BLACKPOOL boxer Brian Rose will make the first defence of his English light-middleweight title in May.
And he hopes – and expects – that victory will get him a shot at the British title itself.
Before he can think about the prized Lonsdale Belt being fitted around his waist, he must first beat unbeaten Martin Welsh for the English crown in a 10-rounder at the International Centre at Brentwood, Essex, on May 13.
Higher up on that same bill at Brentwood, Sam Webb will put his British belt on the line against Prince Arron.
Rose says that he has been told he will fight the winner, providing he overcomes Welsh, who has won all his nine fights to date.
Rose is nicknamed The Lion – and in this case, it really will be a case of him entering the lion’s den, for the Kent-based Welsh will have the majority of the support in the hall.
Failing to have home advantage is the last thing on Rose’s mind.
He said: “There will certainly not be pressure on me to sell tickets being the away fighter, and it is a fight I should win.”
It will be Rose’s first bout of 2011 – his last contest was in November, when he won the English title against Lee Noble in Davyhulme, taking his record to 16 wins, one defeat and one draw, impressive credentials for the personable 26-year-old.
He said: “It is an important fight for me because it is a British title eliminator.
“I should have fought before now, and I was due to meet Liam Cameron earlier this year.
“But by taking that I didn’t want to run the risk of missing out on an eliminator.
“I have been ticking over in training and my work as a fitness instructor in Poulton keeps me fit, and I have been picking up a lot of new clients as well.
“I can see it being a technical kind of fight against Welsh, which will suit me a lot.”
Rose says he will not let the chance of fighting for the British title pass him by.
He said: “I am looking at the bigger picture, and I don’t want this opportunity to be lost.
“I have a baby on the way, and I want to able to say to the child that even if I lost, I got the chance and gave it a try.”
Rose is hoping that his timing in the ring is more accurate than it has been on his Twitter feed.
He informed all his followers that the fight would take place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, before the fight was switched to Brentwood.
“I had tweeted to everyone that I was boxing at York Hall, so I have had to change all my messages!”