Brian Rose, on the eve of greatness in the history of Blackpool sport, has spoken of how he has even surprised himself to be in line for a world title.
Rose has made a remarkable rise up the ranks and is set to reach the zenith of his career when he fights title holder Demetrius Andrade, of the United States, for the World Boxing Organisation world light-middleweight title.
The 27-year-old said: “Going into this fight, I think I have the advantages. I have nothing to lose – everybody is expecting him to blow me away.
“I like being the underdog – that’s because I am used to it
“It’s only the people around me in the gym, the people who believe in me, who know I am capable of winning this fight.”
“I feel blessed but I have worked hard to get this far.
“A lot of people in the past thought I wasn’t capable of becoming a world champion.
“I probably even thought it myself and winning the British title was good enough for me, but I have moved on from that.
“I have dedicated myself and made a lot of sacrifices, moving away from my family, living in Manchester.
“It has cost me a lot of money, not working because I wanted to concentrate on my boxing.
“Now it is paying off. I am getting the money I deserve and the rewards – the rewards are the belts.”
Rose is confident he can claim the ultimate prize against southpaw Andrade.
He added: “I am positive I can win. He is less experienced than I am.
“I have had 27 fights, he has had 20, and he has not been in with anyone I have been in with. I have boxed tough, durable opponents, whereas he has blown them over because they have been there to blow over.”
Rose has admitted to a sense of frustration at not yet knowing when or precisely where in America his big fight will take place.
He said: “I am just ticking over, waiting for the proper date. I have people ringing me up every single day, asking me where it’s going to be in America and on what date.
“That is the frustrating thing, not being able to tell people.
“In boxing it is not official until you get in that ring. “Not to have a venue and a date worries me a little bit – maybe it shouldn’t. I have been told it’s concrete that I will be going over to America.
“Purses have been agreed, so I know exactly how much I’m getting and he knows how much he is getting.
“As far as I am concerned I am going over, but there is a little doubt in my mind.
“Until it’s announced and I get that proper date, I won’t think anything different.”
And as for the fight of his life, Rose said: “It’s every boxer’s dream to be a world champion, and to be the first world champion from Blackpool would be amazing.
“I can’t express enough what it means.”