Gabriel Rosado couldn’t help but laugh at the suggestion that he’s officially on standby.
The veteran middleweight contender from Philadelphia is currently considering an offer that would leave him as an emergency replacement opponent for Daniel Jacobs atop a planned Dec. 20 DAZN-streamed card in Las Vegas, Nevada. As BoxingScene,com reported earlier, Brooklyn’s Jacobs (35-3, 29KOs) is due to face second-generation star Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a battle of former middleweight titlists, in a bout to take place at the super middleweight limit.
Immediately following the news break came the speculation of a contingency plan in place in the event that Mexico’s Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33KOS; 1NC) misses weight. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix—who also works as a ringside analyst for DAZN—tweeted on Tuesday that an undercard slot is being held for Rosado, with the potential for an upgrade in the event Jacobs is left without an opponent at any point prior to fight night.
“I’m definitely interested in fighting Danny Jacobs,” Rosado (24-12-1, 14KOs) informed BoxingScene.com, though declining comment on whether such an offer is presently in place. “To be honest, I don’t understand why they didn’t just offer me the fight without this other stuff. We’re two East Coast guys, we could fight in Brooklyn, we can fight in Philly, people will turn out to see that fight.
“We’ll see what happens, though. I’ve wanted to fight Danny Jacobs for a long time.”
Rosado hasn’t fought since a thrilling-in-defeat 10-round war with Poland’s Maciej Sulecki this past March in his Philadelphia hometown. By his own admission, Rosado started just a little too late to make an impact on the scorecards, though a pair of late knockdowns went a long way towards making the fight interesting, one which stole the show in front of a rabid local crowd. The bout came four months after fighting Luis Arias to a disputed 12-round draw, with both bouts streaming live on DAZN.
Regardless of who winds up in the opposite corner on fight night, Jacobs will make his official super middleweight debut. The former middleweight titlist is coming off of a close but clear points loss to World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs) in their three belt unification clash this past May in Las Vegas. The loss ended his brief title reign without a single successful defense after having claimed a vacant title in a 12-round split decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October in New York City.
Chavez Jr’s title reign came much earlier in the decade, winning a title in June 2011 and registering three successful defenses before losing a decision to Sergio Martinez in a Sept. 2012 clash where he nearly erased an 11-round deficit with a dramatic 12th round knockdown, but failing to close the show.
The son of the legendary Hall of Famer and former three-division champ Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. has fought just seven times in the seven years that has since passed, as past discipline issues have helped squander much of his natural talent. A lopsided points loss to countryman Alvarez in their May 2017 Cinco de Mayo super fight was followed by a two-year absence before resurfacing this past August in a rust-shaking 1st round knockout of Evert Bravo in San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico. He has since resurfaced at Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California, though his physical appearance remains open to interpretation in the eye of the beholder.
The fact that there already exists concern over Chavez Jr. not showing up fit to fight leads to the legitimate question of why having to bother with the process at all.
“Even if he makes weight and goes through with the fight, how many people think—not even win—but who thinks he’ll even be competitive,” Rosado speculates. “Look how he lost to Canelo and (Andrzej Fonfara in 2015), he didn’t even put up a fight.
“Say what you want about my record, but I always come to fight. I’m always in shape and I’ll be ready to fight. They should’ve just given me the fight from the rip.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox