NEWLY-crowned light-middleweight champion Brian Rose is set to make his first defence of the British title – against the only fighter to have beaten him so far.
The Blackpool boxer is poised to meet Max Maxwell at the Winter Gardens in the resort on March 31.
His defeat at the hands of Maxwell is the only blot on Rose’s record since turning professional.
Maxwell stopped Rose in the sixth round when they fought at Huddersfield in May, 2010 but that doesn’t worry the champion.
Rose, who is going for a voluntary defence, said: “Maxwell may think he has a psychological advantage because he has beaten me but I don’t think that way at all.
“Maxwell doesn’t really deserve a shot but we have chosen him for a voluntary defence.
“I am far more mentally strong than when we last fought. I was winning the fight until he caught me but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for that fight.
“I have gone through to the British title the right way – Central Area, English title and British title.
“Now I want to defend it twice, claim the Lonsdale Belt outright and then fight for the European title.
“I have gone for a voluntary defence and the Winter Gardens has been pencilled in. We are just waiting to hear from Sky if everything is acceptable.
“Six months or so ago, maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a fight like this but now my confidence is sky-high.”
Rose has been delighted and gratified by the acclaim he has received since winning the title, beating Prince Arron at Wigan earlier in the month, not to mention the biggest pay-day of his career.
He said: “I was introduced to the crowd when Blackpool played Watford and I got a standing ovation.
“That meant the world to me and it showed just how many people had got behind me.”
And Rose got a special congratulations from Brian London, the last Blackpool boxer to hold a British title as far back as 1959.
Rose said: “I was in Quilligan’s in Blackpool and Brian London came in for breakfast.
“He recognised me straightaway, and he come over and said he felt very proud at what I had done.
“I posted it on Twitter that I had met Brian and everyone thought I had arranged it, but it was not like that at all – it just happened.”
Waiting for the winner of the planned Rose v Maxwell showdown is the winner of a final eliminator between Matthew Hall and former champion Sam Webb, who lost his belt to Arron.