Peter Quillin KO5 Gabriel Rosado: Although he’s a relatively new champion I think we’re all anxious to see Quillin’s skills and power tested against the best in the division.
“Kid Chocolate” against Gennady Golovkin would be a dynamite fight and one that we could see in the not too distant future.
Rosado is a decent fighter but he’s been stopped twice (by Gennady Golovkin and Alfredo Angulo) and that only suggests to me that he can be stopped again. I think Quillin will close the book before the midway point.
Record: 9-7 [Alvarado UD 12 Provodnikov]
Peter Quillin UD 12 Gabriel Rosado: Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin is working his way towards being one of the top middleweights and in order to do that, he has to pass a stiff test in Gabriel Rosado. Rosado is as tough as they come and will surely make Quillin work to retain his WBO middleweight title.
What Rosado lacks in pure skill, he makes up with his toughness. The fact that he ate an extraordinary amount of knuckle sandwiches from Gennady Golovkin and still remained upright is mind boggling.
In this showdown, Quillin’s size, hand speed and accuracy will all be difference makers as Rosado will try his best to execute from the inside before Quillin begins to find his rhythm and picks off his advances.
Neither are defensive wizards, but I expect Rosado to make it to the final bell and give Quillin his fair share of problems in a couple of rounds to test his resiliency. But, in the end, the better boxer with the bigger pop will win and that man is Quillin.
Record: 4-1 [Alvarado UD 12 Provodnikov]
Peter Quillin SD 12 over Gabriel Rosado: Both fighters will have their moments in what should be a close fight that’ll be tough to score. Gabriel Rosado took everything Gennady Golovkin could hit him with and wasn’t knocked down.
If he hadn’t suffered a bad cut in their fight, he might’ve fared better. Peter Quillin has power, but he’s not as heavy-handed as Golovkin.
Rosado has the confidence and skill to pull off an upset, but like the J’Leon Love fight that was later changed to a no-contest, he’ll come up just short on the scorecards.
Record: 14-6 [Alvarado UD 12 Provodnikov]