Fight fever was mounting in New York today as fans turned out to witness Brian Rose’s date with destiny.
They were there in the hope of seeing history made as Rose attempts to become the first boxer from Blackpool to win a world title tomorrow night.
Standing in his way is the formidable figure of champion Demetrius Andrade, holder of the world light-middleweight title, which Rose covets so much.
And though the American southpaw will start the overwhelming favourite, there is plenty of optimism among Blackpool supporters attending the fight at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn that Rose can upset the odds.
One Rose fan – Michael Coyle – is so optimistic over the outcome that he is travelling all the way over from Australia to cheer Rose on.
Michael’s brother Daniel, a good friend of the Blackpool boxer, is backing Rose to create history.
Daniel, of Ansdell Road, Marton, said: “I am biased because Brian is my friend, but I honestly believe he can do it.
“It doesn’t matter to him that he is the underdog against Andrade – he has been the underdog in most of his fights.
“Most boxers start off their career hoping that they will win the British title and that is the big ambition.
“Brian has done that and now he is fighting for the world title.”
Daniel has followed his friend’s career diligently, through the lows and the highs. And he believes his pal can overturn the odds and make his mark on the other side of the Atlantic.
He said: “People in America are saying that Brian has never beaten anybody.
“Andrade keeps calling out Floyd Mayweather to fight him, which shows he is looking too far ahead and not at boxing Brian.
“There is no pressure on Brian on Saturday night.
“All the people who came over from Blackpool will all be sitting in the same block of seats, cheering him on,”
The Coyle clan from Blackpool are out in force, as Daniel testifies.
“My brother Michael is coming all the way from Australia and that takes 26 hours of travel to get to New York!”
Daniel’s father Barry is also optimistic that Rose can pull it off.
“I watched Andrade’s last fight when he won the title, and I think Brian will beat him,” he said.
“Brian is just an ordinary lad and you would not think he was a boxer.
“He sometimes goes to the Brun Grove club and has a drink with the regulars, who will all be supporting him.
“I think they are making a night of it.
Another fan who has made the trip to the United States is Ben Blanchard, of Montpelier Avenue, Bispham, who is watching his first fight in America.
He said: “I think Brian will do it, and I have had £20 on him to win at 5-1, though they tell me I could have got 7-1!
“It will be a great experience to watch a big fight out here.”