Rose v Macklin to clash at The O2

Macklin (right) to face Rose
Macklin (right) to face Rose
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Blackpool boxer Brian Rose will meet Matthew Macklin in April at the 02 Arena in London on the undercard of the world heavyweight title clash on April 9 between Anthony Joshua and Charles Martin.

And it could be career-defining for both combatants, who have missed out on past world title quests - and could have nowhere to go in the event of defeat in the 12-rounder which will be for a hitherto unspecified title.

Rose is already in serious training for the fight, which will be part of Sky TV's pay-per-view offering on what promises to be the biggest night's boxing in Britain this year.

It will be a big ask for Rose against a seasoned middleweight like Macklin, while by comparison Rose is a relative novice at the weight, having only just made the step-up from light-middle.

Rose is undaunted by the challenge, but fully realises that defeat would mean that retirement would be on the horizon.

He admitted that had he not beaten Carson Jones in Hull last summer, he would have hung up his gloves there and then and has a similar mindset this time round.

However, such thoughts were dismissed when he won a gruelling fight after 12 rounds.

Rose said of the showdown with Macklin: "It is great fight for the fans.

"We are both in the same sort of situation - we both have to win to get to the next level, to try and win a world title.

"It will be devastating for me (if I lose).

"My whole career depended on that Carson Jones fight.

"I walked into the arena that night with so much pressure on my shoulders - it could have been my last big pay-day and my last fight, and I honestly believe I would have retired had I lost.

"The same applies in this fight in April, though it probably applies to Matthew more than it does to me.

"I seem to fight a lot better under pressure - if I put that pressure on myself against Macklin them I think I will perform."

Rose revealed that in the past he had tapped into Macklin for ring advice.

He said: "He is a wise man and I have a lot of respect for him, but this is business."

Macklin has fought three times for different versions of the world middleweight title, but he is a high-class operator and is a past holder of the British and European titles.

Joshua versus Martin will make for fascinating viewing - Joshua will bid to Tyson Fury in holding a world heavyweight title.

Martin will be making the first defence of the IBF title that he won by TKO against Vyacheslav Glazkov in January.

The 29-year-old has an unbeaten record of 23-1-0 with 21 wins by knockout

Joshua, the 2012 Olympic Champion, will be looking to extend his unblemished 15-0 record (15 KO’s) en-route to winning his first world title.