Heart of a lion not enough

Brian Rose floored in New York
Brian Rose floored in New York

Brian Rose is today trying to come to terms with the realisation that his world title dream is over.

And the brutal reality is that he was outclassed at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn by a world-class operator in Demetrius Andrade, who retained his world light-middleweight title with a seventh- round stoppage

Andrade talked the talk beforehand and he delivered in droves in the ring.

In the end Rose was at the wrong end of what was a boxing masterclass.

The gulf in class was enormous and was apparent from the opening round, in which Rose was decked by a left hook.

The same fate befell Brian in the third as he took an eight count.

Andrade, making his first defence of the World Boxing Organisation version of the 11-stone world title, had everything, not just an awkward southpaw style.

Rose is renowned as one of the most technically proficient defensive boxers in Britain but he had no answer to Andrade’s all-round game.

He had fast hands and a punitive punch. Add to that the fact that Brian was bemused as to where the shots were coming and it made for a hard night, the hardest of his life.

Rose deserved to be in there, having earned the right by winning an official final eliminator against Javier Maciel, of Argentina, last October.

That was tough but this was different altogether.

If you were being charitable – perhaps exceedingly so – you could make a case that the Blackpool fighter shared the fifth round. But you couldn’t really argue with anyone who said Andrade took every session, three or four of them by utterly convincing margins.

The crowd were there to support Brian, making the convoluted journey all the way from Blackpool, but even they were stung into silence at times.

But you could only really admire Andrade.

And admire Brian The Lion too.

Never has a nickname been better earned.

He showed bravery in the extreme and many a fighter would have been stopped earlier, but when the end came it was swift and inevitable.

Trainer Bobby Rimmer had all too clearly seen the warning signs and was climbing on to the ring apron to try to save Brian as Canadian referee Michael Griffin moved in after an all-out attack coming at Rose from all directions.

n What a fantastic venue, the Barclays Center is.

It is made for boxing - and New Yorkers to a man and woman – all experts on the fight game – filled the place.

It was a thrill to sense the atmosphere and how boxing is so different in the United States.

The only slight quibble – very slight! – was the ring entrance for the Rose v Andrade fight.

It was less than spectacular, with no sense of occasion, and all rather rushed and routine.