By Terence Dooley
Brian rose began his ascent to world-level with a late stoppage win over former WBA light-middleweight world titlist Joachim Alcine, 37, at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Saturday night. Rose lifted his home fans into rapture by halting his game foe at 0:59 of the final session after referee Richie Davis jumped in when Alcine failed to respond to a Rose attack. Although Alcine bitterly disputed the stoppage, he had looked jaded during the final two rounds.
Rose (153¾lbs), though, had a few worrying moments en route to picking up the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title, especially in round nine, when Alcine (152½lbs) landed a solid right uppercut to the head followed by a hard left hook to the body “I felt a flash, yeah,” said Rose, who rises to 23-1-1 (7), when speaking to BoxingScene about the uppercut.
“But I would like to say I wasn’t close to going down, because I don’t think I was. I felt it and just got on with the job. I’m good at tucking up anyway, I do it a lot, so when I’m caught with a shot, apart from when [Max] Maxwell [with a KO punch in their May 2010 meeting] hit me, I’ll just tuck up and see myself through those times. I felt it for five-seconds then got back on with the round.”
As ever, Rose boxed behind his left hand for the majority of the contest, but he was the architect of his own problems at times due to a tendency to give up centre ring and defend along the ropes. Alcine, now 33-4-1 (19), tried to take advantage of these lapses, however the Canada-based Haitian struggled to make a consistent impact on Rose, who believes he could and should have ended the fight earlier.
“I think I could have got him out of there sooner,” he said. “I hurt him with shots, but didn’t put it on him. I’ve done it in other fights where I’ve conserved my energy even though the stoppage is on. I know I need to get out of that because I’m firing in the gym for round after round — I need to have the confidence to do that in fights, especially at world-level, which is where I want to be.
“I’m not used to pushing people back and putting pressure on, but I felt I had to do that because he’s older than me. I will learn and improve from this, just like I did after the Maxwell fight. I am very pleased with the stoppage, it nearly didn’t happen and should have happened. I felt him go a few times and left it late, but it is the win and stoppage that counted tonight.”
Rose likes facing International opposition, he hammered former WBA light-welterweight titlist Vivan Harris to a third-round KO defeat in the same venue last October and has now added Alcine’s scalp to his record.
“I don’t know, this one came late and it could have easily gone the distance,” said Rose when asked if he guns for the stoppage more often when facing fighters from overseas. “But it must be something to do with opponents from overseas. I don’t get many of them so maybe we could do with some more foreigners!
“People know that I’m not a Mexican war style fighter, I’m a boxer — technically good with a good defence and jab — and that’s what I set myself up for. I don’t need to prove a point by getting myself into a fight, it is all about doing the job and winning belts.”
Bobby Rimmer has been with Rose since the 28-year-old’s second pro fight — a decision win over the late Ernie Smith in February 2007 — and the trainer believes that his charge proved his mettle in the ninth.
He said: “Brian took a belting shot and came back, he told me he was OK in the corner and took it well. Because of the Maxwell thing, people don’t realize how strong Brian’s chin is, well he’s just took an uppercut from a former world champion who planted his feet for the shot.
“I think Brian had a rude awakening tonight, he’s been in domestic fights where he didn’t get hurt, but he fought a former champion tonight who snuck some in. I think we’ll sit down and talk about the fight, go through it properly, but he’s beat Alcine and we can’t go off the [Matthew] Macklin fight because Alcine was in with a big middleweight in Macklin and got chinned in one round. It wasn’t the best Alcine ever, but he came to win, not to lie down.
“It is no secret that Brian sometimes believes he isn’t a big puncher. There are times he could go for it, but he believes he has to conserve energy because he’s a 12-round fighter. If we can get that out of his head then he can step it up and score more stoppages. That win puts him at world-level now. It was a great performance and he stopped him late on.”
He added: “I think Brian’s got something against these overseas fighters, but he’s got a good thinking brain. He’s safety-first at times and that’s the way to be because we’re stood here now talking about a good performance in which he showed a strong chin. Plus Brian’s sent Alcine down to welterweight.”
As for rose’s next move, Rimmer told me that he will concentrate on his own job and leave the next step to Eddie Hearn, Rose’s promoter. “Eddie said he’ll be out again in June,” he said. “You know me, I’m the coach and don’t get involved in that side of things. They’ll say who Brian’s fighting next and I’ll get him prepared, that’s my job.”
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