When promoters Tom Loeffler of K2 and Russell Peltz put on a media lunch in New York last month to discuss the middleweight title bout between Gennady Golovkin and Gabriel Rosado, the issue of the contract weight for the fight came up.
Rosado, who emerged in 2012 as a quality junior middleweight contender, was going to challenge Golovkin for his middleweight title in the middle fight of an excellent HBO tripleheader on Jan. 19 at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York, so I was thinking that perhaps there would be a catchweight.
Sure enough, Peltz said that the agreement called for a catchweight of 158 pounds -- two fewer than the 160-pound division limit -- to which Rosado quickly chimed in, "I never asked for a catch."
"I did," Peltz immediately answered.
Peltz negotiated the weight believing it was better for his fighter not to have to go all the way up to 160, and that it would also benefit Rosado to force Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) to lose an extra two pounds. Peltz was looking out for his guy, and Golovkin, so confident in his ability, was fine with it because he continues to say that, for the right fight, he would drop to 154.
Well, on Wednesday, the promoters announced that the catchweight was off and that the contract was being amended to contest the fight at 160 pounds.
"The first I heard about the catchweight was at the media lunch on Dec. 1," Rosado said. "I never asked for it. That was my adviser Russell Peltz's idea. I'm happy Russell is looking out for my best interests, but we're fighting at 160."
The 26-year-old Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs) is an old-school Philadelphia fighter. He respects boxing history and wants the fight at the real division limit, not an artificial catchweight. Win or lose the title, he wants no excuses.
"Golovkin is the champion, and out of respect to him and toward the sport of boxing, we will fight at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds," Rosado said. "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."
(One quick note: There are tons of examples of catchweight fights throughout history, although it seems more prevalent today. Still, I must commend Rosado for his stance.)
"I was surprised when I got the call to increase the weight to 160," Loeffler said. "I have to give Rosado a lot of credit. He is very confident, and that is what makes this such a great fight."
In the main event, featherweight titlist Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs) of Mexico will make his third defense against Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif. In the opening televised bout, junior lightweight titlist Roman "Rocky" Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico will make his first defense against Mexico's Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs).