Gabriel Rosado has probably earned himself some fans today among the purists and those who love displays of cojones, as the Philadelphia fighter has formally rejected a catchweight option for his January 19 HBO fight against WBA middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin.
Rosado, who turns 27 five days before the fight, had a deal in place to face Golovkin at a catchweight of 158 pounds, as Rosado will be moving up in weight. He says his adviser Russell Peltz made that call, but he just doesn't want to do it.
"The first I heard about the catch weight was at the media lunch on December 1, I never asked for it, that was my advisor Russell Peltz's idea," said Rosado via press release. "I'm happy Russell is looking out for my best interests but we're fighting at 160."
Rosado (21-5, 13 KO) is considered a heavy underdog in the fight, but is confident he'll pull the upset, and says he doesn't want anyone to make excuses afterward.
"Golovkin is the champion and out of respect to him and towards the sport of boxing we will fight at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. When I beat him, I don't want any excuses about the extra two pounds he had to lose. I will beat him at his best, fair and square.
"The old-timers didn't need any catchweights, they were real men. Middleweight champions fight at 160 and that's what I want."
Golovkin, 30, was apparently perfectly open to the idea, and his promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 said he was surprised when he heard that the catchweight was off.
"I was surprised when I got the call to increase the weight to 160. I have to give Rosado a lot of credit, he is very confident and that is what makes this such a great fight. It should be the fight of the night on a great show and tickets have been selling very well."
Golovkin (24-0, 21 KO) is making his second appearance on HBO, while Rosado will be making his debut on the network. They're part of a three-fight bill at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, headlined by a featherweight title clash between Orlando Salido and Mikey Garcia.