"I think I have come a long way and I think at this point in my career, I have found myself as a fighter. The thing is, now I am able to train 24/7. I was holding down a job throughout my whole career. I was still working a job when I fought Soto-Karass. Sechew Powell was the first fight I had where I didn't have to work no more. Now that I am able to just train, it's definitely a blessing, man, and I'm able to take full advantage of that now...I have been in that situation before where you gotta dig in deep and make an adjustment and Canelo doesn't have that. It takes time and hard fights to learn that and I think that's the advantage I would have in that fight," stated jr. middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado, who talked about his recent victory over Charles Whitaker, his desire to face Saul "Canel" Alvarez, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on the win over Charles Whitaker. How do you feel about your performance?
GR: I was happy with my performance. It was a fight where I felt I had to make a statement and I just really wanted that knockout, you know, to seal the deal. In the first couple of rounds, I didn't cut the ring off. About the 4th round, I started to cut the ring off and we executed the plan.
PC: You have stopped Soto-Karass, Powell, and Whitaker in your last three fights; all very tough opposition. Is this what we can expect from you and is it a testament to where you are in the junior middleweight division?
GR: Yeah, no doubt, man. I think I have come a long way and I think at this point in my career, I have found myself as a fighter. The thing is, now I am able to train 24/7. I was holding down a job throughout my whole career. I was still working a job when I fought Soto-Karass. Sechew Powell was the first fight I had where I didn't have to work no more. Now that I am able to just train, it's definitely a blessing, man, and I'm able to take full advantage of that now.
PC: Not only did you hold down a full time gig, but you had very limited amateur experience, so you were literally learning on the job.
GR: Exactly. I had 11 amateur fights and turned pro. In the beginning part of my pro career, I was still learning on the job. I think now I have that experience and I'm seasoned and I'm real comfortable in the ring now. I know what I gotta do.
PC: Philly is a fighting city, of course. Is that what got you into the game, and how do you deal with all of the distractions that Philly can have?
GR: Yeah, that had something to do with it, but I have always watched the big fights growing up. I was always into it. There are a lot of distractions in Philly. It is a big city and you can get into a lot of things out here. I kind of get away the last 3 to 4 weeks before a fight; I go away. I have been to New Mexico, I went to Phoenix in my last camp, and when I trained for Sechew Powell, I went to Wildcard Gym in LA. It definitely helps. I can focus on the fight 100% and I don't have to worry about anything else but training.
PC: You are hitting every style. Soto-Karass is a durable tough guy, Powell is a tough southpaw, and of course Whitaker a slick veteran. Having faced all of these styles, do you feel that those fights and the way in which you finished them have you ready for a fight against Canelo Alvarez?
GR: Yeah, without a doubt, man. Really, what separates me and Canelo is he is a star and he's known. That's the only thing that separates us is that everyone knows who he is, so they put him on a pedestal. If you look at our careers, I have fought top competition throughout my career. This is what made me learn how to fight. Soto-Karass is a top guy who had never been stopped. I applied a lot of pressure and stopped him. And then I dealt with a slick southpaw like Sechew Powell. I boxed and I countered him and stopped him. And then with Charles Whitaker, he is a crafty veteran that knows how to survive and he is a hard guy to take out and I did that. Any one of these guys would give Canelo a fight, so I think I am definitely ready for a big fight with Canelo, man. The only thing that separates us is that he is a big superstar.
PC: You have fought some helluva competition during your young career. You also gained some great experience going to camp with Bernard Hopkins. What was that like for you?
GR: Ah, yeah man, that was a big experience. The things that I learned from Bernard Hopkins I apply to my fight game. Bernard is a very mental fighter and that's what boxing is all about. You can have all of the skills in the world, but if you don't have the mindset to get these things done, you won't be able to do it. Bernard taught me a lot of tricks and crafty moves. I have always observed Bernard. There are things that I seen Bernard do and I get it now. Now it's starting to hit. Now I understand why he spoke about those things or did those things, and I think that's because experience is kicking in. It was definitely a blessing being in training camp with Bernard and learning from him. He is definitely a mentor to me and it was priceless.
PC: You are K9 Bundrage's mandatory and I know you would like to fight Canelo. Is it frustrating that K9 is being mentioned to fight Berto and Canelo is being mentioned to fight Maidana, or do you feel if you keep winning, eventually they will have to see you?
GR: It's not frustrating; it's just part of the boxing game. I personally don't think that Canelo is going to fight another 140/147-pounder because I feel like they can't get away with that twice. I think everybody understands why it was Lopez and he got a pass on that, but I think if he did it again, it wouldn't look good, so I don't think that the Maidana fight is going to go down. I would love the opportunity to get that fight. There is a chance that I get it. A lot of people are talking about it over my last couple of wins and the way I am knocking guys out, and Canelo been looking so good himself, I think a fight between me and him, you know, you got two young, hungry lions and I think a fight between me and him is fireworks. And then you got the best rivalry, which is Mexico/Puerto Rico. Mexico got the best fans and Puerto Rico has the best fans in boxing, and I think it's a fight that sells. It definitely sells and it's great for the fans, so it makes sense.
PC: If the fight was to go down with Canelo, what do you feel will separate you two on fight night and allow you to walk away with your hand raised that night?
GR: You know, I think what it is, I have the ability to adjust and I learned the hard way. I can adjust in the middle of the fight and Canelo has done the same thing over and over. If you look at my last 4 or so fights, each fight, I had a different style. With Soto-Karass, I applied pressure and I used my hand speed. With Sechew Powell, I countered him, broke him down little by little, and used my jab and little by little closed the distance, and I used another style with him. And then against Charles Whitaker, I just flat out applied pressure. So I had different styles and I can adjust. I think Canelo has been doing the same thing over and over and I don't think he has been tested where he's been forced to make an adjustment in a fight. I think with me and him, when he's getting hit by a big 54-pounder his own size, it will definitely get in his head. And, you know, the fact that he's never had to make an adjustment will definitely work to my favor. I have been in that situation before where you gotta dig in deep and make an adjustment and Canelo doesn't have that. It takes time and hard fights to learn that and I think that's the advantage I would have in that fight.
PC: I hope you can land that Canelo fight my man. I wish you the best of luck. Is there anything else you wanna add?
GR: I appreciate all of the love and support I'm getting from everybody. People are starting to believe in me. A lot of people doubted me at first, but I think people are starting to notice all of the hard work and the change in my work ethic and I'm just glad people are taking notice of all the work I'm putting in. at the end of the day, the fans pay their hard-earned money and I wanna give the fans great fights. I just took a week off. I'm already back in the gym training. I just ran almost 6 miles. I'm back on my grind. I don't want to fall off. I wanna give the fans great fights to show that I appreciate their support.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]