By Elliot Foster
Martin Murray and Gabriel Rosado will vie for a belt this weekend.
The pair meet in a 12-round showdown in Liverpool, exclusively live on Sky Sports, on Saturday.
Originally, it was understood that the mouth-watering middleweight matchup between the two former world title challengers would be a non-title affair, but that has been changed at the 11th hour.
The WBA has sanctioned the fight for its vacant Inter-Continental trinket at the weight, making the ‘Beautiful Brutality’ show, at the ECHO Arena, a title quadruple-header.
Murray, whose daughter has been in hospital during his training camp, and Philadelphia native Rosado know that the fight is a must-win for each and know that, for their harbouring ambitions to clash for world honours again at any point in the future to be realised, this is a pivotal contest in their careers.
Rosado co-starred with Tony Bellew –– a long-time friend who had a part in the making of this fight –– in the Rocky spin-off Creed. The 23-10 (13 KOs) fighter was cast as Leo Sperino, who was beaten by the movie’s title character.
But the 31-year-old, who weighed in at 11st 5lbs 3oz, is keen to make a home from home in the UK with a victory against Murray.
“Right now I feel that the UK is buzzing,” he said. “I’m ready and the fight against Martin Murray is the perfect one. This fight is very important to me and I went back to my roots, back to Philadelphia after moving to Los Angeles, back to the rugged gyms and the great sparring.
“I’ve been getting a lot of love from the fans in the UK, I’ve been here for two weeks and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.
“I feel like the fight will be a war if I want it to be a war, but if I use my skills and my ring IQ then I can pretty much do what I want in the ring that day.”
Murray, who is three years Rosado’s senior and tipped the scales at 11st 5lbs 2oz, is delighted that the pressure is off him with the way ‘King’ Gab is talking.
“I’m glad he’s thinking like that,” the St Helens-based former four-time world title challenger responded, “but he’ll realise on Saturday that he is in with a fighter who is far better than him.
“He’s predicting the fight as though it is going to go 100 per cent his way, but it’s not going to be like that.
“I believe I’m the better fighter and I’ll prove it on Saturday night. But I do understand that the fight is going to sway both ways.
“I’ll fight when I want to fight and I’ll box when I want to box. The fight is going to be tough at times, but it’ll be tough when I want it to be.”
Also on the card, Rocky Fielding (11st 13lbs) and John Ryder (11st 12lbs 8oz) meet for the vacant British super-middleweight title and Tom Farrell (9st 13lbs 8oz) defends his WBA International super-lightweight title against former sparring partner Tommy Carus (9st 13lbs 9oz).
And Sean Dodd (9st 7lbs 3oz) looks to continue his somewhat unbelievable story with a crack at the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title against Lee Appleyard (9st 8lbs 4oz).
A slew of undercard fighters also tipped the scales ahead of their next outings.
Meanwhile, Paul Economides has been forced off the card due to a medical issue.
“It is completely out of my hands,” he said on social media after revealing the news that his undercard clash with Mark Evans was off. “I trained so hard for this fight and I was more than ready, but unfortunately I'm [going to] have to wait [until] next month to fight.”