Gabriel Rosado is a chip straight off the old block.
“Just call me Gabe,” he drawled. No messing about, straight to the point. So, Gabe it is.
Win or lose, Rosado (26-13-1, 15 KOs) is rarely ever in a dull fight. The American, who is of Puerto Rican descent, will face Mexico’s Jaime Munguia in Orange County, California, on November 13.
Munguia is still undefeated as a pro – 37 wins and no defeats, with 30 KOs – a fact that isn’t entirely lost on Rosado, 35, who is coming off a serious contender for KO of the year over highly-touted prospect Bektemir Melikuziev.
“I don’t know him personally, he’s never said anything bad about me,” Rosado said, in an exclusive interview ahead of his fight at Honda Center, the home of the Anaheim Ducks.
“Whenever we’ve seen each other, there’s always been a mutual respect, but it’s one of those things where he doesn’t have to talk c— and neither do I.
“I think people know what we’re bringing to the table. He’s a guy that’s aggressive and I’m a guy that you know I’m going to lay it all in the ring.
“It’s one of those fights where it’s kind of like Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward.
“They didn’t talk s—, you just knew you were going to get a fight, so I think that’s pretty much what’s going on with me and Munguia right now.
“I know he’s going to bring it and so am I.”
Has he thought about the future at all if all goes well this weekend?
“Oh you know honestly man I do have a vision and I have an idea of where I want to go,” he continued.
“But I’m not going to say because one thing I’ve learned from being a professional for 15 years is you don’t look past your opponent and you don’t call anyone else out.
“I’m 100 percent focused on Munguia and the truth is this is a great fight. For me to be thinking of what’s next would be crazy. I’m enjoying the moment you know, I’m enjoying training camp, I’m enjoying everything you know.
“I know it’s going to be sold-out at the Honda Center, it’s going to be a historical fight, a warrior Mexican against a warrior Puerto Rican, so I’m enjoying that you know, so I’m in the moment right now, I can’t even look past it.”
At a crossroads in his career, Rosado decided to make a change to his coaching set-up in the shape of well-respected trainer Freddie Roach – an astute boxing mind which has honed the skills of Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao at Wild Card Boxing Club.
And it’s a move that paid off almost instantly after he shocked the boxing world by stopping Melikuziev via third-round KO to capture the WBA Continental Americas super-middleweight title.
It was one of the biggest upsets of the year, Rosado was very much in the role of underdog, which he seems to enjoy.
Speaking about his fruitful partnership with Roach, he said: “What made the change for me was, I kind of said to myself that it was like my last shot.
“I said if I want to do this for real, I have to hook-up with someone who can take me there, I won’t lie it was pretty much all or nothing.
“I’ve known Freddie since 2012, I’ve always thought he was a great trainer, and I felt that he was the guy who could take me to that next level, help me get to that next level.
“I got with Freddie Roach because I want to get to that world title and I know he can help get me there.”
But mention the name Daniel Jacobs and that smile is quickly replaced by a scowl as his brows furrow above his eyes.
Rosado lost a controversial split decision to Jacobs in November of last year, a result which many felt should have gone the other way.
“Danny Jacobs is behind me,” he replied.
“To me, Danny Jacobs is a phoney, he’s a gimmick. He acts like a gentleman but he’s really an a–hole, he’s truly an a–hole. I feel like he’s behind me.
“They gave him the decision but you really don’t hear anything from him, he’s a ghost now, when I’m the guy who just knocked out Bektemir, like you said, potential knockout of the year, and then I’m going into this big fight headlining against Munguia.
“I did what I had to do against Danny Jacobs and that’s it. It’s done. He’s finished.”