By Alexey Sukachev
Winter Gardens, Blackpool, Lancashire - A suspect stoppage can strike right back to you in the UK! Known for their barely justified stoppages in both international and domestic contests (most notable recent example being a TKO in the Chisora vs. Scott showdown), British referees can sometimes hurt their own compatriots as well. That was exactly what has happened in an important light middleweight contest between comebacking Brit Brian Rose and American gatekeeper Carson Jones for the vacant WBC International title. Jones stopped Rose in 2:36 of the first round, but the "star" of the night undeniably was local referee Ian John-Lewis.
"He didn’t give me a chance but I feel he gave Jones a chance. I buzzed him and I had him going worse than he had me," Rose told Sky Sports.
"I’m so annoyed at the referee’s decision, he stood in here 15 minutes before saying he’d give us both a chance if we were hurt. He didn’t give me a chance. I might have been hurt, I felt a buzz but I knew exactly where I was and I was about to start firing my shots back.
"That’s the way I fight, I cover up and let my opponents let their shots go. The referee should know that. I’m the sort of fighter who gets hit, covers up, and takes it on the gloves."
Rose, 29, was fighting for the second time since a stoppage loss in a fight for the vacant WBO crown against Demetrius Andrade. Jones, 28, on the other hand, was just one bout removed from his own stoppage loss to future IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, also in the UK. Jones gave hell to Brook in their first fight in July 2012, however.
Rose started confidently, looking for the opportunity to hurt Jones with both head and body shots. He did land several pretty-looking right hands early on - but Jones responded accordingly. From the second half of the second minute of the round, he began to dig deep and land blows of his own to the chin of Rose. One of them had the Brit hurt, forcing him to almost turn his back on the opponent. Jones landed several more shots, making Rose unsteady and wobbling on his feet. Suddenly, Ian John-Lewis stepped in and poked Jones, then took Rose's head with both arms in a gesture of consolation.
Rose (26-3-1, 8 KOs) was in disbelief as his career was going down the drain. He was extremely disappointed with the outcome, not giving any post-fight quickies and immediately rushing to the dressing-room for some inner destruction. Calm and reserved Jones (37-10-3, 27 KOs) indicated he felt bad for his opponent and also said he was not opposed to a rematch - an intention which was confirmed by Rose's promoter Eddie Hearn.
Rose added: "He was going to come with a barrage of punches, I know that’s what he was going to do, but I would have soaked them up and it would have been him in the long run losing all his energy. That’s how I fight, he’s an experienced referee, he should know that.
"I hold my hands up, I was hurt, but so was he. I don’t think it should have been stopped. He caught me and I felt a buzz but Demetrious Andrade hit me 50 times like that. I demand a rematch. I want something done. He gave him a chance, why not give me a chance?
In a little break between the primary fights of the night, BBBofC English lightweight champion Scott Cardle (17-0, 5 KOs) demolished Bulgarian trialhorse Yordan Vasilev (16-40-2, 4 KOs) with an overhand right in just 36 seconds of round one.
Cello Renda suffered Prizefighter heartbreak again as Tom Doran walked away from Blackpool with the £32,000.
More than four years after coming up short against Martin Murray in Prizefighter's fourth edition Renda was again runner-up among the middleweights, stopped by a perfect left hook in the third round of his final.
The knockout earned Doran a £2,000 bonus on top of the winner's prize - not a bad night's work for the Welshman who spent three years away from the ring before returning in May last year.
The 27-year-old remains unbeaten, although that record looked under real threat as he struggled to work out the relentless Renda in a one-sided opening round.
Doran recovered the poise that was evident on his run to the final, leveling it up with an impressive second that included a crunching left to Renda's body.
That shot - on the back of two typically energetic heats - appeared to take a toll on Renda, who was never in the third and stumbled forward into the ropes after walking on to a huge left that caught him flush on the chin.
The Peterborough man beat the count but offered no argument when the fight was waved off with 1 minute 44 seconds on the clock.
Afterwards Doran told Sky Sports: "I like proving people wrong, and I think I've done that. Onwards and upwards now, I'm putting the inactivity behind me and looking to the future."
Of his slow start he said: "Cello's a massive puncher and you've got to take that into account. I got the first out of the way and picked it up from there."
That punching power was in evidence as Renda stopped Liam Conroy in his first-round contest before outworking the more precise Jack Arnfield to take his semi-final on points.
Doran disposed of pre-tournament favorite Luke Keeler by unanimous decision in his semi-final having seen off southpaw Craig Cunningham in the first round.