North Philly's Gabriel Rosado aching for a title shot

Gabriel Rosado
Gabriel Rosado
Posted: September 28, 2012

If North Philadelphia's Gabriel Rosado has his way, he'd fight Canelo Alvarez tomorrow. Or Andre Berto. Or Miguel Cotto.

Cornelius Bundrage, the man he's tied to for a world title, would do.

But garnering the attention of pay-per-view matchmakers has proved to be almost as stiff an opponent as the three fighters Rosado has already dispatched this year.

"If Gabe was 25-0 instead of 21-5, it would change the mind-set of all the morons who buy fights for HBO and Showtime," said promoter Russell Peltz, who advises the self-promoted Rosado. "They just can't get it out of their head that a fighter is allowed to lose and still be a top fighter. They just can't get over that."

The 26-year-old Rosado hasn't lost a fight in over two years. He's won his last three fights by knockout, including Saturday's 10th-round stoppage of Charles Whittaker to become the IBF's top-rated junior middleweight and mandatory No. 1 contender for Bundrage's world title.

But the fight doesn't have to happen for six months, and Bundrage is likely to first pursue Berto on Nov. 24. If Berto wins, he could seek a release from the mandatory title defense or even forfeit the title to Rosado in order to pursue the likes of Cotto.

Alvarez is becoming one of the sport's top draws, but Rosado's camp believes the unbeaten 22-year-old is being protected from stiffer competition.

Peltz had a conversation this summer with representatives of Golden Boy, Alvarez's promoter, about a potential fight. They simply told Peltz that they knew Rosado was "big and strong."

"I think it's funny because Canelo is a champion, and they're taking care of him, protecting him," said Rosado. ". . . It's almost like a joke to be a middleweight champ and then fighting lightweights."

Rosado said the fight would be not only exciting but an easy one to sell.

Rosado said he would use his Puerto Rican heritage and Alvarez's Mexican nationality to promote the fight. Mexico and Puerto Rico are boxing's biggest rivals, Rosado said.

Rosado's trainer, Billy Briscoe, said Alvarez is the opponent he wants as he believes a win would make Rosado a superstar.

Briscoe said that Rosado's gritty style is a throwback to Philadelphia's past, and that he would have fit in perfectly on Peltz's legendary Spectrum cards.

"The will to win is a rare commodity. You can't buy it, you can't steal it, and no chemist in a college is going to create it," Briscoe said. "You either have it or you don't, and Gabby has it."

Garcia honored. Juniata Park's Danny Garcia will be named Philly fighter of the year at the fifth annual Briscoe Awards on Oct. 7 at the Veteran Boxers Association Club, 2733 E. Clearfield St. The event is free to the public.


Contact Matt Breen at mbreen@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @matt_breen.

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