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Gabriel Rosado, Charles Whittaker Ready For IBF Eliminator on Friday

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Gabriel Rosado and Charles Whittaker will fight for a shot at the IBF junior middleweight title on Friday, live on NBC Sports Network. (Photo by Chris Toney)
Gabriel Rosado and Charles Whittaker will fight for a shot at the IBF junior middleweight title on Friday, live on NBC Sports Network. (Photo by Chris Toney)
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Friday night at 9 pm EDT on the NBC Sports Network, Main Events continues what has so far been a very successful boxing series with a fight card headlined by an IBF title eliminator at 154 pounds, from the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

In the main event, Gabriel Rosado will face veteran Charles Whittaker for the right to fight later for the IBF junior middleweight belt. Also featured on the card will be a 10-round light heavyweight bout between Sergey Kovalev and Lionell Thompson (who replaced the injured Gabriel Campillo), and a 10-round welterweight bout between Ronald Cruz and Antwone Smith will open the broadcast.

Tickets are still available:

Tickets priced at $80 and $55 can be purchased through the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922), all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) or at the box office at the Sands Event Center (610-297-7414). Tickets also can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com, www.SandsEventCenter.com and www.Ticketmaster.com. Luxury suite tickets at $130 apiece also are available. In Bethlehem, tickets are available at Deja Brew, Inc., 101 West 4th Street (610-865-2739) and at Pronto Insurance Notary, 232 East 3rd Street (610-419-6790).

After the jump, quotes from the final press conference.

Gabriel Rosado

"It's a great opportunity again to be in the main event on NBC Sports Network. I'm excited to showcase my skills nationally again. I've trained extremely hard. We finished up our last couple of weeks in camp in Phoenix, AZ. Camp was great there and I feel strong. I am not taking Charles Whittaker lightly.

[ Related: Gabriel Rosado Documentary, 'Road to the Title' ]

"I expect him to bring his A game and I'm ready for that. I want him to come with his A game because it will bring out the best in me. Russell (Peltz, co-promoter) said I am ranked No. 3 but after Friday I will be ranked No. 1. I feel like mentally and physically I will break him down. I will set him up in the early rounds and I will take him out in the middle rounds. My plan is to get him out of there by the sixth round."

Charles Whittaker

"It's going to be a great fight. Gabriel is young. I've seen a few of his fights. He comes hard and he comes in shape. He says he is going to be No. 1 and I know I'm going to be No. 1 after Friday. The fans are going to be the recipient of a great fight."

Kovalev_vs_thompson_medium

Lionell Thompson

"I stay in the gym and I stay ready. I've been in camp with Chad Dawson and Isaac Chilemba and I stay ready for opportunities like this. I always knew this opportunity was going to come soon. I had the best preparation, the best training, the best sparring. Sergey is a good fighter and I am ready to go out there and show my skills and talent to the world."

Cruz_vs_smith_medium

Ronald Cruz

"I've had a lot of time to get ready for this fight. Smith has had a lot of time to get ready for this fight. There will be no excuses. Just expect a very tough and exciting fight."

Antwone Smith

"I been training about six and a half weeks for this fight. I left home and I went away to prepare. The little that I do know about him, I know he's a steady guy. I can give him that but I suffered a lot looking past people. I didn't think much of Lanardo Tyner and he beat me. It was a lack of preparation. So I am taking Ronald Cruz seriously. I am not looking past him and I am not worried about what is next. I am totally focused on Ronald Cruz."

Photos by Chris Toney

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