Brian Rose left 'devastated' after boyhood dream of fighting in Las Vegas left in tatters following Austin 'Ammo' Williams' pullout
Brian Rose’s boyhood dream of fighting in Las Vegas has been left in tatters.
Contracts had been signed for the Blackpool boxer to take on up-and-coming American middleweight Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams at Mandalay Bay.
The bout would have taken place on the undercard of Matchroom’s show on Saturday, May 29, which is headlined by Devin Haney’s WBC World Lightweight title defence against Jorge Linares.
But when the card was announced on Saturday night, Rose was surprised to discover he had been left out.
“Apparently he pulled out due to his mental health,” Rose told The Gazette.
“I can’t say too much about that because I can relate in a way, but at the same time I’m really disappointed.
“I’ve dragged myself from a dark place, I was in a bad way myself before Christmas. But I won in Spain and got myself into a position where it was a dream come true for me to fight in Vegas, it’s been a dream of mine since I was a little boy. For it to be taken away from me is absolutely devastating.
“Not only that, I’ve been training for five or six weeks for this fight. I don’t do things by halves, I’m a true professional.
“I know I’m getting a bit older now and it is coming to an end, but I still book hotels, I still see the physio and book a massage every week, I eat the right food, it all costs a lot of money.
“It’s the sacrifice I make as well being away from my family.”
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed on social media that Williams isn’t fit to fight but has reassured Rose he’ll either rearrange the bout or get him another clash elsewhere.
“I’ve got my head around the fact I won’t be fighting in Vegas now, but all I want is a big fight,” Rose added.
“If I can get a big fight or even get Williams again in another place, I’ll do it. I’ve always been game for fighting everyone. I don’t just want anyone though, I want a big fight because I feel I deserve it.
“If anyone can deliver it, it’s Eddie Hearn. I signed a contract to fight and it wasn’t delivered, through no fault of his own because Ammo has pulled out for serious issues.
“I don’t believe you should be fighting if you’ve got mental health issues because it can spiral, so I totally understand.
“But at the same time, I’ve been let down.”
Rose, who beat former Spanish champion Clavero Lopez on his return to the ring last month after a 18-month absence, has vowed to remain positive despite this latest setback.
“It’s a little unprofessional on Matchroom’s side, I did expect more,” the ‘Lion’ said.
“I’ve served boxing well over the years. I’ve topped a bill in Blackpool on a Sky Sports show for Eddie Hearn, so to be treated like that was a little disappointing.
“But, taking the positives, Eddie put a message out saying he promised me the fight again or to get me another big fight, so there’s always something positive that comes out of the negatives and that’s how I look at life now.
“This is the bad part of boxing though, this type of thing happens a lot. It’s certainly not the first time this has happened to me.
“I had Scott Fitzgerald pull out twice, I even had a fight lined up in the States against Nikita Ababiy, that fight was nailed on and done. That’s another fight that I’ve saved for which also fell through because he pulled out. That’s three Matchroom fighters that have pulled out against me in the space of six months to a year.
“I’ve never agreed to a fight and pulled out myself. I’ve managed my career in terms of taking the right fight which is a little bit different, but I’ve never let someone train for five weeks and then pull out.
“Even when I’ve been ill or not right, I’ve taken fights because I don’t want to let the fans down, the management down or the people around me that have worked hard.
“I just don’t understand why some people are willing to let you down when you’ve trained so hard and sacrificed so much to be away from your family.
“I’m getting older now. I’ve missed a huge part of my children’s lives, especially my eldest one because at the start of my career I missed out on so much of Oscar’s life.
“I’m doing it again now with my other children, which I said I’d never do. But I’m doing it because there will be rewards at the end of it.
“To be let down, it’s just so disappointing.”
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