Simply the biggest fight of Brian Rose's career to date. The WBO Light Middleweight Title Eliminator. Saturday October 26th at The Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.
From The Blackpool Evening Gazette...
Brave Brian Rose moved a huge step closer to becoming Blackpool’s first-ever world champion after a tremendous victory against tough and durable Argentinian boxer Javier Maciel.
In what at times developed into an all-out war of attrition, Rose emerged the winner of his gruelling 12-rounder, an official final eliminator for the World Boxing Organisation light-middleweight title.
The tension was great as Rose, his camp and the enthralled Sheffield crowd waited for the judges’ decision.
When it came, Rose sank to his knees in an unashamed show of pure emotion and no little relief.
Rose won a split points verdict.
One judge had it 115-113 to Maciel, but two others gave it to Rose by 117-111 and 116-113.
Promoter Eddie Hearn pledged after the epic contest: “There is going to be another Brit fighting for the world title.
“Brian showed the heart of a lion.”
Rose had to utilise all his depths of courage and no mean boxing skill to fend off Maciel, who was always dangerous.
The Blackpool fighter battled through the pain barrier and from the third round onwards fought with wicked, deep cut on the bridge of his nose.
Rose had started the fight as the bookies’ underdog and it soon became apparent that Maciel would be a tough adversary to tame.
Rose got his jab working to good effect, using his most potent weapon to the full.
Maciel responded with vicious uppercuts and slamming shots to the body, which Rose withstood.
By the end of the seventh round, this observer had the pair level on points.
Maciel unleashed a barrage punches in the eighth as he marauded forward ruthlessly and relentlessly – some shots found their target, but superb footwork and covering-up got Rose out of peril.
The burst of energy seemed to slow Maciel down towards the end of that session as Rose responded in kind.
Rose was outstanding in the ninth, which he took in style, and Maciel looked more and more fatigued.
However, he dredged up energy from somewhere to enjoy considerable success in the 11th session, one of the most punishing of the entire enthralling contest.
It was nip and tuck by the 12th, with both boxers drained – like two of the judges this observer had Rose the winner, by the narrowest margin 116-115, for what it is worth.
Rose said afterwards: “Words can’t describe how I feel. There were times when I really had to dig deep, and I have never had to do that before.
“You still haven’t seen the best of me. As I go up in levels, the better I get.
“I am more than happy with that performance – I am boxing for a world title next.
“Bobby Rimmer (trainer) told me I had to go out and win the last two rounds and the people in the crowd were saying it as well.
“I thought I had done enough and that I was four or five rounds up, but then I always feel comfortable in my performance.”
Rimmer said: “There have been times in the past when people have asked if Brian has the chin or the heart, but he has shown everyone.
“Maciel is a massive puncher, though they seemed to bother me more than they did Brian because at times I felt as though I was going to have a heart attack.
“Brian has shown that he is ready to be on the world scene – he is tough and durable and he can grind a decision out.”
Promoter Hearn said: “Brian has shown a lot of heart – Maciel was the favourite coming into the fight. It was close, but Brian deserved it.”
The last – and only – Blackpool boxer to fight for a world title was heavyweight Brian London. He lost on both occasions to Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali.
Rose can now expect to meet the winner of Demetrius Andrade versus Vanes Martiroysan, who box soon for the vacant WBO light-middleweight title. Whatever happens, Rose has already done Blackpool proud.