(Photo obtained courtesy of skysports.com)
An absolute barnburner of a clash is set to take place this Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
St. Helen’s native and popular local fighter Martin Murray will take on fan favorite and teak tough Philly brawler ‘King’ Gabe Rosado in what should be a thrilling encounter from start to finish.
Murray comes into this fight as the sizeable -340 favorite with the visiting Rosado a +280 underdog.
Martin Murray is returning to middleweight after having an extended run at super-middleweight over the last few years. While he never quite enjoyed the same success in the higher weight class as he did at middleweight, he nevertheless fought for world titles at super-middleweight against both Arthur Abraham and George Groves respectively. At 34 years of age, and with time running out for the resilient Englishman, Murray has decided to cut weight and return to the 160lb division where he enjoyed the majority of his career success thus far, and finally try to get that elusive world championship that he so desperately craves. An extremely close draw against WBA champion Felix Sturm in Germany a few years ago and a controversial unanimous decision loss in Argentina against then middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez are all that has kept Murray from wrapping one of those coveted world titles around his waist.
Gabe Rosado is no stranger to world title fights either having fought both Gennady Golovkin (a fighter who also stopped Martin Murray via an 11th round TKO) and former WBO world champion Peter Quillin, with both fights resulting in stoppages against Rosado. Despite this, and Rosado’s deceptively poor looking 23-10 record, ‘King’ Gabe always comes to fight and can be a handful for anyone. Peter Quillin was in a do-or-die battle with Rosado for multiple rounds before Rosado was forced to retire with a nasty cut above his left eye in the tenth round. Rosado feels most comfortable mixing it up against opponents in brawl style matchups and has really only been shutout against the more fluid boxers out there such as Gennady Golovkin, Jermell Charlo and the vastly underated Willie Munroe Jr, something which Martin Murray is not.
This is a potentially great fight whichever way you look at it. Both men display the requirements of the gritty veteran and neither man shys away from a heated exchange in the pocket, but it’s Murray that owns the better defence and more accurate body shots overall. I don’t think either man has the requisite power to knock the other one out but I can envision a late TKO either due to cuts, which Rosado is susceptible to, or a barrage of unanswered punches from either man.
While I see Martin Murray winning this one in a close, competitive affair, especially given its on home soil, the advantages Murray enjoys have already been built into the betting line so I see little value in betting this fight personally.
Pick: Martin Murray via TKO (Late stoppage)