When Michelle Rosado returned from New York this past June after helping to promote a fight at Madison Square Garden, she did so with a new idea stuck in her head.
“Every year the Puerto Rican community does a big fight in connection with the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York,” Rosado said. “Miguel Cotto, Felix Trinidad, they’ve all had fights around the parade. I came back thinking we should do the same thing in Philly.”
A Temple graduate from Bristol, Rosado abandoned her 15-year career as an engineer and moved back to Philadelphia from Phoenix recently to pursue her passion fulltime. She is the president of Raging Babe Events and Marketing, which in conjunction with J. Russell Peltz and Top Rank is the driving force behind this Friday’s first Annual Puerto Rican Boxing Classic at 2300 Arena.
Things fell into place to make the card – Camden junior lightweight Jason Sosa (17-3-1, 13 KOs), ranked No. 13 in the world by the IBF is the headliner – a success. Rosado says the 1,300-seat venue is nearly sold-out.
The papal visit forced the Philadelphia’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade to be moved to Monday rather than the last week of Sept. The Arena was available for Friday, so when Rosado got the date she ran with it.
Rosado had a street team put up posters announcing the seven-bout card all over the city and the suburbs. Taking a page from the golden era of Philadelphia boxing, she had street teams post posters on telephone poles and barber shops in Philadelphia, Camden and the suburbs.
“We wanted to get old school and new school fans who love the game fired up,” Rosado said. “So we hit up the barber shops, the corner stores. We went into South Philly where the Mexican community is. Mexican’s love boxing, too.”
A proud Puerto Rican, Rosado wanted to not only shine the light on Puerto Rican fighters, of which the card is loaded with, but she also wanted to put together an event that would expose people not familiar with Puerto Rican culture to it. Puerto Rican cuisine will be in abundance, and a Puerto Rican dj will play music throughout the evening.
“People will fall in love with our culture if they are exposed to it,” Rosado said.
Along with promotions, Rosado has a website that sells all sorts of boxing apparel (Ragingbabe.com).
She is serious about this. Peltz has taken a personal interest in her career. Jackie Kallen, the “First Lady of Boxing” and former manager of former three-time world champ James Toney, has also mentored her. She also calls North Philadelphia middleweight Gabe Rosado (no relation), whom she has helped with marketing and sponsorship development, a mentor also.
“They have all helped me learn the game, the ins and outs, when to open my mouth and when to keep quiet,” Rosado says. “I love this work. And I wouldn’t be in it or have this opportunity if not for any of them.”