By Ian S Palmer
British middleweight Martin Murray will battle it out with Gabriel Rosado of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England on Saturday, April 22nd. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the UK on Sky Sports 1. Murray last fought in November when he beat Nuhu Lawal by 12-round unanimous decision. Rosado’s last fight took place in September when he dropped a 12-round decision to Willie Monroe Jr. Murray will be dropping down to middleweight from super middleweight for this contest.
The 34-year-old Murray of St. Helens 34-4-1 and has 16 Kos to his name. He’s fought 238 rounds since turning pro in 2007 and is 6-feet-tall with a 73-inch wingspan and has a 41 per cent knockout ratio. Murray is a fighter who likes to stay active as this will be his ninth bout since February of 2015. He’s a former Commonwealth and British champion, had a title shot against Felix Sturm back in 2011, but could only manage a draw. He was then beaten by unanimous decision by Argentina’s Sergio Martinez two years later and stopped by current titleholder Gennady Golovkin in the 11th round in February of 2015.
He then dropped a 12-round split decision to Abraham in his fourth title shot in November, 2015 and lost a 12-round unanimous decision to George Groves last June. Looking back, Murray feels he may not have been ready for his first title bout against Sturm since he took a big step up in class to the world level from the domestic level. He’s a good boxer, but obviously falls just short when he steps up in class to meet elite opposition.
He won’t really be facing a Grade A boxer in Rosado on Saturday though, so he may fare a bit better than he does in world title shots. So far, three of the four men who have beaten him were world champions at the time and Golovkin is the only one who managed to stop him and that came in the 11th round. Murray is a fine boxer with average power and a pretty good chin. He’s been competitive against everybody he’s faced so far and that trend should continue against Rosado on Saturday night.
The veteran Gabriel Rosado is 31 years old and carries a record of 23-10 along with 13 Kos. Rosado is just shy of 6-feet tall and has a 71.5-inch reach, so he gives up slight advantages in both height and reach to Murray. He also has quite a bit of experience as Rosado turned pro in 2006 and has 243 rounds under his belt since then. However, he’s fought most of his bouts at the lower weight level of junior middleweight.
Rosado isn’t a powerful puncher either with a knockout ratio of just 38 per cent and even though he’s been stopped four times, he has a pretty solid chin. He’s taken on the likes of world middleweight champions Peter Quillin and Gennady Golovkin with Quillin stopping him in the 10th round on cuts and Golovkin halting him in seven. He also dropped a split-decision against J’Leon Love, but that bout was changed to a no-contest after Love failed a drug test.
Rosado has also been beaten by Alfredo Angulo by second-round TKO, by Derek Ennis by 10-round majority decision, by Fernando Guerrero by eight-round unanimous decision, by Joshua Onyango by eight-round unanimous decision, by Chris Gray by a six-round unanimous decision, by Jermell Charlo by 10-round unanimous decision and by David Lemieux by 10th-round stoppage. Rosado’s lost five of his last seven bouts, but has taken on some tough customers along the way and was competitive just about all of them. Rosado’s also beaten some good boxers such as Sechew Powell, Jesus Soto-Karass, Saul Roman, and Kassim Ouma. However, he has to earn a victory here against Murray to get his career back on the right track.
Murray has fallen just short in his four world title shots and has plenty of experience in big fights against top opposition. He’s up against a tough customer in Rosado, but Murray has the better pure boxing skills. Look for Murray to win on points with a late stoppage also being possible.