Wood’s fighters return to roots

Brian Rose in action in his last Winter Gardens fight against Max Maxwell in March.
Brian Rose in action in his last Winter Gardens fight against Max Maxwell in March.
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PROMOTER Steve Wood is promising a fight night to remember when British boxing champion Brian Rose headlines the ‘Blackpool’s Famous Five’ bill at the Winter Gardens on October 5.

Light-middleweight champ Rose’s clash with former world champion Vivian Harris is the headline attraction on a bill also set to feature fellow Fylde coast fighters Jack Arnfield, Matty Askin, Scott Cardle and Adam Little.

Wood said: “To get these five local fighters all together on the same night is a real coup. They are all very talented and are up there with some of the UK’s best boxers.”

Rose was scheduled to defend his Lonsdale Belt for the third time the following weekend in Liverpool, but Wood explained the change of plan.

“Brian was supposed to box Sam Webb on the undercard of the David Price-Audley Harrison bill.

He was really looking forward to it and the tickets were going well, but we then got a call saying that the fight couldn’t happen financially, and would be likely to take place on Price’s next date in December.

“We couldn’t wait that long, so with Brian being so popular in Blackpool I’ve booked this date and got him a fight that will make him known globally, while we wait for a new domestic date.”

As for 34-year-old Harris, a former world light welterweight champion from Guyana who now lives in New York, Wood added:

“Harris didn’t shine on his last UK visit but that was due to the weight and his opponent not throwing a punch.

“Circumstances will be different in this fight and, as a genuine former world champion, I think it’s the right fight for Brian.

“Vivian Harris is still a big name, and this fight has the potential to be a real banana skin for Brian, but I’m absolutely sure he’ll do it.

“I just hope Blackpool comes out to support him and all the local fighters on the undercard.”

Wood thanks promoters Eddie Hearn and Ricky Hatton authorising Cardle, Askin and Little’s appearances on the show.

Rose echoed the sentiment, adding: “This show’s a brilliant opportunity for the other local lads. It will be Scott Cardle’s first pro fight in front of his home fans and we all know how good Matty Askin is.

“Jack Arnfield will be fighting for his first (Central Area) title, and Adam Little is a real prospect. This show is a fantastic opportunity to show Blackpool how well we’re all doing in our careers.”

As for his big fight, Rose said: “No doubt Harris will still be able to do things that will shock me but I know I’m good enough to beat Vivian Harris at this time in my career.

“They say you never lose your punch, so he’s going to be very dangerous. I’ve just got to be on my guard, stay focused and be careful early on.”

Tickets priced £35, £40 (balcony) and £70 (ringside) are available from all five boxers or at www.vipbe.co.uk (balcony seats from the venue only).