By Shaun Brown
28 May 2010. Brian Rose has been stopped in the sixth round by durable journeyman Max Maxwell. This just seven months after Rose had won his first professional title, the Central Area light middleweight, with a PTS10 win over Jason Rushton. It would be Rushton’s last appearance in a boxing ring after collapsing outside his dressing room that night and was then put into a drug induced come as a result of bleeding on the brain. The Yorkshireman never fought again but thankfully he survived his life threatening ordeal.
That period proved to be the toughest of Rose’s career. The guilt of what happened to Rushton combined with the loss to Maxwell left the Blackpool man wondering if he should carry on boxing.
“When I got beat by Maxwell it ruined me. I thought it was the end of my career. It was the end of my career,” Rose 25-1-1 (7) admitted to BoxingScene.
“I said to [trainer] Bobby [Rimmer] ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I wasn’t in it to lose I was in it to win fights. I was never in it to be a journeyman. There was a time when I doubted myself but I had to pick myself back up and get on with it. From fight to fight I got more confident, I was talking more and more of winning titles and the next thing you know I’m talking about a world title. It’s not been an overnight thing. I didn’t wake up and think I was going to win a world title. Step by step, fight by fight I gradually just got more confident.”
And that confidence combined with grit, the help of psychologists and the heart of a ‘lion’ (the ring moniker used by Rose) has propelled him to not only win and own the British 154lb title outright but now with the chance of becoming Blackpool’s first ever world champion.
The challenge is a sizeable one. Unbeaten Demetrius Andrade 20-0 (13) is a former World Amateur Championships gold medallist and the current WBO World Light Middleweight champion. A vacant title which he won last Nov against Vanes Martirosyan after a 12-round split decision with Andrade being knocked down in the first round. On paper it looks a mismatch in the same way former USA-UK contests like Adrien Broner vs. Gavin Rees and Kelly Pavlik vs. Gary Lockett did. And whilst Rose knows that he is a heavy underdog going into Sat’s fight in Brooklyn that hasn’t stopped him believing and giving himself the very best opportunity to pull off the upset.
“Every boxer always says they’ve had the perfect camp but I’ve actually had the perfect camp. I’ve left no stone unturned, I’ve sacrificed everything. I’ve had no problems, I’ve got no excuses going into this fight that’s why I’m so confident and so mentally prepared for this world title fight.
“I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I know I’ve got a job to do but I’m also going to enjoy the experience. At first when I got the fight I was putting a little bit too much pressure on myself. No-one’s expecting me to go over there and win, only the people close to me expect me to go there and win. There’s no pressure on me, it’s all on Demetrius Andade. It’s in his backyard, it’s him that’s gotta do the job but I can promise you this I’m coming back with that world title.”
And even though Rose admits to not over analysing his opponents, he has crossed every T and dotted every I in preparation for Andrade.
“This time it’s a little bit different because he’s an awkward southpaw so I’ve had to look at him more. I think he’s a great fighter, a world class fighter and there’s no doubting that because he’s got a world title but he’s not great. He’s not the best world champion and he’s beatable. It’s a tough ask for me to go over there and win and I know that but over the last 12 weeks all I’ve done is spar with crafty southpaws and I’ve mastered it and I feel like I’ve got the tools to beat Demetrius Andrade.”
Andrade would do well to pay attention to the efforts of his mandatory challenger and the gameplan that trainer, Rimmer, will have put together. The American has already looked past Rose and thrown himself into the Floyd Maywather lottery draw and if interviews are to be believed the 26-year-old is taking this one for granted. Could this be the undoing of the newly crowned champion? Rose believes so and wants to take him into territory where he may not be comfortable. The Brit chose his last fight, a war of a win over Javier Maciel as an example.
“I had to show a lot of character that night and like you said it was a war. He took some heavy shots and I took some heavier shots but I came through it and I feel like that’ll be the difference on the night between me and Andrade. He’s never had that, he’s never been took to the trenches, he’s probably had two or three tough fights where I’ve had five or six. It might’ve been against domestic fighters like Sam Webb but they’re still class fighters. I’ve fought five-six twelve rounders and he’s fought one. So experience is on my side. Experience wise I’ve got that over him.
“I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was a little boy. My dream was a realistic dream at first and that was to become British champion and then own it outright, now I’ve done that and I’m looking at world honours. At one point it looked impossible when I got beat by Max Maxwell. It looked like I was going to be one of those fighters that fell by the wayside but I haven’t. I’ve come back, that loss was probably the best thing that ever happened to me and now I’m fighting for a world title and my dream is coming true. I’m gonna win the world title.”
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