PHOENIX, AZ - Rising Philadelphia junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado and his trainer Billy Briscoe will be intently watching WBC 154-pound champ Saul "Canelo" Alvarez defend his title against Josesito Lopez from their Phoenix, AZ training camp on Saturday night. Of course they are generally interested in the two big Vegas cards happening this weekend, but Rosado & Briscoe have a vested interest in the Canelo bout.
Next week at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, on the NBC Sports Network 'Fight Night' broadcast, Rosado, 20-5, 12 KOs, fights an IBF title elimination fight against Charles Whittaker, 38-12-2, 23 KOs, for the #1 spot in the IBF junior middleweight rankings. Although Team Rosado has its sights firmly set on Whittaker, they can't help but keep an eye on Canelo, knowing that one day their paths may cross.
"We'll be watching the Canelo fight," said Briscoe. "He's a perceived superstar in this game, but I think we can stop Canelo. You beat a perceived superstar, and suddenly you're a superstar. The way I look at it is that we'll just keep beating whoever they put in front of us and eventually we'll have to fight him."
Canelo faces Lopez after a round-robin of other foes fell out of the high-profile bout, and although Lopez beat Victor Ortiz to earn his shot at the title, many feel that his size disadvantage may make the fight a mismatch.
"I think Canelo is just going to be too big for him," Briscoe said. "Josesito is a real 140-pounder. He moved up to 147 for the Victor Ortiz fight, and he won. He found a way to win. But I think that Canelo, a true junior middleweight, is just too big. Later on in the fight, the size and the pressure of the bigger man will break him (Lopez) down. Yeah, break him down in the later rounds, maybe the 10th or the 11th round. "
But Rosado would not have such a size disadvantage if he ever got the chance to face Alvarez.
"No! Gaby is too big for Canelo," Briscoe said.
Rosado, a big junior middleweight, is three inches taller than Alvarez, and has 7 inches more reach than the budding superstar. And given that star status, there is probably no one that Rosado would like to fight more. However, he does have other options.
"Canelo really doesn't make Gaby or he doesn't break Gaby," Briscoe said. "At the end of the day, Gaby's going to make a name for himself - with or without Canelo. But if the time comes, we'll fight him. Maybe we'll fight him in the next fight. Hell, if Josesito falls out, we'll fight him on Saturday."
ABOUT SEPTEMBER 21
The Smith-Cruz, Kovalev-Thompson and Whittaker-Rosado fights top a seven-bout card at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. First fight is 7.15 pm (ET). 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).
NBC Sports Network will televise the Cruz-Smith, Kovalev-Thompson and Rosado-Whittaker fights, beginning at 9 pm (ET).
The card is being promoted by Main Events and Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., in association with the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV