By Shaun Brown
Craven Park, Hull - Brian Rose (27-3-1, 8 KOs) chose brawn over brains to avenge his controversial February loss to Carson Jones (37-11-3, 27 KOs).
That night, in Rose’s home town of Blackpool, the fight was waved off in the first round somewhat surprisingly by referee Ian John-Lewis who judged Rose in no position to continue.
Tonight, at middleweight, outdoors in Hull, Rose decided to not box on the back foot – as many predicted – and chose to take the fight to the rugged American by doing everything he could to push Jones back and be the bully instead of being the opposite.
With Jones plodding forward all night looking for hail mary uppercuts, Rose, a former British 154lb champion and WBO world title challenger had to deal with what looked like a broken nose in the second round.
In a gruelling contest, each man landed some heavy shots and at time placed themselves on the inside and decided to fight it out in a battle of machismo with brains and a jab nowhere to be seen at times.
Full credit must be given to Rose, however. Not often held in the highest regard by British boxing fans but tonight, despite fighting a man who was at welterweight a few years ago took his lumps and bumps admirably and chose to prove a point.
As both men tired, the affair became tetchy at times with both guilty of throwing shots after the bell or having words with one another.
By the 12th, and seemingly home and dry, Rose decided to throw caution to the wind beckoning his opponent on for a full-on war eager to stamp home his authority and banish the demons of the defeat in February.
Scores of 119-111, 116-112 and 117-112 gave Rose a well deserved unanimous decision. The 30-year-old showed a real touch of class at the end by reaching over to Ian John-Lewis, one of the scoring judges, to shake his hand showing there was no hard feelings about events in February.
Afterwards, Rose said of avenging the loss: “It’s a very nice feeling. For the first time, in the changing room, I looked at [trainer] Bobby [Rimmer] and said ‘I’m nervous’. I made it difficult for myself, I wanted a tear-up.”
“I’ve proved I’ve got a lion heart. People can talk about the weight issues but he’s as strong as they come, Kell Brook will tell you that.”
“His career was on the line, simple as that,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “On to middleweight and some big clashes domestically.”