If the action inside the fighting sphere matches the intensity of the beef preceding the Big Knockout Boxing (BKB) main event unfolding tonight (10 PM ET start) in Las Vegas, then all can be assured of seeing a vicious rumble.
In case you missed it, the war of words and characters between the characters involved in the leadup to the clash got nasty on Thursday, at the final presser hyping the show unfolding at Mandalay Bay tonight. New Yorker Curtis Stevens (27-5), ex middleweight title challenger, is facing off with trial-horse Gabriel Rosado, a Philly guy, and their yapping took a nasty turn. Rosado called Mosley “fat,” minor-league bizarre since his BMI is well within acceptable range.
Mosley, I think understandably, took offense. Rosado’s current trainer, 28-year-old Greg Hackett, pitched in with some mockery and was slapped down with a reference to his record as a professional, 2-15-1. Rosado (21-9; age 29) offered to give Mosley, 43, a taste of leather after, presumably, he handled Stevens, a Brooklyner known for being able to handle the trash-talking end of things if he so chooses.
I checked in with Mosley to process the beef, and get his take on what we can expect to see in the mainer.
(FYI the card is being offered a pay per view basis, so check your cable company for availability. For those unaware, they tout BKB as a “close-range form of boxing that debuted last August.. (with action occurring in) “The Pit,” a smaller, circular fighting space (as opposed to) a traditional square boxing ring with no ropes designed to produce more knockouts and heightened boxing action.”)
So Mr. Mosley, what the heck happened in this beef? “I was teaching that youngster a lesson,” Mosley told me. “It was effing getting disrespectful. I’m tired of this crap. It came out of nowhere, you know me, Mike, I always keep it classy. But they crossed the line.”
Mosley told me he’s overjoyed with the strides Stevens has made in the last few months. The BK hitter is coming off a loss to Hassan N’Dam, and is 2-2 in his last four. No shame in that game, the losses came to N’Dam and Gennady Golovkin, but he was seeking a shift in momentum. Enter Mosley. “I taught that boy so much in the past few months. He is about to go into beast mode! I taught him how to better walk his man down, how to cut off the ring and get a knockout, how to roll his shoulder more strategically, about his footing, tons of stuff. I also got him eating organic and juicing and doing yoga and stretching, and meditating and focusing his energy.” And there’s more! “I taught him how to better snap his punches, to punch harder and faster. I’m like a boxing encyclopedia. They don’t know yet, but they will! There’s a new Shane in town!”
Stevens has in the past been bedeviled by curious spurts of mid-fight inertia. He keeps his guns in the holster too much and doesn’t give himself his best chance to win. “Yes sir,” Mosley said. “No counter-punching only or punch and wait. I told my boy to throw them hands!”
Any prediction for the scrap tonight?
“Knockout,” said Mosley. “All day. Rosado is going home on a stretcher.”
NOTE: I reached out to a Team Rosado rep to get his side, and will insert when I hear back.
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