By Rahul Lal

Gabriel Rosado, a popular boxer and blossoming actor, joined Mike Young on his podcast STORIES THAT NEED TO BE TOLD on CBS Radio’s podcast network.

Rosado grew up in Philadelphia, where he started boxing at 18 and became pro by the time he was 19. “Philly gym wars will show what a guy is made of,” he said. Gym wars are all-out and intense sparring wars; after only a year of these, he was tough enough to fight his first professional fight.

Rosado jumped into the professional boxing world quickly and had to deal with some of the shady business inexperienced boxers go through.

“A guy could be making a $10 million purse, but he got some people around him taking money off the top,” said Rosado. “It’s not like the NBA or baseball or anything like that where it has a sanctioned body… it’s like the mob.”

With his boxing career underway, Rosado discovered that he had the look to be an actor. He packed up his things and moved to Los Angeles, just in time to be “hooked up” with a movie role as a boxer.

That movie wound up being Creed; the followup to the iconic Rocky series. Rosado pointed out the coincidence of a Philadelphia-born boxer moving to L.A. to act only to be cast as a boxer from Philly. His big fight scene with Michael B. Jordan, the main character, was shot unlike any previous fight scene.

“[There was only] one camera. It wasn’t cut and taken from another angle. From the first round you gotta make sure you’re throwing the punches at the right time,” said Rosado. “We practiced choreography once or twice a day for about a month before it.”

When asked about being with the legendary Sly Stallone, he said that the boxer who once sparred with Joe Frazier in the Rocky auditions offered helpful advice on acting: “make sure you do every take like it’s your last because you never know which one they’re going to use.”

Rosado went on to talk about his toughest fight, which had more to do with an injury than his opponent. In the bout, he suffered a detached retina and broken orbital in the third round, but went on to fight his best round in the fourth while nearly blind.

Along the way, Rosado has made some powerful friends in the boxing world. Among those are legendary fighters like Bernard Hopkins and his new trainer, the heavyweight champ Fernando Vargas. Rosado even brought up star Floyd Mayweather.

“His father and his uncle were hard on him, that’s why he is the champ he is today,” he said. “His dad was brought down by the drugs; that’s probably the reason [Mayweather has] stayed away from the alcohol and drugs,” he exclaimed alluding to his clean lifestyle.

Rosado concluded the interview by calling out one of the sport’s most popular boxers right now: Canelo Alvarez.

“Canelo hasn’t fought a legit middleweight… step up and fight a middleweight,” he demanded. “Let’s get it on.”

Listen to the full interview, covering these topics and more, on the latest episode of Mike Young’s podcast, STORIES THAT NEED TO BE TOLD.

Rahul Lal is an LA native stuck in a lifelong, love-hate relationship with the Lakers, Dodgers and Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter here.