Gabriel Rosado: ‘It’s just another fight to me’ with Bryan Vera

Gabriel Rosado will veer into Big Knockout Boxing when he takes on Bryan Vera on August 16 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

The 28-year-old, whose last four fights have either been televised on Showtime or HBO, will headline the promotion’s main event in the 160-pound bout. (DirectTV/PPV)

Rosado said he took the fight to stay busy. The perennial Puerto Rican contender by way of North Philadelphia added that BKB provides exposure to an untapped audience and offers money that he would not have seen if the fight were to take place in the squared circle.

BKG, formerly Bare Knuckle Boxing, puts fighters in a circular pit (no ropes) for two-minute rounds. Just 17 feet across, the pit is almost half the size of a traditional boxing ring. In March, the Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctioned the combat sport. Rosado said they will be using 10-ounce gloves in the seven-round featured attraction.

“When I first heard about it, it kind of threw me off a bit,” Rosado said. “But when I heard it was possibly against a guy like Bryan Vera, it got my attention because he’s a name. When you put guys like me and Bryan Vera in this type of environment, in this sport, you’re going to have your critics, but at the same time, people still are going to want to see.

“I’m a fighter. It’s just another fight to me. … It’s boxing. At the end of the day, when the bell rings, you’re getting hit in the mouth.”

Rosado is looking to get back into the winning column; his previous four fights against Jermell Charlo, Peter Quillin, J’Leon Love and Gennady Golovkin have not yielded a victory.

“When you come up short, it hurts. This time around, I feel like in my career, this is my second wind. It’s important for me to come out with a victory this time,” Rosado said. “I’m going to very hungry and determined. I feel like I just have to get that monkey off my back. I just have to get it done.”

I caught up with Rosado (video interview above) and discussed a wide variety of topics, including: Gennady Golovkin’s power in their 2013 bloodbath, his choice words for Peter Quillin, why he moved to Los Angeles and the meaning behind his tattoos.


AGBU conference recap

I had the pleasure of participating in AGBU’s “Sports: Shaping a Nation” conference March 22 at Woodbury University in Burbank, Calif.

The conference kicked off with me discussing how sports helps create a national identity, the role of sports in global diplomacy, how gender and youth are manifested in athletics and the value of sports for the individual, community and nation.

Over the course of the forum, I also had a question and answer with Edmond Tarverdyan about his ascent through the ranks as a boxing and MMA trainer. Tarverdyan covered a variety of topics over a 20-minute interview, including working with his most notable fighter, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey.

Q&A with Edmond

Panel Discussion

The afternoon culminated with me moderating the panel discussion featuring five professionals in their respective fields.

The Armenian General Benevolent Union, a non-profit organization that promotes identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, considered me an expert in the field because of the work I’d done as the managing editor of the international lifestyle publication Yerevan Magazine. During my time at the magazine, I interviewed and wrote feature profiles on Armenia’s most notable athletes.

Organizers indicated afterwards the conference was a success, and all in all, I couldn’t agree more.

Pacquiao primed to prove detractors wrong

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LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao wrapped up a grueling seven-city international media tour that spanned over 23,000 miles in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon at the lavish Beverly Hills Hotel to promote his Nov. 23 PPV bout against Brandon Rios.


This will be Pacquiao’s first fight since being brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last December.

“I need to prove that I can still fight and that my boxing career is not done yet, and to get back the lost confidence of my fans,” Pacquiao said.

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach said Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) will go back to his homeland Philippines and begin a six-week training camp prior to the fight.

“Rios is game and throws punches from odd angles. He swings a lot. He likes to trade and exchange. I think Manny Pacquiao has straight, sharp punches who moves too fast for him to handle,” said Roach.

The non-title bout is contracted at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds and will take place at the The Venetian Macao’s CotaiArena. This will already be Bob Arum and Top Rank’s third Macau promotion this year; the first two were headlined by Chinese Olympian Zou Shiming, who’ll this time be featured as an undercard attraction.

Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs), a former world champion from Oxnard, Calif., will be returning to the ring following his “Fight of the Year” candidate loss to Mike Alvarado in March.

“I’m not judging (Pacquiao) off the (Marquez) loss. I have to go there and get ready for the Pacquiao that’s been dominating over the years,” Rios said, admitting that the big stage Pacquiao presents is his first “rodeo.”

Rios has fought outside the U.S. only once. For Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, this marks his first fight outside the U.S. since 2006, which took place in the Philippines.

The Pacquiao-Rios media tour began last week in Asia and included stops in Macau, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore. This week, they made stops at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., then a press conference in New York, and finally, a record-breaking turnout of 327 media members in Los Angeles.

The extravaganza will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning Nov. 23 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Ray Beltran takes on Ricky Burns for WBO title

Ray Beltran (28-6) will be fighting Ricky Burns (36-2) for the WBO Lightweight championship on Sept. 7.

Beltran, a regular sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao who recently signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, is riding a three fight winning streak. The Mexican finished his 2012 campaign with a 3-1 record, most notably defeating Hank Lundy on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights for the NABF title.

Burns, the current WBO lightweight titleholder, is 8-0 in world title fights and hasn’t lost since 2007. Burns captured the WBO junior lightweight title in 2010, dethroning Rocky Martinez via unanimous decision. After three successful title defenses, he moved up in 2011 to capture the WBO interim lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Michael Katsidis. He was elevated to WBO lightweight champion shortly after that victory and has successfully defended that title three times, the most recent on May 11, with a ninth-round TKO of undefeated Jose Gonzalez.

Burns/Beltran will take place at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, Scotland and will be televised on WealthTV. Matchroom Boxing/Eddie Hearn will be promoting the fight.

I caught up with Beltran to talk about the biggest fight of his career.