Brian Rose shows guts and heart as European title challenge in Germany ends in defeat
Brian Rose’s European title challenge ended in a brave and gutsy defeat to undefeated German champion Denis Radovan.
The Lion’s trainer Bobby Rimmer indicated to the referee that Rose could not continue at the end of the seventh round.
It followed a bruising bout which Rose competed well in, but Radovan had the edge throughout.
The fight began to get away from the 36-year-old during the middle rounds and rather than face any further punishment in what could well be his last fight, Rose and Rimmer decided to call it a day.
It marks the eighth defeat of Rose’s 41-fight career and his second in the space of just four months.
The former British champion made the trip to Ilsenburg, Germany fresh off a controversial points defeat to former pound-for-pound great Sergio Martinez in September.
Rose appeared to gain the upper-hand during that bout in Spain, but the judges’ decision went to the home fighter.
Rather than sulk, the middleweight decided to keep busy in the gym and maintain his activity, so when the opportunity to challenge for the IBF European strap arose, he felt it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
As is often the case in Rose’s fights, the bout got off to a tentative start as the two men took their time working one another out.
It was, however, clear from the off that Radovan was going to be the aggressor while, if Rose were to enjoy success, it was going to be with counter-punching and accurate use of his long, rangey jab.
Radovan, who is now undefeated in 16 fights, was simply relentless though and, from the second round onwards, he was able to land shots on a fairly regular basis.
Rose was showing impressive accuracy but his shots were too infrequent and his punches lacked the power to cause Radovan any real concern.
The German was able to walk through his shots and dealt plenty of punishment with his powerful body shots.
While there was very little to separate the two fighters in the opening two rounds, Radovan was displaying the more eye-catching work and, in the event of any close rounds, the decision was always likely to go to the home fighter.
Rose, sporting white and tangerine shorts for the occasion, knew full well he had to show more aggression, but other than some counter-shots he was unable to make his 29-year-old opponent take a step backwards.
To Rose’s huge credit, he was taking the shots and coming back with flurries of his own, but it was surely only a matter of time until he was completely overwhelmed.
After some brief joy for Rose in the fifth, Radovan took control once again in the following round.
The Lion wasn’t displaying the required head movement to evade Radovan’s shots and bruising was beginning to emerge under his left eye as a result.
The Blackpool fighter soon resorted to clinches to take the odd breather in between exchanges, but there was no getting away from Radovan’s persistent pursuit.
The champion was mixing his shots well and showed good variation in the seventh, which ultimately proved to be the final round of the fight.
There was still time for a bit of drama, as Rose’s desperation saw him resort to a low blow which floored Radovan. He had a point taken off as a result.
With the fight well and truly getting away from him, it didn’t take long for Rose and his trainer to agree to throw in the towel in between the seventh and eighth round.
There was plenty of respect shown between the two fighters afterwards, as Rose recognised the quality of the victor.
As for Rose, you can never question his heart or desire but, after 16 gruelling years, the time to call it a day is surely fast approaching.
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