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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NBC, BOXING FANS WIN WITH ROSADO VS. SOTO-KARASS CO-FEATURE

By: Michael Gerard Seiler

On Saturday, January 21st, hardcore and casual boxing enthusiasts will be treated to a scintillating war at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when hometown favorite “King” Gabriel Rosado (18-5, 10 KO’s) battles Tijuana Mexico’s Jesus Soto-Karass (24-6-3, 16 KO’s) in a ten-round junior middleweight showdown live on NBC at 9pm E/T. The bout is part of a brilliant card headlined by a ten-round heavyweight clash between “Fast” Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 KO’s) and Sergei “White Wolf” Liakhovich (25-4, 16 KO’s), and is the first of four outstanding fight cards to be televised by the network this year.

Rosado is truly looking forward to showcasing his talent in the very first televised bout of the four upcoming shows that will air on NBC.

“This is what boxing needs right now,” boasted Rosado. “We both bring it. Chambers vs. Liakhovich is another great match-up. The fans really deserve these fights. It will make for great TV, and the fans will definitely tune in to watch it.”

Rosado, 25, has never been in a dull fight due to his crowd-pleasing style, and is riding a four-fight winning streak heading into his contest with Soto-Karass. He’s been victorious in 6 of his last 7 bouts. In that time span, the only blemish on Rosado’s record resulted from a close, ten-round majority decision loss at the hands of Derek Ennis in 2010.

Rosado keeps himself in tremendous shape between fights, as he already has proven by stepping into the ring three times in each of the last two years. Rosado’s technique is very exciting for fight fans because he uses adept lateral movement remarkably well, but always ends up in a blow-for-blow fracas with the opposition. Once Rosado gets hit, the Philadelphia fighter in him truly shines the brightest to the masses watching him. From there, his fights soar to the highest level, a peak where only few fighters that display a massive amount of heart can take a battle.

Rosado is ecstatic to fight again in his hometown of Philadelphia.

Billy Briscoe, Rosado’s head trainer, started him off in the gym 8 years ago. Rosado compiled a 14-3 amateur record over a two year period before turning professional. Briscoe believes this training camp has been one of Rosado’s strongest.

“I work on making Gabe’s weaker points his stronger points,” explained Briscoe. “He will utilize his jab better, use more head movement and have better snap to his punches in this fight.”

Briscoe added, “We’ve been training about five weeks now, and it will be eight weeks by fight time. We are always looking for progression. I like to train a fighter to a peak, not a plateau. I rest him every other day. We are right where we want to be at this time.”

In this training camp, Rosado has worked extensively on strength and cardio preparation with Jason Sargus, President and Chief Operating Officer of Brazen Boxing.

“He’s coming up to my weight class,” stated Rosado. “I have the size advantage, and I am going to use my power more in this fight. I could always box, but I am going to back this guy up!”

Rosado added, “He’s used to guys boxing him. I am not going to give him a comfort zone. I am going to overpower him, walk him down and back him up. I will take him out of his element.”

Soto-Karass, 29, is known to have a granite chin, and on no account has he been knocked out in a prize fight. From December of 2005 thru August of 2009, Soto-Karass never sustained a loss, compiling a record of (13-0-1, 6 KO’s). In spite of this, Soto-Karass has not won a bout in his last four ring appearances, going 0-3 with one no-contest. Soto-Karass desperately needs a win to further his career in the sport.

He by no means takes a backward step to his challengers, which was clearly exhibited in his two confrontations with Mike Jones. Soto-Karass’ biggest claim to fame in his professional career is losing a highly-contested, ten-round majority decision in his first scuffle against Jones in a welterweight bout on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito in late 2010. That was a match fans have not forgotten. Soto-Karass wore Jones down with relentless pressure, taking an enormous amount of punishment to dish out his own damaging shots in a back and forth melee.

Rosado acquired a great deal of knowledge and understanding of Soto-Karass’ tendencies by watching his fights with Jones, and he plans to exploit the Mexican’s flaws.

“The key is to work Soto-Karass’ body,” acknowledged Rosado. “He has a good chin, so I am going to break him down in the body more than Jones did.”

The strategies of both fighters guarantee an elevated encounter in the City of Brotherly Love on January 21st. If there was ever a fight deemed a “crossroads fight” in boxing, Rosado vs. Soto-Karass is certainly it. Neither man can afford another loss on their record. Rosado is currently ranked #10 by the IBF, and could land another gigantic fight if he is victorious. However, if Rosado loses, he may find it near impossible to crack the top-ten rankings again of a major sanctioning body. For Soto-Karass, a setback would be devastating, most likely leaving the Mexican warrior as a future opponent for up and coming prospects down the road. Yet, if Soto-Karass comes out on top, he could launch his status to where it was just after his first brawl with Mike Jones.

There’s no better recipe for an exhilarating fight than two guys in complete desperation for victory, especially when the face-off will occur in an extremely loud venue in Philadelphia. NBC and all boxing fans won the moment this fight was signed, but only one fighter can triumph on January 21st.

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