Promoter Steve Wood has worked some magic, and conjured up an exciting new challenge for Blackpool’s Brian Rose after the British light-middleweight champion’s latest title defence fell through. Rose was all set to put his belt on the line against Londoner Sam Webb but, with that fight postponed, Brian will now take on hard-hitting, former world champion Vivian ‘Vicious’ Harris in a hometown assignment at the Winter Gardens on October 5. Appearing alongside Rose, on the ‘Blackpool’s Famous Five’ bill, will also be four of the seaside town’s finest young fighters – Matty Askin, Jack Arnfield, Scott Cardle, and Adam Little – in what will be a terrific evening of boxing for Blackpool fight fans.
“Brian was supposed to box Webb on the undercard of the David Price vs. Audley Harrison bill in Liverpool on October 13th. He was really looking forward to it,” explained Wood, “and the tickets were going well, but we then got a call saying that, financially, the fight couldn’t happen and would likely take place on Price’s next date in December. We couldn’t wait that long so, with Brian being so popular in Blackpool, I’ve booked this date and got him a fight that will make him known globally, while we wait for a new domestic date.
“Harris didn’t shine on his last UK visit [against David Barnes] but that was due to the weight and his opponent not throwing a punch. Circumstances will be different in this fight and, as a former genuine world champion, I think it’s the right fight for Brian. I just hope Blackpool comes out to support him and all the local fighters on the undercard.”
Harris, 34, will be a tough test for Rose. A pro since 1997, and the former WBA world light-welterweight champion, Vivian has proved himself at the top level in the past. Born in Guyana but based in America, Harris has a reputation as a ‘banger’ with 19 of his 29 career wins coming by knockout. Currently on a losing streak, Vivian will be desperate for an impressive win to get back into title contention, and that makes him a very dangerous foe. Brian, who made the second successful defence of his British title back in June against Kris Carslaw, knows he will have to be on top of his game and that ‘Vicious’ cannot be underestimated.
“I was really looking forward to the Sam Webb fight and was so disappointed it fell through,” said Brian. “It’s great to have Steve Wood on my side though and I’ve now got something big in Vivian Harris, and might get into the world rankings by beating him. It’s going to be brilliant sharing the ring with him, but I won’t be star struck. I’ll probably be fighting the best boxer I’ve been in the ring with, in Blackpool; so I’m putting myself under pressure, but I thrive on it.
“No doubt, he’ll still be able to do things that’ll shock me but I know I’m good enough to beat Vivian Harris at this time in my career. They say ‘you never lose your punch’, so he’s going to be very dangerous, but I’ve just got to be on my guard, stay focused and be careful early on. This show’s also a brilliant opportunity for the other Blackpool lads. It’ll be Scott Cardle’s first fight in his hometown; and we all know how good Matty Askin is. Jack Arnfield will be fighting for his first belt [Central Area light-middleweight title], and Adam Little is a real prospect. This show is a fantastic opportunity to show Blackpool how well we’re all doing in our careers.”
“I’d really like to thank my fellow promoters Eddie Hearn and Ricky Hatton for lending me the services of Scott Cardle, Matty Askin and Adam Little for this show,” reiterated Wood. “To get these five local fighters all together on the same night is a real coup. They’re all very talented and are up there with some of the UK’s best boxers. They’ll all be in exciting fights and this will be a great night of boxing in Blackpool. Vivian Harris is still a big name, and this fight has the potential to be a real banana skin for Brian, but I’m absolutely sure he’ll do it.”
The other boxers on this event’s undercard will be announced shortly.
‘Blackpool’s Famous Five’ will be at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on October 5. Tickets, priced at £35 (General), £40.00 (Balcony) and £70 (Ringside) are available from all boxers (balcony seats from the venue only) or at www.vipbe.co.uk