WITHOUT so much as a whiff of the prefight histrionics that so often consume the build up to a professional prize fight these days, Blackpool’s adopted Mancunian and reigning English Light middle weight champion Brian Rose has seen his challenge to local rival and British champion Prince Arron on December 3 fly firmly under the radar. I recently caught up with an expectant challenger as he relaxed at the home of friend and trainer Bobby Rimmer ahead of the biggest fight of his life against a man he considers a friend.
“That is what’s so special about boxing” said Rose. “We will put our friendship to one side for the night, and then after we have beaten each other up for 12 rounds we will have a hug”. “I’ve got no hatred towards Prince Arron; he’s just got something I want”
Bobby Rimmer, the man Rose looks upon as a second father, so close is their relationship, has guided the 26-year-old since he first stepped into his gym in Dukinfield and is responsible for whipping him into the condition of his life. The foreboding landscape surrounding Rimmers boxing academy is prime roadwork territory and his love of this hellish terrain isn’t lost on Rose. “They are killers, more like mountains than hills; we go up there every Saturday with the other lads from the gym”. “It’s good to have that work under your belt when a fight gets tough” concluded Rose.
As well as being as fit as the proverbial butcher’s dog and having technical skills honed in the vest and head guard that took him to the far reaches of the globe, Rose is well aware that in boxing the best laid plans don’t always work out. “I’m ready to go to war if I have to, I’ve prepared for it”. “I doubt Arron will want to, he will try and use his height and reach, I don’t blame him, that’s what he is good at”. “I don’t know exactly what he is going to do, he might come out throwing windmills but I will stick to outsmarting, it’s what I do”
“The Lion”, winner of 79 out of his 90 amateur fights believes his greater experience will stand him in good stead come fight night. “I’ve fought all over the world against Russians, tall kids, every style; it will all come back on the night”
Having first been scheduled to defend his English title against Stoke Newington’s Erick Ochieng before the opportunity arose to face Arron, means Rose is chomping at the bit after a long and drawn out 20 week camp, one in which he insists could not have gone any better. “I’ve had fantastic sparring with some lads we brought over from Germany, tall lads” said Rose. “This is without doubt the best camp I’ve ever had, it’s the fittest I’ve ever been and we have left no stone unturned”. “I’m sitting on the edge of my seat talking to you now, I just can’t wait, I want to show everybody I’m going to beat Arron” said Rose with a determination in his voice.
With such a long camp behind him there is a danger of a fighter burning himself out and leaving his best work in the gym, something Rose insists his team have guarded against. “I had a week off after we found out I was fighting Arron for the title, then we started the camp again slowly. “I was already cutting my food down in preparation to do the weight so I had to take it easy”
As fight night looms ever closer Rose has an edge to his voice that say’s “I’m ready” but he is looking forward to some rest bite from the hard graft of camp. “I’ve got my last hard session tomorrow (Friday 25 Nov) before a bit of a chilled out week just waiting for the fight”. “I had a check weigh in by the board today and I was 11st 5lbs so the weight isn’t an issue my fitness isn’t an issue all I have to worry about is what boxer shorts to wear to the weigh in” joked Rose.
“The Lion” will certainly have the eye of the tiger come December 3.