By Francisco Salazar
Heading into a fight, it is not uncommon for a fighter to compliment another on their in-ring ability. There are some fighters who downplay the accomplishments of their opponents as well.
Then, there is middleweight Louis Rose. When asked how he would some up Paul Mendez, whom he will face tonight, Rose was very blunt and to the point.
Maybe too blunt.
Rose will attempt to prove his point tonight in a scheduled 10 round bout at the Sports House in Redwood City, CA. The bout will precede the main event bout between Manuel Avila and Jose Angel Cota.
Both bouts will be part of a “Golden Boy Live” telecast that will air on Fox Sports 1 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT.
Rose (8-1, 2 KOs), who hails from the Los Angeles suburb of Claremont, may or may not have reason to be vocal before a fight. He has won his last three bouts in a row, all against unbeaten prospects.
This is coming after suffering his lone defeat as a professional on December 21st to veteran Tony Hirsch. Rose looked lost and did not seem to have a Plan B during his loss to Hirsch.
The loss was a blessing to Rose, especially not to overlook an opponent.
“The loss to Hirsch told me that I can’t take anyone lightly,” Rose told Boxingscene.com over the phone on Tuesday. “I didn’t take him seriously and I was not prepared. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s an athlete amnd he did what he had to do.”
“If there’s one thing the fight taught me is that I have to fight every fight as itf it’s my last. I go into every fight as if I had to die, I die (to get a win).”
So if Rose is talking the talk in his fight against Mendez, he will attempt to back it up just as he has done in his last three bouts, all wins.
While Rose learned a life lesson in never underestimating opponents, he can not halp but take a jab at Mendez, who is unbeaten in his last nine bouts.
“I just don’t think he’s at my level. I don’t think he has the conditioning to go 10 rounds. I’ve been sparring 15 rounds and we go for about fout to five minutes in each round. I’m in shape. I don’t think he’s as durable or as fast as me.”
Those are pretty bold words coming from someone who will be fighting in his first scheduleed 10 round bout tonight. Mendez has fought four bouts that were scheduled to go 10 rounds.
After his loss to Hirsch, Rose knocked out Gino McClellan on March 9th, who was 9-0 at the time. Two mmonths later, Rose won a hard-fought eight round unanimous decision over Delen Parsley.
While the fight was close, Rose said that the victory was easier than having to fly across the country to New York city, where the fight took place.
“I lost four pound on the flight to New York City. I don’t like flying and I was very scared to fly. It was quite an expereience, but we got through it.”
Rose has always admired and looked up to fighters, such as Roy Jones Jr., Andre Ward, Floyd Mayweather, and Felix Trinidad.
While these fighters would be on a list of fighters a lot of them would look up to, Rose decided it was best to look up to them and not emulate their style in the ring.
“I always emulated my style like that of Mayweather’s. After the Hirsch fight, after I lost, I gave up on that. If there is a style that I’m going to use, it is my own style. I will emulate Louis Rose.”
Fighters believe in themselves and their abilities. It is does take a loss for a fighter to understand some things that work for now will not always work later.
That could be what happened to Rose as the loss to Hirsch seeemed to open his eyes about what he is capable of doing rather than what is only skin-deep.
Who knows what the future will hold for Rose. But fighters do gain a better sense of who they are when they self-assess after defeat. If that is the case, Rose has a bright future. A win over Mendez could get more television dates and bigger purses.
He is not going to let this pass up tonight.
“I’m glad about what I’ve accomplished. People stil don’t know me, but I couldn’t be happier because I’ve been patient. I believe there is more to come.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and Ring Magazine. He could be reached by email at email@example.com or on twitter at FsalazarBoxing