Light middleweight Charles Whittaker hopes everyone underestimates his chances of beating Gabriel Rosado when the two collide on Friday, September 21 at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
The winner of the scheduled 12-round contest will become the No. 1 contender and official mandatory challenger for IBF champion Cornelius K9 Bundrage.
The Whittaker-Rosado bout is one of three to be televised on September. 21 by the NBC Sports Network Fight Night series. The others: Gabriel Campillo, of Madrid, Spain, vs. Sergey Kovalev, ofChelyabinsk, Russia, 10 rounds, light-heavyweights; Ronald Cruz, of Bethlehem, PA, vs. Antwone Smith, of Miami, FL, 12 rounds, for Cruz’ WBC Continental Americas Welterweight Title.
Whittaker, 38, of the Cayman Islands, has boxed under the radar during most of his 19-year career. His 38-12-2 record includes 23 knockouts, but he rarely has been in high-profile matches.
“This fight means the world to me,” Whittaker said. “I have paid my dues and ready to be number one in the world. After this fight I will challenge for the IBF 154 world title.”
Whittaker gained the No. 2 slot in the IBF ratings due to a pair of 12-round victories in his two most recent fights--over Keenan Collins, of Reading, PA, 14 months ago in the Cayman Islands for the vacant USBA light middleweight title, and over Giorbis Barthelemy, of Cuba, last November, in Miami, Florida.
Whittaker has beaten former world-title challenger Billy Lyell and he has lost to some of the best--Troy Rowland, Mikkel Kessler, Shannon Taylor and Hercules Kyvelos.
“There are some people who told me I would never make it as a professional boxer and I have proved them wrong,” Whittaker said. “When I step into the ring on September 21 it will be no different. I know Rosado will be game but I have the experience and I am hungry to win.”
Proof of Whittaker’s popularity in the Cayman Islands is the fact that Premier McKeeva Bush plans to attend the September. 21 fight in Bethlehem.
August 22, 2012