“King” Rosado looking to rule boxing’s light middleweight class

Gabriel Rosado’s road to the top of the light middleweight division hasn’t been an easy one, but yet he’s continuing to fight his way there (pun intended).

Rosado grew up in “The Badlands,” a very tough part of Philadelphia, Pa., where he had to fight to protect his family from the wiles the streets had to offer.

Rosado decided to get into boxing at age 18, and met Billy Briscoe, who saw something in him, and decided to become his trainer, because he knew that Rosado had the potential to be someone special in the sport of boxing, which he definitely has become.

Rosado turned pro at 19, and in seven short years he has three championship belts and is attempting to earn a fourth.

That journey begins next Friday night at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., as Rosado (20-5) will take on Charles Whittaker (38-12-2), in the IBF Light Middleweight Eliminator.

What that means is that whoever wins the fight, that boxer earns the No. 1 ranking in the IBF’s light middleweight rankings, and automatically gets a shot at the current world champion, Cornelius “K9” Bundrage.

Rosado and Briscoe decided to get away from Philly for a little while, so they could truly get focused on what could be the biggest fight of their careers.

“You gotta sacrifice,” Rosado said. “He’s [Briscoe] leaving his kids back home, I’m leaving my daughter back home, all to give them a better life, so we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure we win.”

Rosado is looking forward to taking on Whittaker. He hopes to see the best Charles Whittaker possible, because in his eyes, that will bring out the best Gabe Rosado that night.

Rosado already has his sights set on how long the fight will go.

“I don’t want this fight to go past six rounds,” Rosado said. “This fight has to be won by knockout. I have to dominate him, and I have to make a statement that I’m coming for everybody at the 154 division.”

Boxing, like any sport, is all about making adjustments when things aren’t working in your favor.

Rosado and Briscoe, from what I saw on Tuesday night when they were training in Phoenix, have a great relationship and great chemistry, both in and out of the ring, which is crucial to their future successes.

Rosado says he trusts Briscoe 100 percent, even though he may not see what Briscoe sees sometimes during a fight.

“It was hard for me to trust in that in the beginning, because you don’t have that experience and you’re not seasoned,” Rosado said. “Now, at this point, when Billy says ‘Do a backflip and throw an uppercut,’ it’s gonna work.”

Rosado says he’s not content just being a world champion. He wants to live up to his nickname in the sport, and be “King” of it.

“I want to make history, and I believe that I can achieve that,” Rosado said. “I truly believe in my heart that there’s no one in 154 that I can’t beat, and it’s my job to prove to people that I’m that good.”