Philadelphia middleweight Gabriel Rosado faced unbeaten fighters in his last three bouts and failed to get the victory in any bout. He was bloodied and stopped in two title bout challenges and he suffered a disputed split-decision loss-turned-no-decision in the third bout. However, his profile in the sport has never been higher thanks to his game effort in each fight. no-decision in the third bout.
"I think that boxing is a sport that is also entertainment and I think that the type of fights that I bring to the table are entertaining to the fans," said Rosado, who turns 28 on Jan. 14. "You see knockdowns, you see blood, you see controversy, of course, like in my last two fights. Once you put it all on the table and you're just fighting, I think that's what people want to see. A lot of times, when I run into people, they say that I'm like the modern day [Arturo] Gatti."
The rugged Rosado (21-7, 13 knockouts) plans to leave nothing to chance when returns to the junior middleweight division against 154-pound contender Jermell Charlo (22-0, 11 KOs) for their Showtime-televised bout on Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C., at the D.C. Armory.
"The old-timers say don't ever go for the knockout, and I understand that. But I think that if you look at my last three fights, I pretty much have no choice but to go for the knockout," said Rosado. "This is not a fight a fight where I can go in there and be confident in boxing. I mean, that's one of those things that I could do. But I really just have to be a killer. I have to be a beast. I've got to go for the kill."
Rosado rose from a second-round knockdown and was very much in contention during October's 10th-round TKO loss to WBO middleweight titleholder Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin before the fight was halted due to a severe cut over his left eyelid. Prior to facing Quillin, Rosado had lost a split-decision in May to J’Leon Love that became the no-decision after Love failed his post-fight drug examination.
Before the bout with Love, Rosado lost by a bloody seventh-round stoppage to WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin in January, ending his run of seven straight victories, five of them by knockout.
"I think that I'm not happy with my last two fights, as far as the outcome of them. So I think that that I'm going to have to take that all out on Charlo on Jan. 25.," said Rosado. "I'm on a mission to knock him out. That's my mission. That's all that's on my mind. There's no game plan. There's no nothing. It's just go in there and knock him out. That's my attitude."
Rosado has come back into a division that includes former RING junior middleweight Canelo Alvarez, who will return to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 8, site of his first-career loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, for an all-Mexican clash against rugged veteran Alfredo Angulo.
"I kind of grew into the middleweight division once I fought Kid Chocolate, but I can still make junior middleweight, and I'm a big guy… I just plan on being a world champion in 2014… I talked about not coming down to 154 thinking that I would beat Kid Chocolate, and I before I was leaning toward that. It's all about opportunities and situations, and obviously I didn't get the call against Kid Chocolate," said Rosado.
"Now, I was just in a situation where I was waiting for the opportunity to come my way. I look at this as a great opportunity from the names that are in the weight class. Angulo, Canelo, (Erislandy) Lara. There's a lot of talent in the division. I look at this as an opportunity… from here, I'll be planning on hopefully getting a fight with either Lara or Canelo… I would love to fight either one of those guys."
It was on the undercard of Mayweather-Alvarez that Carlos Molina, who once battled to a draw with Lara, earned a split-decision that dethroned Ishe Smith.
"I would certainly think that the winner of this fight has a strong case and a strong possibility to fight for one of the world titles. The fact is that we are promoting most of the world champions at 154 within Golden Boy. So I think that the winner of this fight definitely has a shot at one of the world titles. I think that that's the idea, so there is much at stake. I think that's the case for both fighters. That is one of the reasons why Gabriel Rosado decided to move down to 154," ," said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
"He is returning to the 154-pound division with the idea of earning a 154-pound title. That's going to be up to me to secure that, and I feel confident that I can and that I will. The same is true for Jermell Charlo. He knows that he has diligently worked toward that title opportunity. There is that one big hurdle in front of him, and that's Gabriel Rosado. But he knows that if he is able to beat Gabriel Rosado, that he is in line for a world title shot. So there's no question about it, and I think that's one of the reasons why this fight is so intriguing."
"I'm not going to do all of that trash talking right now. I'm in training right now. I'm ready to fight…It's a great thing, but I believe in one man, and that's God. God works through Richard to put me in the fights that I need to be in, so as of right now, my focus is on Jan. 25, and this win. I don't know if he's the toughest guy I've faced," said Charlo, a 23-year-old Houston native, who scored three knockdowns during an eighth-round stoppage of former title challenger Harry Joe Yorgey in January of last year.
"Looking at his resume and at his background, he has put up and he's been shut up. Right now, I can't just say that he's the toughest guy. But I know that comparing him to the other fighters that I have fought, I know that this is a fight that I have to be on all of my 'P's' and 'Q's' and be at my triple-A game…I'm going to outsmart him, and my skills are way better than his. I'm going to beat him at whatever he's trying to do, and I'm going to take his game plan away from him. It's obvious that he cuts and he bleeds and all of that."
As far as Rosado is concerned, Charlo had better be at that level.
"Charlo says that he can face adversity. You really can't say that when you really haven't been there. It's a whole different fight when you're cut, and you've been down and you've got to get up and fight. He hasn't been through that," said Rosasdo.
"I'll test Charlo, and we'll see if he's really built for that. I'm just excited to go back down to 154. I think that I'm going to be bigger and stronger. So I'm just ready for it. I know what I've got to do in this fight. I've got to knock Charlo out. That's what you're going to see on Jan. 25."
Both Peterson and Jean were last in the ring in May, with Peterson, of D.C., being stopped in the third round of a non-title bout against Lucas Matthysse, and Jean, of Quebec, Canada, scoring a fourth-round TKO over Cleotis Pendarvis.